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Discussion: Strauss: Josephslegende - Järvi

Posts: 4

Post by Wilhelm—Xu Zhong-Rui May 16, 2014 (1 of 4)
Today, I want to draw attention to this, somewhat neglected, album which was released 12 months or so ago ; favourably reviewed on multichannel by Castor and on stereo by my local scribe William Dart :
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/william-dart/news/article.cfm?a_id=185&objectid=10895158
"This is the perfect [SA-]CD to give your stereo a test-run and succumb to Strauss' symphonic wash, without worrying too much about how many notches are being carved on to the belt of musical history.

Josephslegende is minor Strauss but a major curiosity; a 1914 ballet devised by the composer's favourite librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and premiered by Diaghilev's Russian Ballet a year after the tumult of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.

With a score demanding 58 string players, and running at just under an hour, this is the epitome of pre-World War I indulgence..."


Similarly, I'd be happy to know what you feel is "somewhat neglected" of albums already released, you too can "draw attention...

Post by Lute May 18, 2014 (2 of 4)
Is anybody listening? Oh - Oh! Do you ever get the urge to start singing the Genesis song "No Reply at All". I do ;-)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HIC9muS2Yuo

Thanks for drawing attention to this one! So many of these releases slip past me. I guess that's one of the reasons I enjoy this forum.

Richard Strauss in warm, Mch sound IS pure indulgence. I'll have to track down a copy of this.

Post by TerraEpon May 18, 2014 (3 of 4)
I haven't heard this recording, but DO remember there's another SACD recording of this:
Richard Strauss: Josephs Legende - Fischer

I have that one and can recommend it highly.

Post by Chris from Lafayette May 21, 2014 (4 of 4)
OK - I got the 24/96 multichannel download of this Jarvi/RSNO "Josephslegende" yesterday because this topic had come up again. I had planned to obtain it earlier because, about a year ago, this recording was reviewed on the Audiophile Audition website, where the reviewer wrote, "This SACD gets my vote over my earlier review [sic! the reviewer could use a refresher course on English usage] of Ivan Fischer's recording on Channel Classics. The sonics are a bit warmer and you can actually hear the pipe organ in the final section. Järvi also brings more of a sense of drama to his performance. . ." I was surprised to read this, since Jared has received such acclaim for producing magnificent recordings with Fischer and the BFO - deservedly so, IMHO.

However, during the last few years, Chandos (again IMHO) has also released one splendid recording after another, so maybe there was something to that observation. When I listened to the Järvi/RSNO recording yesterday, I was definitely impressed: dynamics and frequencies seemed (subjectively) as uninhibited as current technology will allow, and the performance had a clarity and patience that I don't always associate with Järvi. (I usually think of him as a conductor who likes to drive ahead to the finish line!) No question in my mind that this is a great recording which makes a compelling case for a work which many listeners find "difficult going" among Strauss's output.

I haven't had the chance to queue-up my copy of the Fischer/BFO SACD for direct comparison purposes yet, but my shoot-from-the-hip initial impression (relying on my memory of the last time I played the Channel Classics SACD) is that both recordings are wonderful. (Also, a blow-by-blow direct comparison might not be that revealing or even valid, since I play this new Chandos recording through my computer, and I'd be playing the Fischer/BFO recording through one of my SACD players.)

Perhaps another point in favor of this new Chandos recording is the inclusion of a couple of additional works: the love scene from "Feuersnot" and the "Militärischer Festmarsch", which Strauss wrote in 1876, when he was. . . (yikes!) about 12 years old!! Talk about a musical prodigy!

One last thing: I looked at a spectrograph of the opening track of this new recording (remember, I have the download, not the SACD), and, like so many other recent Chandos recordings, it looks superb: musical signal to 46KHz, with an absolutely noiseless background. Keep 'em coming!

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