This sumptuous work is made for the opulence of Telarc's sonics. The natural splendor of the sound of Stauss' own orchestra has been superbly and realistically captured in the Musikvereinsaal, retaining the Vienna Philharmonic's unique orchestral personality.
In his third Richard Strauss release for Telarc, Andre Previn unleashes the power of the Vienna Philharmonic in a magnificent performance of one of the composer’s most gigantic orchestral works. This monumental "tone poem" involves over 150 performers, comprising the largest orchestra ever called for by Strauss.
The piece paints a musical picture that recounts a twenty-four hour Alpine climbing expedition. To assist the listener, the work is divided into twenty-two descriptive sections, designated by the composer’s own titles. The progression begins with "Night," continues through such segments as "Sunrise," "Dangerous Moments," "Mists Arise," and ends again with "Night." To enhance this musical embodiment of nature, Strauss employed effects such as an off-stage brass band to impersonate hunting horns, cowbells to evoke mountain meadows, and a thundersheet and wind machine to suggest a mountain storm.
Strauss wrote Eine Alpensinfonie, which contains some of his most inspired music, between 1911 and 1915. The melodies are simple and tuneful, but the scoring is huge and polyphonically complex. Strauss employed the Wagerian technique of identifying various physical features and poetic concepts by musical themes or motives, which recur and evolve throughout the gargantuan work, making it particularly powerful and moving.