Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin – Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Vier Letzte Lieder (2011) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nezet-Seguin – Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Vier Letzte Lieder (2011) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:09:07 minutes | 571 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © BIS

Approximately 50 years separated the composition of Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben and the Vier Letzte Lieder, a period in which world events dramatically changed his career and his perception of himself. The hero of the semi-autobiographical tone poem is in part a reflection of the optimism and boldness of late 19th century Europe, an age of expanding empire and Nietzschean egotism, when the youthful Strauss was at the peak of his powers; whereas the introspection and resignation of the four songs show the composer in the aftermath of World War II, subdued, nostalgic, and approaching the end of his life. The pairing of these works reveals some thoughtfulness in the programming, and the performances by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra are fully attuned to the different sides of Strauss. The reading of Ein Heldenleben is lush, expansive, and full of the passion and assurance that make the work believable, while soprano Dorothea Röschmann delivers the lieder with sympathy and serenity and projects beautifully over the orchestra’s radiant accompaniment. This SACD captures the music’s richness and warmth in spacious multichannel sound and a wide dynamic range, and the clarity of the parts is superb in the DSD recording. Highly recommended for Strauss fans and as an introduction to his larger-than-life, late-Romantic style.


Richard Strauss (1864–1949)

Ein Heldenleben, Op.40
01 – 1. Der Held
02 – 2. Des Helden Widersacher
03 – 3. Des Helden Gefahrtin
04 – 4. Des Helden Walstatt
05 – 5. Des Helden Friedenswerke
06 – 6. Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung

Vier letzte Lieder
07 – I. Fruhling
08 – II. September
09 – III. Beim Schlafengehen
10 – IV. Im Abendrot

Dorothea Röschmann – soprano
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin – conductor