STRAUSS: Josephslegbende, Op. 63. Love Scene from Feuersnot, Op. 50. Festmarsch, Op. 1
Royal Scottish National Orch/Neemi Järvi, cond.
CHANDOS SACD CHSA 5120 TT: 70:38
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POULENC: Flute Sonata. HINDEMITH: Sonata. DURILLEUX: Sonatine for Flute and Piano. MUCZYNSKI: Sonata, Op. 14. MARTIN: Ballade for Flute and Piano.
Anne-Catherine Heinzmann, flute; Thomas Hoppe, piano
AUDITE SACD 92.667 TT: 59:46
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BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 0
Hamburg Philharmonic Orch/Simone Young, cond.
OEHMS SACD OC 689 TT: 49:41
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Richard Strauss's only ballet, Josephslegende, received a superb video production with Vienna resources mentioned on this site (REVIEW), and recently there was a superb recording with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra (REVIEW). Now we have this new Chandos version with Neemi Järvi and his Scottish forces who have made many impressive recordings over the years including al434.htmnll of the Strauss symphonic poems. This new issue is not impressive. The orchestra doesn't sound particularly large (just check out the Vienna Philharmonic on the video), and Järvi seems rushed. Surely his version of the beautiful, brief love scene from Feuersnot, which I first heard many decades ago in the Beecham/RPO recording, has none of the magic of Beecham. The rather pompous Festival March composed in 1876 when the composer was only 20, was his first orchestral work. Those who love music of Richard Strauss will wish to hear it probably only as an oddity as it shows little of the Strauss of later years.

Anne-Catherine Heinzmann is a major figure in Europe's world of the flute, performing with many orchestras, giving recitals, and teaching master classes. So far, on recordings she is heard only in a Sony disk of Bach cantatas; now she has this superb solo recital. Heinzmann obviously is master of her instrument, and this varied program is a delight containing staples of the repertory as well as a charming sonata by Muczynski. Thomas Hoppe is the accompanist. Audio is excellent and well balanced although not particularly "surround." A commendable issue!

Australian conductor Simone Young is considered to be an expert in music of Bruckner and she is in the process of recording all of the symphonies. Two have been mentioned on this site, Symphony No. 8 (REVIEW), and No. 3 (REVIEW). The composer dismissed his youthful first symphony, calling it the "zero" symphony and for good reason. There are a few glimpses of the grandeur and scope of later symphonies, and this student work seldom appears in the concert hall. Young and her orchestra play it well enough, but producers didn't take into account that a premium-price disk should contain more than 50 minutes of music. Ther are many quality alternatives to this new issue. One should not overlook two superb videos conducted by Young,. Pfitzner's Palestrina in a Bavarian State Opera production (REVIEW), and Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites from the Hamburg Opera (REVIEW).

R.E.B. (July 2013)

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