This continues the “Best Recordings of 2010” countdown. You can view the choices so far here. The lists from the previous years: 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.
# 2 - New Release
R.Strauss, An Alpine Symphony, B.Haitink / London Symphony Orchestra, LSO, LSO Live 689
|J.Strauss, Alpine Symphony,|
B.Haitink /. LSO
LSO Live 689
LSO. Haitink. Strauss’ Alpine Symphony: The ingredients don’t, on paper, evoke a gritty ascend to the summit, craggy excitement of rock and thunder, schist and lightning. Or particular Bavarian flair. Well, time to give my etch-a-sketch of stereotypes a good shake: this is a riotous interpretation, a tender one, exploring extremes, and with the most deliciously depraved low tuba note I have yet heard recorded… sounding out with such gusto that it would suffice to prove the existence of the ‘Brown Note’, if it weren’t a myth. One of my favorite recordings on the LSO Live label and—pending the Alpensinfonie-marathon results—my favorite recording of Strauss’ oft-maligned masterpiece. (Dip Your Ears, No. 104)
# 2 – Reissue
J.J.Raff, Complete Symphonies (1-11), Hans Stadlmair / Bamberg Symphony, Tudor 1600
|J.J.Raff, Complete Symphonies (1-11), Hans Stadlmair / Bamberg Symphony|
The orchestra is one of Germany’s best, even if it is not nearly as famous as it is good; the quality carried over from its time as the German Philharmonic Orchestra of Prague had been kept for years—and with the newly gained title of Bavarian State Philharmonic (which means state funding), Jonathan Nott at the helm, and a new generation of musicians being recruited its future looks rather bright, too. Hans Stadlmair, whom I know little about, obviously cared for Raff and made sure that the quality of the music shines through in ways that none of the rival recordings manage. CPO does a many great thing, but if you’ve gotten to know Raff’s symphonies through their set of the “Seasons” (as I unfortunately did), you would rightly have be turned off. No such excuses with the Tudor recordings. I’ve been waiting for them to put all their symphonic Raff in box, and when it happened early this year, I knew this would feature very high on my Best of the Year list. There’s not a bit of disappointment in this set.