MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



cover image

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Rosenkavalier-Suite AV 145 [25:05]
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Op. 28 [16:40]
Vier letzte Lieder AV150 [21:29]
Anja Harteros (soprano)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Mariss Jansons
rec. Herkulessaal, des Residenz, Munich 19-20 October 2006 (Rosenkavalier); 5-6 March 2009 (Eulenspiegels); Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich 25-27 March 2009 (Lieder)
BR KLASSIK ARCHIVE 900707 [63:33]

Experience Classicsonline

This is, I believe, one of several CDs originally issued in 2009 to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Here we find the orchestra working with the charismatic conductor who has been their Chief Conductor since 2003. A few years ago I was fortunate to attend a concert at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in which Jansons led this orchestra in a programme that included a memorable Brahms Second Symphony and an equally splendid Don Quixote by Strauss. My appetite thus whetted, I was keen to hear a whole CD devoted to Strauss from this team.

The reading of Till Eulenspiegel certainly lived up to my expectations. This is a virtuoso piece and here it comes abundantly to life in the hands of a virtuoso orchestra and conductor. Jansons characterises the music sharply but never in a way that seems unnatural or done simply for effect. Till’s capers are vividly etched and the predominant mood is one of high jinks, which makes the drums and menacing fanfares that presage his execution seem all the more shocking - the increasingly despairing interjections by the principal clarinet, as Till, are extremely effective during this passage. Jansons makes the coda a touching reminiscence of Till, reassuring us that he was harmless, before delivering the final pay-off with panache.

Anja Harteros won the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World competition and has since gone on to have an important career. She’s a good exponent of Strauss’s wonderful last gifts to the soprano voice. In ‘Frühling’ her voice soars imperiously over the orchestra and she copes well with the very wide range of the vocal line. She produces some lovely sounds also in ‘September’ although here, as elsewhere in the performance, a fairly generous vibrato does sometimes compromise the clarity of the words. Jansons and his orchestra cushion her voice on a gorgeous, glowing accompaniment and the golden horn solo near the end is the icing on the cake. It’s not all that often that the violinist who plays the glorious solo in ‘Beim Schlafengehen’ is credited. On this occasion, however, Andreas Röhn is named, and rightly so for his playing is luminous. As his solo comes to an end Miss Harteros resumes centre-stage. The vocal line at ‘Und die Seele unbewacht’ is one of the most rapturous phrases that I know in all music and Anja Harteros doesn’t disappoint. Finally, ‘Im Abendrot’ is deeply felt and intense. Miss Harteros’s singing is beautifully controlled, the line steady at all times. Once again, the orchestral contribution is superb and the lovely, extended postlude is expertly sustained, the music etched in russet and gold. This live performance of Vier letzte Lieder is a rewarding one even if, in the last analysis, it doesn’t surpass some of my own favourite readings, such as those by Soile Isokoski, Elisabeth Söderström or Lisa della Casa.

The disc opens with an exuberant, utterly delicious account of the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. The playing offered here is quite outstanding - the magnificent sound of the horn section in the first couple of minutes establishes the overall level of accomplishment that is to follow. Though the extrovert side of the music is brought out thrillingly, Jansons is just as adept at catching the mellow nostalgia. The music from the Presentation of the Silver Rose scene is rather second-best without a pair of soaring, ecstatic voices but on this occasion the glorious orchestral playing almost makes one forget the absence of singers. The series of waltzes (from 10:14) is winningly delivered with just the right amount of Viennese schmaltz; the music is idiomatically inflected. At 16:35 we hear music from the great trio near the end of the opera and from this point on the performance moves to an even higher level of distinction. The climactic passage between 19:34 and 20:40, crowned by the effortlessly regal horn section, is sumptuous. After this, the brief reference to the final duet between Sophie and Octavian is affectionately touched in before one last, ripe waltz - including a final reminder of those fabulous Bavarian horns - brings down the curtain on a memorable performance. When he’s on this sort of form is it any wonder that Mariss Jansons is so widely rated as one of the world’s leading conductors?

All three performances are captured in excellent sound, which further enhances the super-fine quality of the orchestral playing. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the documentation. Frankly, it’s sub-standard. There are lengthy notes about the soloist, conductor and orchestra and barely a mention of the music itself. No texts or translations are provided. All of which serves ill anyone buying this disc who is unfamiliar with the contents of the programme. That deficiency apart, this is a fine and well-chosen programme, which will give collectors a great deal of pleasure.

John Quinn

Masterwork Index
Vier letzte Lieder
Till Eulenspiegel





Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.