Strauss: Eine Alpensymphonie (An Alpine Symphony) Op. 64

Tonkünstler-Orchester, Fabio Luisi
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Is this work the result of composition as an end in itself, as a famous conductor once claimed? Strauss' Alpine Symphony is a monumental work, a vast score with a huge orchestral lineup, 125 musicians including an organist. On this colossal scale, it's true that refinement and subtlety get left behind, but it's clear that this work has an overwhelming effect on most listeners. Some people like this, while others don't, but there can be no doubting  that it is a thrilling work.  It gives a vivid description of an ascent and descent in the Bavarian alps, with several strange moments, lots of radiant beauty and brass spectacle to mark the points where the view becomes overwhelming. The programmatic aspect of the music is extremely clear. Fabio Luisi accepts the mammoth challenge of the work, summoning a schmaltzy and opulent performance from the Tonkunstler Orchestra – which is exactly what this music calls for. 

recorded at 04/22/2022, 08:00pm (CEST)
Tonkünstler-Orchester: Eine Alpensymphonie (An Alpine Symphony)
Richard Strauss: Eine Alpensymphonie (An Alpine Symphony) Op. 64

I. Nacht (Night)

II. Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise)

III. Der Anstieg (The Ascent)

IV. Eintritt in den Wald (Entry into the Forest)

V. Wanderung neben dem Bache (Wandering by the Brook)

VI. Am Wasserfall (At the Waterfall)

VII. Erscheinung (Apparition)

VIII. Auf blumigen Wiesen (On Flowering Meadows)

IX. Auf der Alm (On the Alpine Pasture)

X. Durch Dickicht und Gestrüpp auf Irrwegen (Through Thickets and Undergrowth on the Wrong Path)

XI. Auf dem Gletscher (On the Glacier)

XII. Gefahrvolle Augenblicke (Dangerous Moments)

XIII. Auf dem Gipfel (On the Summit)

XIV. Vision (Vision)

XV. Nebel steigen auf (Mists Rise)

XVI. Die Sonne verdüstert sich allmählich (The Sun Gradually Becomes Obscured)

XVII. Elegie (Elegy)

XVIII. Stille vor dem Sturm (Calm Before the Storm)

XIX. Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg (Thunder and Tempest, Descent)

XX. Sonnenuntergang (Sunset)

XXI. Ausklang (Quiet Settles / Epilogue)

XXII. Nacht (Night)