Straight to the heart of Strauss

Christoph von Dohnányi leads the Philharmonia to the musical core of two of Strauss's masterpieces

Composer: Richard Strauss
Repertoire: Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche; Ein Heldenleben
Artists:  Philharmonia/Christoph von Dohnányi
Rating:  4.5/5
Genre: Orchestra
Label: Signum Classics SIGCD 148

Like a photographer who works in black and white rather than colour, Dohnányi is a conductor whose interpretations bypass surface appeal and instead go straight to the music itself. The antics of medieval prankster Till Eulenspiegel here scintillate throughout every section of the Philharmonia. In the epic world of Ein Heldenleben, the playing has a mellow, bombast-free class that allows room for every telling orchestral detail to come through – thrillingly so in the mighty ‘Battle Scene’. The sound of the work’s fabulously beautiful conclusion seems somehow to glow: and you won’t ever hear it graced with finer horn-playing.