Don Juan, Op. 20
Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40
Performed by the Münchner Philharmoniker, Valery Gergiev conducting.
Richard Strauss and Munich share a very special connection. Not only was the composer born in Munich, several of his pieces had their world premiere here. His works have been a substantial part of the Munich Philharmonic’s core repertoire ever since and the orchestra has excelled on many occasions.
Valery Gergiev has paid the German repertoire particular attention throughout his career, which ignited a lasting fascination for Richard Strauss. He has made it his specialty.
The two pieces on this recording Ein Heldenleben and Don Juan embody the perfect blend of what was of importance in the musical tradition of the 19th century: symphonic composition and program music. Richard Strauss was an expert and a pioneer in the exploration of bringing the two together in his compositions. The two tone poems on this recording pose a challenge the Munich Philharmonic has brilliantly mastered with Maestro Gergiev.
Here are Maestro Gergiev and the Munich Philharmonic performing Don Juan by Richard Strauss: