Edo de Waart/Netherlands Wind Ensemble (1971)
The main problem with the work lies in its instrumentation. The composition at times shows brilliance (particularly in the fugal finale and presto coda), but an expanded clarinet section casts a uniform glaze over the sounds. While Strauss' late string writing ingeniously concocts new sounds within a homogeneous group, the sounds in the late pieces for winds tend to bland out. De Waart does little to alleviate this problem. One listens hard for any evidence that at this session, the engineers recorded a mere play-through. You hear a lot of keyboard clatter as well. Compared to the lesser-known Rajski and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic, these people mailed in their performance.
Copyright © 1994-2008 by Steve Schwartz & Classical Net. All Rights Reserved.