<< -- 3 -- David Thompson AUTUMNAL GLOW
There are more vehement and bloody accounts of 'The Hero's Deeds in Battle', but the forces do
very much rise to the occasion in the glorious autumnal glow of the work's concluding paragraphs,
and the ending is movingly lovely
[listen -- track 6, 10:04-11:32].
This is a performance I was glad to hear, even though it does
not displace my favourite accounts.
Metamorphosen is another matter. It is a notoriously difficult piece to bring off,
but here, Bychkov and the Cologne strings are quite inspired
[listen -- track 7, 25:23-26:55].
The often elusive structure is
always held together, and the players, evidently totally absorbed in their music-making, somehow
manage to achieve just the right combination of discipline and spontaneity. Nothing stands in
the way of Strauss's deeply-felt evocation of the sorrow of regret, whether of his own mortality,
the inglorious post-war world, or whatever other cryptic message he seeks to convey. This is a
fine achievement by all concerned.