,'' Krzysztof Penderecki; ``Tsontakis: Ghost Variations,'' George Tsontakis.
Written as the end of World War II approached, Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen
for 23 solo strings is a long farewell lamenting a destroyed world, its seamless lines surging sinuously, its eventual quotation of the Funeral March from Beethoven's Eroica Symphony a summing-up of so much that has been lost.
The band's latest disc, Metamorphosen
, on the Marsalis label, reveals a band at the height of its powers, able to shift from storming, Coltrane-inspired, intensity to the most delicate and measured quasi-chamber music.
Never mind the politics, concentrate on the music: Metamorphosen
for 23 solo strings, Four Last Songs and the Oboe Concerto, each so different, yet together building a picture of a man certainly not without his flaws, but one looking back benevolently if sadly over a long life lived to the full.
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen
(WDR Sinfonie-Orchester Koln/Bychkov) (Avie AV0017)
Saturday's account from viola soloist Christopher Yates, his cello-like tone forward and appealing, and a reduced CBSO string section captured exactly the right measure of dignity and restraint to make the piece a structure complementing Strauss's similarly elegiac Metamorphosen
from the other end of the War.
Grandiloquence, too, is very far from the works of Strauss's last years, works which already at their time of composition seemed posthumous by at least half a century: the Second Horn Concerto, the Oboe Concerto, the heartbreaking Metamorphosen
, written out of grief for the destruction of civilised beauty by the forces of wartime barbarousness.
They might try the London Strauss Players, for their approach to Metamorphosen
was entirely different, (theirs was the real metamorphosis).
30pm) juxtaposes Tippett's two masterpieces for string orchestra, the Concerto for Double String Orchestra and the Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, with masterpiec es by Bach and Richard Strauss, the Concerto in D minor for two Violins (soloists Michael Bochmann and Janet Masters) and Metamorphosen
for 23 Solo Strings.