,'' 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.
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)
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).