SCHOENBERG: VERKLARTE NACHT,Op. 4.RICHARD STRAUSS: METAPMORPHOSEN for 23 solo strings
(ASV CD DCA 743)
Review by David Denton (The Strad)
"This disc comes into competition with performances that are by general consesnus among the finest made by Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. The infinite tonal palette palced at the disposal of their conductor is something that never fails to amaze me however many times I hear those marellous recordings, while at the climatic moment of Verklarte Nacht Karajan achieves one of the most sublimely beautirul moments ever palced on disc.
How can any newcomer compete in such exalted company? Tje answer in this instance is by taking a somewhat different view, and projecting that interpretation with equal commitment. Where Karajan extracts angelic sounds, Pople points to a very human dram, the earthier quality of his strings capturing the guilt behind this story of two lovers. Only when we reach that final picture of shimmering moonlight have I really missed the incadescent quality of the Berlin strings, but by that time, Pople has convinced me that his is also a indispensible reading.
METAMORPHOSEN is even finer, particularly if you wish to hear the dynamics exactly as directed by the composer, a feature of the score that Karajan at times amends with internal clarity uppermost in his mind. Certainly one has the thematic strands presented with great clarity by the Berliners, but I wonder whether Strauss really expected that. Pople pictures the work almost as a tone poem, while the result in many ways also has an affinity to the outpourings of his most voluptuous operas. The playing again is of outstanding quality, aided by a recording that imparts tremendous impact."
Classical CDs: A satisfying find
WILLIAM'S MOOD MAGICby Hilary Vivian
"How glorious it was - after a frantic week in dusty, humid, bewitching Budapest - to fly home to England... READ ON