Ein Heldenleben took off from the very opening, the thrilling upward swing of the splendid cellos playing Strauss's memorably heroic opening theme, using the notes of an E-flat arpeggio that remind us of Beethoven's Eroica without actually quoting it. Concertmaster Joanna Kurkowicz gave a sparkling and characterful representation in the big violin solo depicting Strauss's loving, infuriating, and complicated wife, Pauline. Zander's clear, dramatic transitions captured the many shifting moods of this autobiographical tone poem: the whining and braying of the nasty and stupid critics, the war with the enemies of art, the accomplishments of the artist (including more than 30 quotations from Strauss's own works), the conjugal love that supports the artist in his struggles, and the undefeated hero's final ecstatic vision of harmony and peace.

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  Topics: Classical , Music, Benjamin Zander, Boston Symphony Orchestra,  More more >
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