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Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Toshiyuki Kamioka. Richard Strauss (I, II) - CD Review, 8th, 9th of January 2023

Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Toshiyuki Kamioka. Richard Strauss (I, II) - CD Review, 8th, 9th of January 2023

With over 120 season concerts a year, opera performances, ballet and many other artistic activities, the Copenhagen Philharmonic is one of Denmark's leading orchestras. As of the 2016-2017 season, the orchestra has 63- year-old German-Japanese musician Toshiyuki Kamioka as its principal conductor. And since last season, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach has become honorary guest conductor of the prestigious orchestra, which has a substantial discography reflecting its vast repertoire. The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra has just celebrated its 180th anniversary.

The band's latest album was released on the 17th of November by Orchid Classics publishing house and recorded at the Copenhagen Conservatory Concert Hall under the baton of Toshiyuki Kamioka. The disc features pieces by Richard Strauss. 2024 marks the 160th anniversary of the composer's birth and the 75th anniversary of his passing into eternity, so there are projectsin the classical music world dedicated to honouring the great composer. The first work on the album is the Concerto in D major for Oboe and Small Orchestra, one of Richard Strauss's last works, composed in 1945 and premiered the following year in Zurich by oboist Marcel Saillet and the Tonhalle Orchestra. The piece is structured in three parts - the first of a particularly pastoral character, with delicate and ornate melodic lines in the solo score, interwoven with a livelier contrasting theme that prepares the middle Andante in B flat major part of particular expressiveness. The final movement Vivace Allegro, a lively rondo concludes in waltz-like rhythms. The work was recorded by the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra with soloist AndreasFosdal, one of the most active and highly regarded musicians on the Danish scene and principal oboist of the Copenhagen Philharmonic.

From the same album I propose the Concerto No. 1 op. 11 for Horn and Orchestra composed by Richard Strauss around 1883, which had its first performance in Meiningen conducted by Hans von Büllow and has remained one of the most popular and performed 19th century scores dedicated to the horn. Soloist - Jakob Keiding, an exceptional Danish horn player who has performed as soloist with renowned European ensembles such as the Bavarian Broadcasting Orchestra, the Goteborg, Singapore and Bergen SymphonyOrchestras. He has been working as a horn teacher at the Royal Danish Academy of Music since 2013. This soloist's playing is admirable, vigorous and intense in the fast parts, lyrical and sensitive in the middle movement of Richard Strauss'sConcerto No. 1.

The final work on the album's programme is the Op. 60 Suite The Bourgeois Gentleman, a piece with neoclassical overtones,based on the eponymous baroque comedy created by playwright Moliere and composer Jean- Baptiste Lully. In 1917 Richard Straussdrew an orchestral suite from the incidental music he had composed five years earlier and performed it for the first time in Berlin, with himself at the conductor's desk. The suite was a great success, praised for the humour of its musical discourse, its lyricism and its baroque fragrance. These traits are also found in the performance of the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, a homogeneous ensemble with a long tradition and a great deal of musical experience.

Larisa Clempuș