There are certain composers whose music transports you to a different world when you hear it. I have been a long standing admirer of the work of Richard Strauss, from the inevitable Also Sprach Zarathustra ((2001, A Space Odyssey anyone?) although I suspect 90% of people are only familiar with the opening 2 minutes of the tone poem, through to Don Quixote, Death and Transfiguration and what I would consider to be his two greatest compositions The Alpine Symphony and A Heroes Life (Ein Heldenleben).
I have had the good fortune to hear several pieces in the concert hall most notably Don Quixote by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Colin Davis and Ein Heldenleben by the Vienna Philharmonic under Christian Thielman.
I have chosen a very short excerpt from the Alpine Symphony to illustrate the power and sensuality of Strauss’s music and here it is played by the Berlin Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov (who I saw conduct Tristan and Isolde at the Vienna opera a good few years ago).
If you have never heard Strauss then prepare to be amazed by 3 minutes of utter sensuality……….