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Concert Hour: Celebrating Strauss in Dresden (Pt. 2 of 2)

This week: It's off to the German capital on the Elbe for more from the Dresden Music Festival, where the fest's opening concert featured works by Wagner and Strauss.

Inside the Semperoper Dresden

An interior view of Dresden's Semper Oper opera house

Richard Strauss is all over concert programs in 2014, which marks the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth. The opening to this year's Dresden Music Festival was no exception, pairing works by Strauss - who premiered some of his greatest works in the city - with music written by Richard Wagner.

This week's program offers the chance to hear outstanding conductors from three different generations active today. There's Daniel Barenboim (b. 1942) with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Christian Thielemann (b. 1959) leading the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in a brief interlude in the program, and, finally, Andris Nelsons (b. 1978) at the podium with the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra.

It's the latter who conducts the program's primary piece by Strauss - a symphonic fantasy from the opera "Die Frau ohne Schatten" (The Woman Without a Shadow). "This symphonic fantasy is so full of emotionality and full of typical late Strauss - amazing instrumentation," Nelsons tells us.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Overture and Liebestod (Love-Death) from Tristan and Isolde

Staatskapelle Berlin
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim

Recorded by DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Berlin (DLR) in the Semper Opera, Dresden on May 23, 2014

Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Four Last Songs: Frühling (Springtime)

Renee Fleming, soprano
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Christian Thielemann

Decca 4781074

Richard Strauss
Symphonic Fantasy on Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow)

West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Andris Nelsons

Recorded by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) in the Cologne Philharmonie on June 6, 2014

Rebroadcasting rights: One broadcast before September 28, 2015

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