Gundula Janowitz, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan – Strauss: Four Last Songs; Orchestral Works (1995/2016) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Richard Strauss – Four Last Songs; Orchestral Works – Gundula Janowitz, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan (1995/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:17:07 minutes | 1,39 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recorded: 1969-1973, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany & Franzosische Kirche, St. Moritz, Switzerland

Recorded between 1969 and 1972, this celebrated Strauss album from Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker includes what is still widely considered the benchmark version of the Four Last Songs, sung by Austrian soprano Gundula Janowitz. The centrepiece of the programme is coupled with Karajan’s glowing account of Strauss’s tone poem Tod und Verklärung and the late Metamorphosen. Janowitz’s ethereal performances of these most famous of orchestral songs written for soprano have challenged all comers for decades.

“… in spite of strong challenges from far and wide, the singing (of the Four Last Songs) by Gundula Janowitz has still not been surpassed for Straussian opulence and tenderness … Karajan conducts a near-ideal account of the orchestral score …” –Gramophone

“(Metamorphosen) is a work I have loved, on paper, as a concept, for nearly 30 years but which I had long since written off … all that changed when I first heard Karajan’s magisterial recording … (for weeks) I played that disc, passed through the eyes-uplifted-in-wonder stage, went well beyond the catch-in-throat-and-tingle-on-the-spinal-cord phase …” –Glenn Gould

“Even among the remarkable number of first-rate recordings (of Strauss’s Four Last Songs) currently in the catalogue, Gundula Janowitz still excels. Her performance is wistful and nostalgic, of course, but Janowitz also bewitches and enchants like no other as she interweaves her soprano line around Karajan’s sublimely paced and immaculately played orchestral accompaniment …” –BBC Music Magazine


Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)

1 Tod und Verklarung Op.24, TrV 158 27:09
2 Metamorphosen For 23 Solo Strings, TrV 290 27:38
Vier letzte Lieder, TrV 296
3 1. Fruhling 04:04
4 2. September 04:53
5 3. Beim Schlafengehen 06:19
6 4. Im Abendrot 07:07

Gundula Janowitz, soprano
Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor