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Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos & Oboe Concerto

Renée Fleming, Sophie Koch, Jane Archibald, Robert Dean Smith
Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann

Decca: 0743809

Received together, these discs make for a salutary, and very personal, contrast.

Ariadne has never been a favourite of mine, and though Fleming is in fine, creamyvoice, her role and the final soprano/tenor duet cloy for me.

Jane Archibald gives us her 12 min coloratura showpiece as Zerbinetta with aplomb. But for me the star of this show was undoubtedly Sophie Koch as the composer [R], her role dominating the Prologue (which I far prefer to the Opera itself) and my memory of the whole.
- - **

Thielemann underpins the whole with an ideal realisation of Strauss' chamber orchestral score.

Peter Grahame Woolf

L. A. Lebrun, A. Salieri, R. Strauss Oboe Concertos
Francesco Di Rosa, oboe
FORM-Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana/Alessio Allegrini

Amadeus AM 282

So does Alessio Allegrini accompanying the ever fresh and delightful oboe concerto, of which one never tires. This, from a provincial Italian orchestra, is one of the very best on record and so is Francesco di Rosa, of whom you'll never have heard, as soloist (click on his name & enjoy seeing him play the first movement of the Strauss !).

This disc's claim to primacy is sealed by the coupling (is there a word for the conjunction of three?) with two excellent oboe concertos by relatively unknown 18 C composers, Lebrun & Salieri, the latter made notorious through Rimsky's opera which purports him to have been Mozart's murderer...

The presentation is exceptional, including bar-by-bar index*** such as I've never seen elsewhere.

Peter Grahame Woolf

*See a full & positive early review of this newly released Blue-Ray DVD of Ariadne auf Naxos.

And see our review of an earlier production at Dresden,
conducted by Sir Colin Davis and also with Sophie Koch as the composer.