Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apropos of nothing in particular ...

... except, I suppose, my own personal pleasure, I have just finished listening to Sir Thomas Beecham's recording of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. I just got it in the mail today. I first had it not long after it came out, which was not long after Sir Thomas's death. It was his last recording. And it is probably the best recording of Ein Heldenleben ever. This piece usually needs a bit of irony to make it come off. Beecham takes it altogether seriously, though, and pulls it off. The finale seems like Beecham's own farewell. God, he was a great conductor.

And with that, I am signing off for the night. I just got some Simenon in the mail. Do I have a great job or what?

1 comment:

  1. I need to get this disc too. Such a great piece, and yes, a great recording.

    I wonder if they relate this story in the liner notes: This recording almost never happened. Apparently, they were to record some other piece (Haydn?) but the librarian somehow managed to forget to bring the music to the session (or some such thing), so Beecham said "well what DO you have" and it just so happened he had Ein Heldenleben, so he said "we'll record that then" and they did it in one take.

    Legend or reality? But it's a great story.