125. Ain’t no mountain high enough: Strauss, Alpine Symphony

With the wonders of our imagination and some great music to help, all things are possible – so let’s enjoy the views from the top of a mountain: leaving the house (or even getting out of bed) is entirely optional. Richard Strauss takes us over the top (in every sense) in his epic, excessive, exuberant Alpine Symphony, with great views and plenty of thrills but also moments that inspire deeper contemplation on the glories of nature. It’s a trip you don’t want to miss.

Listening time: 62 mins (Podcast, 11′, music 51′)

In 1982 Herbert von Karajan conducted An Alpine Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. It was the first thing to be put on cd, and those who know these things maintain that it’s still one of the best:

If you can, try to listen without adverts, which are particularly interrupting in this piece!

If you like to see huge orchestras in action, there are good films performances on youtube. I like the Oslo Philharmonic with Vasily Petrenko and the WDR Symphony and Semyon Bychkov.

Picture credit: Thanks to Melanie Stefan for providing the picture, it’s the Alps in France, as seen from the Charmant Som in the Chartreuse Mountains.

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