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This recording is the first in a new series with Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The programme features music by Richard Strauss: the concert suite from Der Rosenkavalier and Ein Heldenleben, a work they have performed together in concert to critical acclaim. The tone poem tells the epic story of an imaginary hero and offers a stirring introduction to the world of the German Romantics. Strauss demands uncompromising virtuosity from both the orchestra and the horn player who is tasked with portraying the bold hero. Following a concert performance of Ein Heldenleben in March 2018 The Scotsman stated: “From the swaggering confidence of Strauss’s bounding heroic theme to the gleefully grotesque carpings of his critics, Søndergård delivered a bold, utterly committed account – this is clearly music that matters to him.” Closing the recording is the concert suite from Der Rosenkavalier in which Strauss’s colourful and evocative orchestration recalls many favourite moments from his most popular opera.

"There’s warmth, men­ace and crys­talline pre­ci­sion in this new record­ing of Richard Strauss’s Ein Helden­leben that beau­ti­fully cap­tures the tone poem’s af­fec­tion and sar­donic mock­ery in equal mea­sure."
The Scotsman
"Strauss’s magnificent tone poem (which some aficionados consider to be his finest) has been lucky over the years in terms of superlative recorded performances, but few have the sheer finesse and vigour of this new reading. The recorded sound is admirable."
Classical CD Choice
"To my ears, however, the Sondergard version has rather more drama about it. With Linn’s Philip Hobbs at the desk, it seems to pack a bigger punch from the opening portrait of the The Hero, and the RSNO’s horns and brass – surely currently the best in the band’s history – are substantially responsible for that."
The Herald
"Thomas Sondergard designs Ein Heldenleben in a very bold and intense way. But in between there are always very sensitive, tender moments."
"Sound quality 85%: Søndergård's interpretation sounds utterly idiomatic, while the main work (my July Classical Companion) is compelling..."
HI-FI News
"There’s focus and tautness to the Dane’s approach...Both scores are captured in detailed sound by Linn’s engineers."
"I don’t want to fade out, that’s always a good sign isn’t it? You’ve got dynamic impact you’ve got depth, detail, air, it’s really good."
BBC Radio 3