Friday, 16 September 2016

Seattle Symphony Orchestra - Transformations for Strings (1993)

Going into the weekend on a classical note again.  Wanted to post this album for its recording of Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss.  A 'study for 23 solo strings', written at the end of the Second World War,  and towards the end of Strauss' life, Metamorphosen (Transformations) is a beautiful, sombre 32 minute dirge for war-torn Europe.  It's this piece that was responsible for me finding out about Henryk Gorecki and Arvo Pärt, and you can definitely hear the influence at times.

If you find yourself here in Edinburgh at any point, do drop in on McAlister Matheson Music.  This independent classical store has been in business since the 90s [UPDATE: and unfortunately closed at the end of February 2017], and it's where I picked up Transformations For Strings, on spying the inclusion of my favourite Richard Strauss work.  Aside from the great version of Metamorphosen, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra kick off this programme with Anton Webern's Langsamer Satz, a string quartet that perfectly complements the Strauss work.  There's also a fine rendition of Swiss composer Arthur Honegger's 2nd Symphony, which I really should listen to more.

Transformations for Strings


  1. Thanks Alan!
    Looking forward to listening this.
    Jan (Netherlands)

  2. Strange symmetries abound... I'm currently reading Alex Ross's THE REST IS NOISE, a history of 20th century composition, a decent bit in there about Strauss and Webern. Also of note, Webern was killed by a US Army cook who came from a town just down the road from where I live. Evidently the result of a poorly planned black-market sting during the operation; the gunman later drank himself to death partially on account of guilt over the shooting. This is an abundantly strange world we live in.

    1. Fascinating indeed, thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks a lot for this.
    Love your work....