Liebestod – Wagner; Mahler; Strauss

Bamberger Symphoniker, Jakub Hrůša


August 2023

The music of Wagner, Mahler and Strauss is very close to the heart of the Bamberg Symphony and even seems to have ingrained itself in their DNA, to which the award-winning recordings of Mahler 4 with Jakub Hrůša and Mahler 9 with Herbert Blomstedt impressively attest. With this concept album, they reflect on the topic of death, which Jakub Hrůša does not interpret solely as a moment full of despair and tragedy. Rather, he sees in death an element “that gives our lives meaning.” And it is this idea that the orchestra and its principal conductor convey with their interpretation of four key works by Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The result creates a form of dialog between the composers, who build on each other historically and stylistically. A dialog that, says Hrůša, “charms our ears and touches our hearts.”


Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod stands out for the mellifluous blend between orchestral sections, and the burnished yet never excessive string tone that Jakub Hrůša obtains from his musicians parallels Herbert von Karajan’s sonic paradigm.

Jed Distler