In the wake of its first performance under his own direction in March 1904, Strauss struck a self-satisfied note: “Domestica has turned out a success, it sounds great, but it’s very difficult.” The extreme technical demands and the large resources required – the intimate details of the composer’s private life are translated into a monumental tone poem in his Sinfonia domestica. The Munich Philharmonic performs this opulent late-Romantic score in the Isarphilharmonie in Munich under its conductor emeritus, Zubin Mehta.
»Strauss' Sinfonia domestica is anything but domestic in terms of its scale and the forces required – some 35 wind and brass players for a start (not including the quartet of saxophones absent on this occasion). In its pumped-up grandiosity it is also unafraid of being vulgar, and I rather enjoyed the way Mehta gleefully gave in to this showy, even show-offy side of its personality while simultaneously keeping its truly symphonic progress
in his sights, as Strauss weaves and develops his musical ideas associated with Papa, Mama and Bubi (the Strausses' young son Franz). Mehta also delighted in the music's wit and self-deflation, such as the double fugue that portrays the couple's bickering in almost war-like terms. The Munich Philharmonic played magnificently, and if the new concert hall of the Isarphilharmonie didn't provide quite the transparency of sound required for some of Strauss' thicker textures, it undoubtedly gave a sonorous boost to its many exhilarating climaxes. The orchestra's leader Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici spun silken lines in the important violin solos representing Strauss' wife Pauline, and there were equally characterful cameos from oboe d'amore and trumpet, among others..« Matthew Rye, bachtrack.com, 16. November 2021