Slippedisc daily comfort zone (46): Just dreaming

Slippedisc daily comfort zone (46): Just dreaming

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

May 31, 2021

Vasily Petrenko retrieves a Richard Strauss rarity, called Dreaming by the Fireplace.

Heard it before?

Me neither.


  • Dr Schoen says:

    Symphonic interlude from his opera Intermezzo

  • fflambeau says:

    Schlock. This proves that not everything written by big name composers is good. Lots and lots of other compositions are better.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    It is by nowhere as well known as the symphonic poems, but there are recordings by several top conductors, starting with the composer himself.

  • Gustavo says:

    It is well known.

    It is from Intermezzo.

    There are many good orchestral recordings, e.g. Berliner/Mehta, Detroit/N.Järvi, VPO/Bychkov.

  • Miguel says:

    Unless you consider the opera Intermezzo a rarity?

  • Bruno Michel says:

    Indeed not a frequently performed piece, but not unheard of. It is part of a concert suite Strauß extracted from the interludes in Intermezzo. This interlude has been recorded at least thrice, in close chronological proximity: DG in 1993 with the Wiener and Previn (beautiful sound but pompous and strangely unemotional in the middle section climax), Naxos in 1996 with the Melbourne SO and Michael Halasz (ok, with good brass), 1997 with the DSO and Neeme Järvi (the best of the three, the only one which pumps real goose-pimple Strauß emotions, without overdoing it, and with slightly faster tempi), and there may be more. As live recordings, one finds an annoyingly cut 3 minutes clip of the middle section with Thielemann with the Berliner from 2016 (poor recording sound quality, but real Thielemann). Frustratingly enough, I cannot find any information on precisely when Strauß wrote that suite, but it can’t be much after the opera.

  • E says:

    First hearing, for me. Thanks for posting, NL!

  • christopher storey says:

    It doesn’t really get anywhere, does it ? If something by a major composer is not well known , there is usually a reason for it

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Generally yes. But there many outstanding exceptions. For instance, exploring Schuberts less known songs can be very rewarding.

    • Hilary says:

      It has direction to my ears.

      I think it’s a slightly lazy line of thinking as the fortunes can change for repertoire : the keyboard sonatas by Haydn haven’t always been common currency. Ditto the Goldberg Variations.
      There are problematic pieces like the Dvorak Piano Concerto, and Beethoven Nameday overture which have an abundance of vitality.

  • Novagerio says:

    It’s from his autobiographic opera Intermezzo from 1924. A beautiful Interlude.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Amusingly, ‘Intermezzo’s” entr’actes include its title.

  • Jennifer Hillman says:

    Achingly beautiful. Thank you for posting it. Sorry one or two find it uninspiring.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Beecham also performed the love music from “Feuersnot”, and Thielemann has recorded less-known works by Strauss and Pfitzner.

  • Bulleidfan says:

    I have a recording by Keilberth with the Bavarian State Orchestra.