September 9, the first of three Munich/Kempe Prom concerts given on consecutive evenings opened with the Beethoven, which reports decent sound (expertly remastered by Paul Baily) and the enveloping resonance of the Albert Hall. If Rudolf Kempe somewhat draws-out the slow introduction he is spot-on in the fast music, tempo-articulate, and with sparkling playing from his forces. There follows stunning Strauss (one of Kempe’s signature composers), a white-hot account of deathbed atmosphere, Last Rite’s energy & railing, bittersweet reminiscing, delirious drama, and glorious acceptance of the Afterlife. Superbly realised, with vivid detailing, not least from brass and timpani, this is a must-have performance and much more than a supplement to Kempe’s Dresden version. (For the record, next up was Mendelssohn’s E-minor Violin Concerto with Kurt Güntner.) Dvořák Eight completed the concert. Mixed feelings: the first movement, however exciting, is hard-driven, the trumpets that excelled in the Strauss now coming across as stingingly edgy for this composer; the Adagio is darker than from other conductors, and interesting/illuminating as such, and there is a nice lilt to the grazioso successor, with the Finale returning to the fire of the first movement, much more persuasively, although the horns’ trills are a little muffled, and the coda is electrifying. Don’t miss the Strauss, on ICA Classics ICAC 5170, released on February 24.