On 24 March 2023, the Philharmonia Orchestra will release the first album under its own new label, Philharmonia Records. Santtu conducts Strauss is a double album with four works by Richard Strauss, conducted by Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali. Two of the works were recorded live on 30 September 2021, the opening concert of the 2021-22 season, and Santtu’s first concert as Principal Conductor, at the Royal Festival Hall. The visual identity for the label has been designed by world renowned agency Pentagram.

Principal Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali said ‘I have such strong memories of this concert, not least because it was the beginning of my tenure, but because of the music-making moments we had lost with the orchestra over the months before. To be back on stage with every one of them, and more, was so special! Conducting Strauss is always for me a very deep experience and the Philharmonia players gave their all that night as well as in the studio – you can hear the power they feel being together. I’m looking forward to recording more wonderful music with this great orchestra in the years to come.’

Philharmonia Chief Executive Thorben Dittes said ‘We are thrilled to launch our own label. The album captures beautifully captures the electric atmosphere of Santtu’s first concert in his role as our Principal Conductor and we are proud to have produced this album in house, thanks to our excellent, skilled team. It is especially apt to start this new phase of our long recording history with this special selection of music by Richard Strauss, some of whose late works we premiered, and we look forward to sharing this music with listeners all over the world.’

The concert signaled a post-pandemic return to live performances for a full capacity crowd, and was part of the Philharmonia’s series Human/Nature, inspired by the natural world and humanity’s role within it. The two live Strauss works on the album – Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 and Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 (An Alpine Symphony) – featured over 100 musicians on stage, and the event was a critical success, heralding an auspicious beginning to Rouvali’s tenure. The album also features Don Juan, Op. 20, Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28.

Santtu conducts Strauss is a double album, with a 60-page booklet that explores the Orchestra’s immediate connection with their Principal Conductor, Strauss’s tone poems featured on the recording, and the Philharmonia’s long and fruitful history working with Strauss and recording his music.

Following an introduction by Joanna Wyld, the Philharmonia’s Programmes Editor, cultural historian Gavin Plumley contributes an essay exploring the sound world of Richard Strauss and development of the repertoire through his symphonic poems.

Writer, publisher and specialist on the Philharmonia’s recording history, Alan Sanders, dives deep into the significant recording legacy of the Orchestra and the historical connection of the Philharmonia and Richard Strauss. In the early years of the Orchestra, Strauss himself conducted the Philharmonia in Don Juan, which features on the album. Finally Joanna Wyld writes about Strauss, the Philharmonia and Santtu from a contemporary perspective, pointing to a bright and exciting future.

Santtu conducts Strauss is produced by the Philharmonia in association with Signum Records, who will distribute throughout the UK and internationally. The album will be priced at £18.

To keep up to date with future Philharmonia Records releases follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

To purchase Santtu conducts Strauss visit – https://orcd.co/philharmonia_orchestra

Ahead of the album release you can stream: Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30, TrV 176: I. Prelude ‘Sonnenaufgang’ here. There will be two more singles coming released before the album.