I love Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Mozart recordings and most of his Haydn. Likewise for Beethoven and Schubert. As we move farther forward in time, my reaction becomes somewhat tempered, and that's somewhat the case with respect to this collection of Schumann orchestral music by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Harnoncourt. We get the four symphonies -- the No. 4 in its original version of 1841 -- and the Piano and Violin Concertos with Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer, respectively, as soloists. And though these are not my favorite Schumann recordings, the three-disc set holds its own and then some for the most part. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is a modern instrument ensemble, but there are some period sensibilities that influence Harnoncourt's direction here. Arguably the Piano Concerto is the star of the album. The soloist pretty much dominates the show, with the orchestra giving wonderful support that is substantial and yet textured and transparent. Indeed, I think that this may soon become my favorite recorded rendition of the work. The Violin Concerto gets much the same treatment, with the sonic focus squarely on the soloist. Kremer's playing is magnificent, as is Argerich's in the keyboard concerto. The symphonies, meanwhile, come off reasonably well. The No. 1 is one of the better version of this symphony I've heard; indeed, it's my least favorite of the four, but this performance made me cozy up to it more than I usually care to. The No. 3 is also very well done -- like the performance of the No. 1, there are some wonderful textures that Harnoncourt and his forces make evident that often get ignored elsewhere. Meantime, I have to confess to minor disappointment with the Nos. 2 and 4. The former just didn't have enough bite and angst for my taste. Meanwhile, the problem I had with the No. 4 is that it's the original version of the work, which I think is a bit inferior to the revised version. It's well played as such, but I'd rather hear the later arrangement, which is much tighter and propulsive. So the symphonies bat 0.500 in my book while the pair of concertos knock it out of the concert hall. If you can get this set at a reduced price, it might be worth your while.