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Sym 1/2


Price: CDN$ 34.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 9 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • ASIN: B0000030X0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #332,114 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 1 In D: First Movement : Allegro molto
2. Symphony No. 1 In D: Second Movement : Allegretto moderato
3. Symphony No. 1 In D: Third Movement : Scherzo - Trio: Non troppo presto
4. Symphony No. 1 In D: Fourth Movement : Finale: Adagio - allegro vivace
5. Symphony No. 2 In E Flat: First Movement : Introduction et allegro agitato
6. Symphony No. 2 In E Flat: Second Movement : Larghetto
7. Symphony No. 2 In E Flat: Third Movement : Scherzo: Allegro molto
8. Symphony No. 2 In E Flat: Fourth Movement : Finale: Allegro leggiero assai

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By A Customer on June 6 2002
Format: Audio CD
I first heard these symphonies through an old Angel (EMI) recording with Michel Plasson and was immediately taken, especially by the Second Symphony. I'm taken as well by Lubbock's performances, and then some. With a finer orchestra and just about perfect recorded sound, Lubbock's livier and altogether more stylish performances shine out on a properly sumptuous ground.
While nowhere near as well known as Bizet's famous Symphony in C, these two charmers did serve as Bizet's model, and if you like the Bizet, you'll certainly like Gounod. The First is a very pretty affair, with fine melodies and a winning cantabile style throughout, which Bizet emulated in the sweet second subject of his first movement and elsewhere. But Gounod's Second has more of the wonderfully propulsive quality that is such an attractive feature of the Bizet work. In fact, if you don't find that Gounod's last movement has irresistible verve, you've been listening to too much Bruckner.
Masterpieces, no, as the other reviewer on this page makes clear. A civilized and entertaining hour of music? Most definitely. Treat yourself!
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By Eric J. Matluck on April 28 2000
Format: Audio CD
My first encounter with these two marvelously appealing works was through the newly released Philips CD featuring Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Although my reaction to the music was somewhat positive (but not very), my reaction to the performances went absolutely in the other direction. In all, it sounded like big-band Haydn, and bad Haydn at that. I was aware of the present CD, but figured that music of this stripe left little enough interpretive leeway to make another purchase a mere redundancy.
And at first I didn't hear a whole lot of difference in either the sound (specifically in reference to the size of the orchestra) or the approach. But there was something about these performances that tickled my ear in a way that the Marriner did not. And further listening only deepened my admiration for these works in these performances.
Masterpieces they may not be, but listened to in the right mood they are absolutely delectable. Of note, Lubbock plays the second movement of the first symphony as a true slow movement (it is an allegretto, like the second movement of the Beethoven seventh, even ending with a similar chord), much to the work's advantage. In the second symphony he takes the exposition repeat in the first movement (where Marriner does not), handles the rhythmic trickery of the first theme much more successfully, and is considerably faster and more pointed in the scherzo, possibly the most memorable of the eight movements on display here.
With performances as lithe and energetic (yet voluptuous where they need to be) as these, there is no sense of the anachronism that afflicted the Marriner interpretations.
All told, a delightful acquisition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Sheer French Elegance and Elan June 6 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I first heard these symphonies through an old Angel (EMI) recording with Michel Plasson and was immediately taken, especially by the Second Symphony. I'm taken as well by Lubbock's performances, and then some. With a finer orchestra and just about perfect recorded sound, Lubbock's livier and altogether more stylish performances shine out on a properly sumptuous ground.
While nowhere near as well known as Bizet's famous Symphony in C, these two charmers did serve as Bizet's model, and if you like the Bizet, you'll certainly like Gounod. The First is a very pretty affair, with fine melodies and a winning cantabile style throughout, which Bizet emulated in the sweet second subject of his first movement and elsewhere. But Gounod's Second has more of the wonderfully propulsive quality that is such an attractive feature of the Bizet work. In fact, if you don't find that Gounod's last movement has irresistible verve, you've been listening to too much Bruckner.
Masterpieces, no, as the other reviewer on this page makes clear. A civilized and entertaining hour of music? Most definitely. Treat yourself!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A gem April 28 2000
By Eric J. Matluck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
My first encounter with these two marvelously appealing works was through the newly released Philips CD featuring Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Although my reaction to the music was somewhat positive (but not very), my reaction to the performances went absolutely in the other direction. In all, it sounded like big-band Haydn, and bad Haydn at that. I was aware of the present CD, but figured that music of this stripe left little enough interpretive leeway to make another purchase a mere redundancy.
And at first I didn't hear a whole lot of difference in either the sound (specifically in reference to the size of the orchestra) or the approach. But there was something about these performances that tickled my ear in a way that the Marriner did not. And further listening only deepened my admiration for these works in these performances.
Masterpieces they may not be, but listened to in the right mood they are absolutely delectable. Of note, Lubbock plays the second movement of the first symphony as a true slow movement (it is an allegretto, like the second movement of the Beethoven seventh, even ending with a similar chord), much to the work's advantage. In the second symphony he takes the exposition repeat in the first movement (where Marriner does not), handles the rhythmic trickery of the first theme much more successfully, and is considerably faster and more pointed in the scherzo, possibly the most memorable of the eight movements on display here.
With performances as lithe and energetic (yet voluptuous where they need to be) as these, there is no sense of the anachronism that afflicted the Marriner interpretations.
All told, a delightful acquisition.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable if hardly profound music Oct. 10 2010
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gounod's symphonies are hardly groundbreaking in any sense, and they hardly plumb any depths. But they are well crafted, spirited, light and witty (without more than a hint of sentimentality, as opposed to many of Gounod's more familiar works), sunny and charming. Bizet obviously knew them when he composed his own early (and superior) C major symphony. Apart from that the influences seem mostly to have been Mendelssohn, Weber and lighter Beethoven, but always clearly infused with a very Gallic spirit. The first symphony is very classical in construction with a particularly charming slow movement - fun and attractive, without being very memorable. The second and somewhat more ambitious work at least tries to be more serious, but apart from some traces of drama in the first movement it is mostly light spirits and charm. In other words, this is hardly great music, but it is nonetheless very enjoyable and deserves to be heard once in a while. The performances here by the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square are generally very good (and the wind section is very impressive), finely shaped and often bubbling with joy, although in some passages I would have wished for a slightly lighter touch (it may be just me, but Beethoven's shadow seems to be just a tad to prominent at some occasions in these performances). But by all means: this is very spirited and commendable playing, and the recorded sound is good; recommended.
Amateur Opinion Sept. 22 2010
By Phyllis A. Karr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I ordered this because I heard it on the radio and liked it. Got it, listened to it, still like it very much. I'd never really paid much attention to Gounod before, but now find at least two of his compositions well worth hearing. Sorry I don't have the finesse to go into shrewd details, discussing whether or not the conductor in question is taking such-and-such a passage at the best tempo, and so on. "I don't know music, but I know what I like."
3 of 18 people found the following review helpful
schizophrenic Oct. 31 2004
By Mike Salkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just as Gounod himself careened between becoming a member of the clergy and a composer, his symphonies also veer - between late 18th century classical music and mid 19th century French romanticism, often in the same movement. While I find the idea of contrasting styles of interest, I can't help but feel that in these works Gounod presents us with the mediocre of each period. As the liner notes say, these are "modest" symphonies. How very kind.


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