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Syms Comp

Robert Schumann Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 61.35
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 'Spring': I: Andante Un Poco Maestoso - Allegro Molto Vivace
2. Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 'Spring': II: Larghetto
3. Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 'Spring': III: Scherzo (Molto Vivace) And Trois I & II
4. Symphony No.1 In B Flat, Op.38 'Spring': IV: Allegro Animato E Grazioso
5. Symphony No.4 In D Minor, Op.120: I: Ziemilch Langsam - Lebhaft
6. Symphony No.4 In D Minor, Op.120: II: Romanze (Ziemilch Langsam)
7. Symphony No.4 In D Minor, Op.120: III: Scherzo (Lebhaft) & Trio
8. Symphony No.4 In D Minor, Op.120: IV: Langsam - Lebhaft - Schneller - Presto
9. Overture, Scherzo And Finale, Op.52: Ouverture (Andante Con Moto - Allegro)
10. Overture, Scherzo And Finale, Op.52: Scherzo (Vivo) & Trio
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No.2 In C, Op.61: I: Andante Un Poco Maestoso - Allegro Molto Vivace
2. Symphony No.2 In C, Op.61: II: Scherzo (Allegro Vivace) And Trois I & II
3. Symphony No.2 In C, Op.61: III: Adagio Espressivo
4. Symphony No.2 In C, Op.61: IV: Allegro Molto Vivace
5. Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.97 'Rhenish': I: Lebhaft
6. Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.97 'Rhenish': II Scherzo (Sehr MaBig)
7. Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.97 'Rhenish': III: Nicht Schnell
8. Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.97 'Rhenish': IV: Feierlich
9. Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.97 'Rhenish': V: Lebhaft

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Audio CD
What an embarrassment of riches: this older set, remastered in fine shape as part of the EMI Great Performances series has been a catalogue star since its first appearances. But wait, there is more. Sawallisch has re-recorded these symphonies with the Philadelphia Orchestra, showing off not only his leadership, but the fine mettle of the PO (post-Ormandy, post-Muti), and the sonics of the new Verizon Hall. It's a difficult choice, between the older set and the newer one. One plus of the older set is that it features the Dresden Staatskapelle, certainly one of Europe's finest and most distinguished orchestras. Dresden need yield no pride of place to anybody. They have a depth of tone in all instrumental departments that is only typically rivaled by the Vienna Philharmonic; combined with an incisiveness of musical gesture and transparent golden glow that typically serves the music well, almost no matter what they are playing. Part of the older set's allure has no doubt to do with the hallowed recording venue of the Luskaskirche which simply must be one of the best acoustics for European recording. The newer set, on the other hand, captures Sawallisch and the Philadephia Orchestra live (complete with audience applause). One must say that they retain their reputation as a top American band, somehow managing to combine the lushness of the Ormandy heritage with a chamber-ensemble finesse. Such flexibility serves Schumann's symphonies very well, since at times it would appear that the composer was establishing a sweet intimacy as well as dramatic breadth in these formerly neglected orchestral step-children. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Generally appealing June 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
When it comes to richness of expression, solid orchestration and an epic quality, for me, Brahms, the protege, outdoes his early caretaker, Schumann. My feelings toward the latter's symphonies have never been more than tepid. If I'm going to find some measure of enjoyment from his music it must be presented by someone who can bring it to life, not just lay it out on a platter. The prescription calls for a spirited approach combined with some imaginativeness in phrasing. This is about the only way to bring out what color and charm resides in Schumann's symphonies. If this cannot be done, and if, simultaneously, one adheres frequently to slow tempos, the effect can be deadly. Generally speaking, Wolfgang Sawallisch accomplishes one of the better jobs I've heard in terms of keeping the juices flowing, however, while he is often lively and there is a nice fragrance to some of his melodic details, he sometimes falls into a pattern of relative blandness; for example, in the third movement of the "Spring" and the second movement of the "Rhenish". By contrast, George Szell offers greater intensity and more effective orchestral execution in his reading of the Second Symphony, although he really doesn't move me as much in the other three symphonies. Bernstein has some very nice moments in his first (N.Y. Philharmonic) set, but his later effort with the Vienna Philharmonic displays the kinds of mannerisms that came to characterize more frequently his style as he aged. It's been so long since I've listened to Karajan's Schumann that, at some point, I must return to it for an update. In closing, the recorded sound of the Sawallisch/Schumann set is very fine, and a good measure better than that given to Szell. (Incidentally, a fair number of listeners have indicated the sound in the Szell set is very fine too. To me, it is not much better than okay.) If you enjoy these symphonies, I would say that Sawallisch's interpretations are probably about your best choice.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not the best May 22 2003
By dgg32
Format:Audio CD
Originally,many comments on this circle convinced me.However,after I finished listening,I don't think Sawallisch's Schumann can eclipse Bernstein's.Lack of enthusasim,it makes me feel a little boring.The outline of the brass is vague.And the string is so light that the the recording sounds apparent.And the defects in recording are found here and there.
I recommend Bernstein's Schumann circle with Vienna Philhamonic
instead of Sawallisch's one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-stopping Schumann Aug. 29 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
After I had enjoyed von Karajan, Bernstein, Szell, Muti and Gardiner, I discovered Sawallisch's set of the Schumann symphonies. What distinguishes these performances is their emotional strength and authenticity. Turning to this music is like turning to an old and trusted friend - or lover. The music is rich, lush and romantic. New details appear, starting with the first movement of the First symphony. There are touches now in drums, then brass and strings that are newly realized but naturally interwoven, which make each piece a delight in some way never before fully appreciated. This is gorgeous stuff. I feel I am enjoying the symphonies almost for the first time. The performance of Schumann is endlessly challenging, whether of the myriad (hauntingly lovely) solo piano works, the chamber pieces or the symphonic repertoire. Sawallisch rises to the occasion, realizing possibilities that were latent or only faintly adumbrated in other versions. Gardiner and von Karajan bring their own excitement and artistic vision to these works, and Gardiner's set is in its own class because of the other pieces he features, such as the "Zwickau" symphony and the Konzertstuck for Four Horns. But for sheer emotional power and authenticity, unity of vision and even voluptuousness, Sawallisch's set is far and away the most satisfying. The Dresden State Orchestra is a phenomenally fine instrument and effortlessly responds to and embraces Sawallisch's interpretations. They turned in a gorgeous performance some years ago of the Brahms Third with Claudio Abbado on a DGG set with a different European orchestra performing each symphony. They are clear, strong without being overbearing, accomplished and sweet-sounding. The sound on these discs is very fine, considering that the recordings (from the 1970's) have been remastered. If I had to limit myself to one set of the Schumann four symphonies, it would not take a moment to select this one.
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