Announcing a rare new album conducted by Maestro Abbado – still much missed by many in the concert hall and the studio. Schubert remained one of Abbado’s favourite composers throughout his life and since his first performance in Den Haag in 1966 he returned again and again to the “Great“ C Major Symphony.
For his project of recording the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner on CPO, Mario Venzago has chosen to record each symphony with a different orchestra to re-create the sounds that Bruckner would have heard. Considering that Bruckner's experiences with orchestras spanned three decades, he would have witnessed growth of the orchestra's size and the introduction of new instruments, which clearly influenced his decisions when he composed and revised each work. Venzago performs the Symphony No. 8 in C minor with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, following the 1890 version and employing the same instrumentation and ensemble scale, as well as traditional practices that are documented in performances from that period. The result is an Eighth that sounds strikingly different from the other symphonies, quite far removed from the early Romantic orchestra he used in the First, and considerably expanded from the ensembles he would have expected for the Fourth or even the Seventh symphonies.
In presenting a new recording of one of the world's most popular symphonies, the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven, it is fitting that it should be conducted by a musician internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost Beethoven interpreters of our day, Josef Krips. All the dynamism of the music and its performance has been faithfully preserved through the magic of Everest sound.
Bruckner’s majestic Symphony No. 8 overflows with lavish themes and rich sonorities, representing the composer at his grandest, whilst the Symphony’s occasional title ‘Apocalyptic’ alludes to an underlying tone of solemnity. This strong and idiomatic reading comes from a live-to-air BBC recording dating from October 1981. This is very early days in the Orchestra’s long association with Tennstedt. In true Tennstedt fashion, the sheer beauty of the sound and opulence of the textures are awe-inspiring in this triumphant interpretation. Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 29 October 1981.
This is an energetic and well played performance and Mark Obert-Thorn has done marvellously well with the transfer. I love the “Pastoral” of all symphonies and to be able to hear this recording from seventy years ago in very tolerable sound is wonderful. I must say that for the general listener the recording from 1960 on Sony is in better sound and indeed a better performance. The Columbia Symphony Orchestra was in fact the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. There is another recording from 1946 from Philadelphia but I haven’t heard it in a decent transfer.(David R Dunsmore)
Like those other great symphonists-Beethoven before him and Mahler after him-Schubert completed no symphonies after his ninth. This has come to be known as the "Great C Major," not only because it is an altogether grander work than his Sixth Symphony in the same key, but also because it is one of the truly majestic pillars of the whole symphonic canon. The celebrated orchestra of the composer's native Vienna is led here by the masterful Sir Georg Solti in a recording unsurpassed among many competitors for its warmth, presence, and detail.