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Schubert: Symphonies, Vol. 1 - Gardner

Schubert: Symphonies, Vol. 1 - Gardner

Chandos  CHSA 5234

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Schubert: Symphonies 3, 5 & 7 (8)

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor)


Following a highly successful series Mendelssohn in Birmingham, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with their former Chief Conductor Edward Gardner here presents the first volume in a new surround-sound series: Schubert Symphonies. This first volume comprises of three symphonies spanning across Schuberts life. His Symphony No. 3 (1815), with its extensive and evolving slow introduction is followed by the culminating distillation of Schubertian classicism that is his little Symphony No. 5 (1816). Scored for chamber orchestra, it tells of an influence of Mozart, for whom Schubert seemed to have felt a special affinity with around this time. Completing the album is Schuberts much more intense (with a turbulent first movement and serene second) Symphony No. 8 unfinished (1822), of which only the first two movements and a skeleton sketch of a third Scherzo movement were completed.

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PCM recording

Recorded 9 and 10 July 2018 at the Town Hall, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 24/96

Recording producer: Brian Pidgeon

Sound engineer: Ralph Couzens

Assistant engineer and editor: Jonathan Cooper

A&R administrator: Sue Shortridge

Microphones: Thuresson CM 402 (main sound); Schoeps MK22, MK4 and MK6; DPA 4006 & 4011; Neumann U89

CM 402 microphones are hand built by the designer, Jörgen Thuresson, in Sweden.
Comments (4)
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Comment by Adrian Quanjer - January 8, 2019 (1 of 4)

Interesting. A third new, complete set of Schubert symphonies in the making. As if there weren’t enough available already. Challenge Classics (Residentie Orkest The Hague) and Pentatone (B’Rock Orchestra) are both different in approach. Where will this one stand? Has anyone heard it yet? In terms of economics 3,5 & 8 seems an attractive deal.

Comment by hiredfox - January 11, 2019 (2 of 4)

Flavour of the month, Adrian. It's the 4th recent survey in fact.

The definitive set, if indeed it becomes a set and based on their very fine new release of the 1st and the Unfinished (8th) is likely to be Ballot's, with the newly formed Viennese chamber ensemble Klangkollektiv. These performances are in every way outstanding as indeed they should be given the pedigree of the players. Certainly my personal 'Recording of the Month'.

I will not be in the market for this Gardner / CBSO survey as I no longer collect PCM recorded material. The other three sets are in DSD.

Comment by Adrian Quanjer - January 11, 2019 (3 of 4)

Thanks for your comment, John. Missed your input elsewhere on the same subject. I wasn’t aware though it being part of a new complete cycle. Rémy Ballot is, indeed, doing a fine job, including resisting the temptation of turning the 1st symphony’s final movement allegro into presto as some conductors seem to like best these days (B’rock/Jacobs). I particularly like Ballot’s well-judged tempi, letting the music speak instead of merely transmitting the virtuosity of the players. No. 8 is a marvel, not too slow, not too fast (Dausgaard’s allegro certainly isn’t ‘moderato’, but…. à chacun son goût!).
And then there are all the other sets: aren’t we spoiled for choice?

Comment by hiredfox - January 11, 2019 (4 of 4)

You are right about Ballot's No 8 which reminds me very much of Barbirolli's renowned version from the late 60's sadly still not available as a re-mastered SACD