Schubert: Symphonies 2 & 4 - Nott

Schubert: Symphonies 2 & 4 - Nott

Tudor  CD 7142

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral

Schubert: Symphonies 2 & 4 "Tragic"

Bamberger Symphoniker
Jonathan Nott (conductor)

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Reviews (1)

Review by John Broggio - August 10, 2006

This is a very pleasing continuation for me to Tudor's cycle of the Schubert symphonies with the Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott.

From the opening grandeur of the Largo to Symphony No.2 before the energetic bustle of the main Allegro vivace that carried me away, to the elegant simplicity of the variation movement, Nott paces the symphony ideally. Where the sturm & drang school of music is utilised by Schubert, the drama is highlighted but not in an overtly Romantic manner; this is Schubert playing that looks backwards as well as forwards. The Menuetto might be thought to be slightly too Beethovenian for some tastes but it is definitely on the right side of lumpy playing & phrasing. One minor irritation is the hiatus given to the (beautiful) oboe that opens the Trio. Fortunately this is the only source of criticism that I can level at the players and conductor. The unusual finale (never have I heard one that starts with such a strange introduction as this) is taken at a true Presto vivace but such is the skill of the players and the lightness of phrasing, that there is no micro-management nor breathlessness given to the music.

The fourth symphony (or "Tragic") fares just as well although the mood is, as one might guess from the nickname, more sombre than its companion piece here. The imposing opening Adagio molto is given its due weight before the turbulent Allegro vivace (of a very different character to the second symphony) is given a stormy reading; incidentally the ending, with the increase in tempo and the C major coda, is very well worked - it is not in the least triumphant. The Andante then gives welcome respite, and is performed in a stylistic plainness that not in the least dull. The drama returns in the Menuetto before the final Allegro alternates between stormy and bittersweet melody with an ever present motoric engine from the strings. Throughout the orchestra & Nott pace and phrase admirably and the large (by today's pared-down standards) forces are pleasingly dextrous.

For those that are interested in such things, this is the first recording that is based upon the Neue Schubert-Gesamtausgabe; compared to the Abbado cycle, whose set had many details that diverged from what was normally heard, many are reflected here.

The recording is clear and gives every section a real chance to shine without needing the multi-miking techniques that some companies have employed. Some tutti passages are a little congested due to the number of participants and the recording venue being ever so slightly too resonant.

Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and


Sonics (Multichannel):

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