Schumann: Symphonies Nos 1 and 3 (2020)

Schumann

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

The second album in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Schumann series with the London Symphony Orchestra travels from glorious fanfare to dream-like passages with the lively Spring and Rhenish symphonies.

From the dramatic first trumpet-call which awakens the frozen landscape, the First Symphony is a celebration of spring. It moves through the season and a gruff folksong Scherzo until finally a jubilant conclusion dances into summer.

Desperate, heartfelt and elegant, the Manfred Overture opens with an urgent impetus that only increases through the work, displaying the intense strife which lies ahead for its protagonist. Schumann’s Third is one of the composer’s most impressive, painting a euphoric picture of the German Rhineland in broad Beethovenian style and closing with an exhilarating finale.

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Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, one of the most versatile conductors of our time, is acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival. Founder and artistic director of three ensembles – the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Orchestre R.volutionnaire et Romantique – he also appears regularly with Europe’s most important symphony orchestras, including the LSO, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Royal Concertgebouw, Czech Philharmonic, and the Orchestre National de France, as well as at the Royal Opera House (London), and La Fenice (Venice). The extent of Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated by over 250 recordings he has made for major record companies, and by numerous international awards including Gramophone’s Special Achievement Award for live recordings of the complete church cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, released on the label Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) that he established in 2006. SDG’s catalogue now includes recordings of, among others, Bach’s St John Passion, Brandenburg Concertos, and complete Motets, a Brahms symphony cycle, and a cappella recordings with the Monteverdi Choir.

London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position since 1995 and from 2007 became the LSO’s first President since Leonard Bernstein. The Orchestra gives numerous concerts around the world each year, plus more performances in London than any other orchestra. It is the world’s most recorded symphony orchestra and has appeared on some of the greatest classical recordings and film soundtracks. The LSO also runs LSO Discovery, its ground-breaking education programme that is dedicated to introducing the finest music to young and old alike and lets everyone learn more from the Orchestra’s players. For more information visit lso.co.uk

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Schumann: Symphonies Nos 1 and 3 (2020)

Schumann

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    AllMusic -

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has recorded Schumann's symphonies before, with his period-instrument group, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. It's nevertheless good to have this modern-instrument reading, and not because Gardiner rethinks his approach. For the most part, he doesn't, although he does tweak the tempos, sometimes substantially: the slow movement of the Symphony No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 38, is sped up a good deal and turns into a sort of parade of colors. Rather, the appeal is that Gardiner, here and on the other album of a pair covering the other two Schumann symphonies, successfully transfers the virtues of his approach to a modern symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Barbican and sounding great. It's not claiming too much to say that Gardiner is one of the conductors who set in motion a reevaluation of Schumann's symphonies, which were considered poorly orchestrated when they were played with a large, undifferentiated mass of strings. Gardiner cut the size of the string section, took care to showcase the winds and brass, and, most importantly, paid close attention to Schumann's detailed phrasing markings. The result, perhaps even better on this go-round, is a group of absorbing readings that almost put you inside Schumann's head, both bringing out the influence of Beethoven on this pair of symphonies and giving an immediate sense of the divergences. This is as strong as any other pairing of the Schumann First and Third symphonies on the market.

James Manheim [read full review]

    The Arts Desk

... a perfectly sprung ‘Spring’ Symphony, Schumann’s pulsing rhythms so bracingly defined, the melodies singing out.

    The Guardian

A sweet finale to Gardiner's memorable Schumann cycle.

    Bachtrack

A sweet finale to Gardiner's memorable Schumann cycle.

    BBC Music Magazine -

Now in his late 70s, John Eliot Gardiner seems to have embarked on a second spring rather than an Indian summer. The Schumann symphonies on his second instalment of the cycle are bottled sunshine…you can appreciate a buoyancy and lightness, as well as a contradiction of the incorrect cliché that Schumann couldn’t orchestrate… A fine, clear sonic spectrum means that the dryish Barbican acoustics don’t lessen the pleasure of the listening experience.

    The Sunday Times

He brings the values of his period- instrument performances to both works and to the grandiose Manfred Overture, a Byronic tone poem in all but name. The LSO players respond with verve and elan to his impulsive baton.

Schumann: Symphonies Nos 1 and 3 (2020)

Schumann

London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Mastering Engineer: Jonathan Stokes
Producer: Nicholas Parker
Recording Engineer: Neil Hutchinson
Recording Location: Recorded Live in DSD 256fs at the Barbican, London on February 7, 2019 (Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major) and February 10, 2019 (Symphony No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 38 and Manfred, Op. 115: Overture)
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256

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LSO0844: Schumann: Symphonies Nos 1 and 3
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Tracks.
1.
Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38 - I. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivace
Schumann
00:10:54   N/A
2.
Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38 - II. Larghetto
Schumann
00:05:47   N/A
3.
Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38 - III. Scherzo - Molto vivace - Trio I - Molto piu v
Schumann
00:05:23   N/A
4.
Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 38 - IV. Allegro animato e grazioso
Schumann
00:08:08   N/A
5.
Schumann Manfred, Op. 115 - Overture
Schumann
00:11:09   N/A
6.
Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, 'Rhenish' - I. Lebhaft
Schumann
00:09:22   N/A
7.
Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, 'Rhenish' - II. Scherzo - Sehr massig
Schumann
00:06:12   N/A
8.
Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, 'Rhenish' - III. Nicht schnell
Schumann
00:04:42   N/A
9.
Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, 'Rhenish' - IV. Feierlich
Schumann
00:04:26   N/A
10.
Schumann Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, 'Rhenish' - V. Lebhaft
Schumann
00:05:37   N/A

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