Sometimes a composer’s early compositions do not become a regular part of the canon. Stravinsky’s Symphony in E flat (1905–07), for example, remains a largely neglected work. Szymanowski’s case is more complicated. His first orchestral piece, the Concert Overture (1904–05), written at the end of his studies in Warsaw, has remained one of his most performed, even though it is clearly influenced by the style and swagger of Richard Strauss’s tone poem Don Juan. Its confident air and sense of purpose did not, however, carry over into Szymanowski’s first attempt at full symphonic writing.
Total time: 00:47:27
Classic Sound Ltd. Neil Hutchinson, Jonathan Stokes
|Original Recording Format|
Classic Sound Ltd. Neil Hutchinson
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|Release Date||November 2, 2014|
The LSO’s performances brim with virtuosic energy.
BBC Radio 3 CD Review
Valery Gergiev, making them [the LSO] sound as passionate as he obviously is himself about Szymanowski’s music. There’s some wonderfully committed vital, colourful playing here, and the Barbican recording lets it all through to us.
The LSO revel in these romantic sounds with wonderful playing in all sections.
Gergiev gives a passionate account of this [second] symphony thanks both to some breathtakingly beautiful solos from individual members of the LSO in the work’s slower sections and typically incisive playing in the more lively ones as demonstrated, for example, by the crisp articulation of the 2nd symphony’s final fugue.
The Arts Desk
Valery Gergiev’s LSO sound is technically brilliant.
Being a natural inheritor of Scriabinesque exoticism, Szymanowski is bound to bring out the best in Scriabin’s most imaginative interpreters, which is why Valery Gergiev proves such a convincing interpreter of both works. He draws excellent playing from the London Symphony Orchestra, balance some complex textures with an expert ear and the clear, close-set recording has an impressive dynamic range. Very useful, too, to have the first two symphonies coupled on a single CD.
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