One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony No. 6 in C major (1818) [33:04]
Symphony No. 8 in B minor ‘Unfinished’ (1822) [26:00]
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sir Roger Norrington
rec. 9-11 November 2011, SWR Studio, Stuttgart
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD93.298 [59:12]

Schubert’s Sixth is not an easy piece to bring off. The challenge surrounds the requirement to articulate the tricky rhythmic contour of the first movement's principal material at a suitable tempo. It must be at once lively and sensitively phrased.
 
Roger Norrington’s new recording of the piece is highly satisfactory, while another successful performance on CD comes from Günter Wand (Testament SBT1364) who manages to achieve this demanding balancing of opposing forces, with beguiling results. Not that Norrington fails to achieve similar standards, however, and he is also excellent in the remaining movements, with some very pleasing string playing in particular.
 
The temptation with the celebrated Unfinished Symphony is to think that had he lived longer, Schubert would have completed it. The worthy attempts of various people to provide the two remaining movements have encouraged this erroneous view. The truth of the matter is that Schubert wrote this piece in 1822, more than five years before his tragically early death. Since the music was not played and was not known during his lifetime, no-one can be sure whether or not he intended to turn it into a conventional four-movement piece. No matter, since what we have is so wonderfully effective on its own terms, and Schubert evidently thought so too. Here the orchestra is larger, the textures richer, the manner more romantic, dramatic and forceful.
 
In this popular symphony the CD market-place is a good deal more competitive. Norrington brings a satisfying sense of completeness to his interpretation, and the playing of the Stuttgart orchestra is precise and distinguished in every department. If there is a hint of severity in the first movement that is no bad thing. It serves to enhance the symphonic tensions and Schubert’s powerful orchestration, replete with trombones. The chosen tempo for the second movement Andante is on the fast side, as is this conductor’s preference in classical repertoire, and therefore a degree of lyricism is passed by. If a more romantic approach is sought then a safe recommendation would be Claudio Abbado’s recording (DG 4236552) with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.  

Terry Barfoot