One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (1878, ed. Nowak)
Sinfonie Orchester des Südwestfunk Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud
rec. live, 21 October 1953, Baden-Baden. ADD Mono
ARCHIPEL RECORDS ARPCD0129 [75:46]

Hans Rosbaud was the first chief conductor of the SWF (later, SWR) orchestra from its foundation in 1948. He was highly versatile in repertoire but especially committed to performing Mahler and Bruckner and had almost completed the first recorded cycle of the latter’s symphonies on his death in 1962.

There is some faint pre-echo in the tape and the sound, although remastered, remains decidedly tubby and opaque; it seems to deteriorate somewhat as the performance progresses, too. I have heard much better contemporary live recordings and comparison with, for example, Knappertsbusch’s live performance of the Fourth from 1944, also from Baden-Baden, is very much in Kna’s favour. In truth, were it not for the interest of hearing a conductor largely neglected I would not recommend this to any but the die-hard collector of historical Bruckner recordings.

I am in general an admirer of Rosbaud’s work, relatively scant as his legacy is, so welcomed and expected to enjoy this “previously unpublished” recording, but his approach to the score here strikes me as dutiful, if not rather dull. This indicates a respect for the score but also a lack of inspiration. In truth, I found the Adagio a tad plodding. The Scherzo is nicely paced and varied; the rambling finale unfolds neatly, with Rosbaud emphasising the clarity of instrumental lines over passion and a certain cool constraint robs the fugal passage of fervour. The standard of orchestral execution is more than acceptable, although it is hard to tell if the shrillness of the strings and harshness in the brass tone is a result of the sound or of their playing. I experience no particular excitement or insight in Rosbaud’s direction and could name a dozen recordings which bring the listener closer to experiencing the full impact of this symphony.

Ralph Moore

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger