Album info



Label: PentaTone

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Artist: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra & Lawrence Foster

Composer: Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 96 $ 13.20
  • Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856): Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97:
  • 1Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97: I. Lebhaft09:53
  • 2Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97: II. Scherzo. Sehr mäßig06:54
  • 3Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97: III. Nicht zu schnell05:39
  • 4Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97: IV. Feierlich06:03
  • 5Symphonie No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 97: V. Lebhaft05:36
  • Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120:
  • 6Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120: I. Ziemlich langsam - Lebhaft11:06
  • 7Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120: II. Romanze. Ziemlich - langsam04:23
  • 8Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120: III. Scherzo. Lebhaft05:47
  • 9Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120: IV. Langsam - Lebhaft09:58
  • Total Runtime01:05:19

Info for Schuman: Symphonies 3 & 4

This release completes the cycle of Schumann Symphonies performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster.

"The chief attraction of this release is the prospect of hearing the Czech Philharmonic play Schumann symphonies–but that great ensemble is hardly recognizable thanks to the murky recorded sound. Prague’s Dvorák Hall may be a difficult place to record, but Supraphon has been producing fine-sounding recordings there for decades, and more recently Decca and Ondine have done quite well. PentaTone’s production swallows most of the instrumental detail (especially the woodwinds)–so much for the Czech Philharmonic’s fabled ensemble clarity.

Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony probably is the worst piece in which to have this problem. The first movement requires judicious highlighting of instrumental textures, as well as rhythmic drive–neither quality being supplied by Lawrence Foster. Instead, his slowish tempos and overall bland, all-strings-and-timpani approach emphasizes the music’s propensity to meander. Listen to Barenboim’s invigorating version from a few years ago, or to Bernstein’s 1980s Vienna recording, or to the classic and still unbeatable Szell/Cleveland version and you’ll hear the kind of energy, clarity, and excitement that make for a successful performance. There are two good things to say about Foster’s Rhenish: it’s better than Karajan’s (but so is everyone else’s), and he lets the Czech brass sing out in the finale’s coda–but unfortunately this is long after you’ve stopped listening.

Symphony No. 4 sounds noticeably better, mostly due to Schumann’s more clarified scoring, which makes prodigious use of the brass. And there’s certainly more energy in Foster’s reading, but little of the urgency you expect in this music (especially in the finale, which is too well-mannered)." (ClassicalToday)

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Lawrence Foster, conductor

Lawrence Foster
currently holds the positions of music director of Orchestre et Opéra National de Montpellier and artistic director and chief conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra. Lawrence Foster has appeared in major opera houses throughout the world. He works regularly at Hamburgische Staatsoper, with recent productions having included Pélléas et Mélisande, Der Freischütz and Carmen. Future plans in Hamburg include Pique Dame in 2011/12 and The Cunning Little Vixen in 2013/14. In 2011 he returns to Opéra de Marseille for Wozzeck and will also conduct the world première of Die Marquise von O by René Koering for Opéra de Monte Carlo. He will make his debut with Oper Frankfurt with a production of Khovanschina in 2012/13.

Orchestral highlights of this season include appearances with NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, the Residentie Orkest, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and Tivoli Symphony Orchestra. He also has an ongoing relationship with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; appearances with them in 2011 include the Kissinger Sommer Festival and touring in 2012.

Future highlights include concerts with MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana. He will also appear at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and will take the Gulbenkian Orchestra to the Enescu Festival in September 2011.

This album contains no booklet.

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