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Lutosławski : Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4 & Jeux vénitiens

Hannu Lintu

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 9 november 2018 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Uitzonderlijke Geluidsopnamen
What a curious and charming piece of work the First Symphony by Witold Lutosławski is! Written in 1947, it is still borrowing from Stravinski, Bartók, Prokofiev and clearly Roussel, and yet it display the composer's own personal ideas, and his flawless skill in orchestration. But he had not yet made the dodecaphonic style his own, nor the principle of randomness which would be found later in 1961's Jeux vénitiens (Venetian Games). In his case, randomness refers to musicians or groups of musicians having the freedom to play their different parts when they feel like it, or when the conductor gives them a cue. But for sure, this piece's formal framework is still constrained: every performance will shed a different light on it, but it is still the same work. The album finishes with the Fourth Symphony, the composer's last, written between 1988 and 1991, performed in 1993 with Lutosławski himself conducting before his death a few months later. In this work he makes a clear return to his harmonic and melodic ideas, which at times approach Mahler or Bartók, even though the discourse remains decidedly modern. The contrast between the First Symphony, Jeux vénitiens and the Fourth Symphony could not be more spectacular, and it gives a brilliant picture of the evolution of a musical genius who embraced a wide range of influences, constantly adapting them to his own style. © SM/Qobuz
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Shostakovich : Symphony No.8

Gianandrea Noseda

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | LSO Live

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Composed against a cataclysmic backdrop of Stalinist oppression and the Second World War, Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony is a deeply affecting poem of suffering. The composer described it as 'an attempt to reflect the terrible tragedy of war', and it contains some of the most terrifying music he ever wrote. Here, Gianandrea Noseda conducts the London Symphony Orchestra with intensity and understanding, allowing the music to tell its own story as it travels from darkness into light, yearning more for peace than for victory. One of the leading conductors of his generation, Gianandrea Noseda holds several high-profile international positions in addition to his role as Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, including Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC. His previous releases on LSO Live include acclaimed interpretations of the Verdi Requiem and Britten War Requiem, and this recording follows the digital release of Shostakovich: Symphony No 5, which will receive a full release in October 2019 coupled with the composer's First Symphony. © harmonia mundi
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Allan Pettersson : Symphony No. 14

Christian Lindberg

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 3 maart 2017 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : The Last Symphonies (n°39, 40 & 41) Mozart's Instrumental Oratorium

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 13 augustus 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica
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Schumann : The Symphonies

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 1 januari 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
As Yannick Nézet-Séguin continues to explore the Romantic symphonic repertoire, it becomes increasingly apparent that he has a strong affinity for German composers, something not readily guessed of this Canadian maestro. There might be an underlying connection between his recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, for which he has received considerable attention and acclaim, and this 2014 Deutsche Grammophon album of the four symphonies of Robert Schumann, which shows Nézet-Séguin as a strong advocate for this somewhat discounted symphonist. Like Bruckner, Schumann was not a brilliant composer for the orchestra, which has put both composers at a disadvantage with audiences, and Nézet-Séguin has to do some careful balancing of the sections and dynamics to produce a transparent sound, which is not easy to do, in light of Schumann's frequent doubling of strings and woodwinds. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe responds well to Nézet-Séguin's direction, so Schumann's music is substantially lighter sounding, thanks to the lean sound of the ensemble, as well as to the noticeable care the conductor takes in drawing out distinctive timbres, and not letting the music become too homogenous in color. Of course, the expression is affected by this fresh airing of these symphonies, and as might be expected, the music is lighter, cleaner, quicker, and more exciting, due in part to the streamlining of Schumann's textures. These live recordings were made in Paris in 2012, and while they are a little shallow sounding, details are perfectly clear with the proper volume setting. © TiVo
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Beethoven : Symphonies Nos. 2 & 8 (Live)

John Eliot Gardiner

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 29 september 2014 | SDG

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 (Live)

Philippe Jordan

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 21 september 2018 | Wiener Symphoniker

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
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Haydn : Symphony 85 (& works by Rigel, Sarti, J.C. Bach)

Le Concert de la Loge

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 23 september 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Mahler : Symphony No. 6

Teodor Currentzis

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice
With Symphony No.6 in A Minor "Tragic" written in 1904 (the title, for once, is not a publisher's gimmick, but was indeed given by Mahler in the programme for the first performance in Vienna in 1906), Mahler almost returns to the classical symphony format; we find more voices in the score (a technique that he had already used in No. 5) and a four-movement structure (whereas No. 5 was articulated in five movements thrown into three "parts", with the absence of a programme or philosophical content). Admittedly, the orchestra remains huge, with four woodwinds, eight horns, and six trumpets, not to mention an impressive arsenal of percussion instruments including alpine bells, hammer and xylophone, which he never used elsewhere; in this respect, Mahler contributed to putting an end to the late romantic trend of gigantic works for titanic orchestras. It must be said that the last movement, which lasts at least half an hour, is of a truly tragic expression with its indelible darkness. This frightened the critics, who found the work somewhat bloated. It is therefore up to the conductor to make the score as transparent as possible, the contrapuntal lines readable and the orchestral colours perceptible through the orchestral immensity. Equipped with his MusicAeterna, Teorod Currentzis embarks on the adventure. © SM/Qobuz
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Sibelius : Complete Symphonies, Nos. 1-7

Okko Kamu

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 4 september 2015 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Shostakovich : Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11 "The Year 1905"

Andris Nelsons

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 6 juli 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Grammy Awards
Continuing his series of the symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons presents the Symphony No. 4 in C minor and the Symphony No. 11 in G minor, "The Year 1905" on this 2018 Deutsche Grammophon release. Of the two works, the Symphony No. 4 has enjoyed tremendous post-millennial popularity in the west, with competitive releases by Neeme Järvi, Vasily Petrenko, Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev, and Mikhail Pletnev; its accessibility may be due in part to the symphony's strong associations with Gustav Mahler, whose influence is evident and provides listeners a handle on this bracing work. At the same time, the Symphony No. 11 has fared less well, perhaps because its programmatic commemoration of the first Russian revolution is too remote for modern audiences to appreciate, but its reception is complicated by other factors, such as Shostakovich's veiled critiques of the Stalin years. Musically, the Fourth is abstract, assertive, and virtuosic, with the innovative spirit of early Shostakovich, before the denunciation of 1936, while the more reflective Eleventh is almost cinematic in its scene painting. The live performances by the BSO are first-rate, with expressive depth and sonorous playing, particularly in the incisive brass, and the sound of the recording is exceptional to match, with a vividness, spaciousness, and clarity comparable to SACD quality. © TiVo
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Sibelius : Complete Symphonies

Paavo Järvi

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 21 september 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi has recorded a lot of Sibelius: there are at least a couple of complete symphony sets as well as single recordings. In general, he has tended toward the abstract, toward the view that Sibelius, despite his adherence to tonality, was essentially a modern composer with a unique conception of form on both the small and large scales. Consider the finale of the Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82, with its popular half-note theme of open fifths and sixths. It's been thought to evoke anything from Thor's hammer to swans taking flight, but here the epic quality of the motif is toned down, and what emerges instead is the depth to which the fifths and sixths are all over this finale. Järvi's recordings of all three of the final symphonies are masterful, and the one-movement Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105 unfolds with an organic inevitability that's mysterious and miraculous. Perhaps Järvi's approach is a little less desirable in the Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39, a genuinely Tchaikovskian work that is a bit drained of sentiment here, or in the Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63, which lacks the requisite gloom in this darkest of all symphonies. But the Second and Third symphonies have sweeping power, and the Orchestre de Paris is precise and sharp throughout. The Eiffel Tower on the cover does not exactly say Sibelius, but Järvi conducted this orchestra for several years, and it responds to his every wish. Your mileage may vary, for these readings are toward one extreme in the interpretation of Sibelius, but many will find the last three symphonies to be capstones of Järvi's Sibelius career -- unless he returns to Sibelius again. © TiVo
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Mendelssohn: Symphonies 1-5

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Symfonieën - Verschenen op 16 juni 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - 4 étoiles Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After establishing a secure reputation as an interpreter of the large-scale symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, Yannick Nézet-Séguin turns his attention from late Romanticism to its earlier phase, as represented by the five symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn. Over three successive concerts in February 2016, Nézet-Séguin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe performed the cycle to critical acclaim in the Grande salle Pierre Boulez of the Philharmonie de Paris. The vibrant sonorities of the orchestra and the hall's resonance are major attractions for this 2017 Deutsche Grammophon release, because Nézet-Séguin is focused on crisp articulation and clean instrumental colors, while the acoustics give the music a luminous sheen without blurring it. This is nowhere more evident than in the purely orchestral works, particularly the underplayed Symphony No. 1 in C minor, the ever-popular Symphony No. 3 in A minor, "Scottish," and the Symphony No. 4 in A major, "Italian," which offer infectious melodies, lively rhythms, and the warm tone colors that Deutsche Grammophon's expert engineering captures so well. The sound quality is less appealing in the choral movements of the Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, "Hymn of Praise," due to the RIAS Kammerchor's hazy blend and Mendelssohn's heavier scoring, which make this quasi-oratorio suffer in comparison with the transparent "Scottish" and "Italian." The Symphony No. 5 in D minor, "Reformation" is perhaps the least compelling, owing to its earnest treatment of Lutheran hymns and the lack of effervescence that made the other orchestral symphonies so delightful, and to which Nézet-Séguin seems more attuned. © TiVo