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Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | PentaTone

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Andrew Manze started his music career as a baroque violinist with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, and then the Academy of Ancient Music and the English Concert. Only later he started dabbling in more ancient repertoires, ranging from romanticism to modern partitions, conducting non-baroque classical orchestras. As the head of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, he gives us a profoundly delicate and transparent interpretation, with great care given to respect Mendelssohn’s partition, highlighting countless little details. The listener will no doubt feel like he’s hearing Mendelssohn’s Italian for the first time, or at least believe he’s discovering a long-forgotten original version: but no, it is exactly the partition as we know it, or at least as we thought we knew. As for the Symphony “Reformation”, it is here more designed like a fine and beautiful orchestral score rather than an unpalatable reformed mammoth. © SM/Qobuz
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Symphonies - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The symphonies of Louis Spohr have long suffered from neglect, and their assimilation into the modern repertoire has only been gradual, with occasional performances and recordings that appeal most to connoisseurs of German symphonic music, but are never really absorbed into the mainstream. Aside from Alfred Walter's recordings on Marco Polo in the 1980s, the main contemporary efforts to put Spohr's symphonies on CD have come from Howard Shelley on Hyperion and Howard Griffiths on CPO, and the two would appear to be in competition, but for the fact that their releases tend to overlap, rather than coincide; listeners who find Spohr albums scarce can only be glad to find one or the other, whenever available. When Shelley recorded the Symphony No. 2 in D minor, he paired it with the Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, so his cycle at least had the benefit of starting off with two early works in close proximity. Griffiths, on the other hand, has mixed things up a bit by releasing an early symphony with a late one, which affords listeners a chance to compare the two for changes in style, development, and emotional content. This second volume of Griffiths' series offers the aforementioned Symphony No. 2 and the Symphony No. 8 in G major, with the Concert Overture, "Im ernsten Stil," included as filler. Fans of Spohr's music will accept the symphonies any way they come, and considering their scarcity, having them in the vibrant and spacious hybrid-SACD format is a bonus. The performances by Griffiths and the NDR Radio Philharmonic are technically precise and expressively appropriate, offering both Classical grace and Romantic ardor, and a combination of charm and energy is balanced in the playing. Spohr's characteristic lyricism and playfulness come through in these engaging performances, and even the fairly predictable overture is likable for its elegant melodies and development. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 14, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 10, 2020 | PentaTone

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After their prize-winning Mendelssohn symphonies cycle and acclaimed Mozart symphonies album, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and its chief conductor Andrew Manze now present Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh symphonies. While Beethoven’s Fifth is arguably the most famous symphony in the history of music, the Seventh counts as one of the most rhythmically-advanced pieces of nineteenth-century music; an “apotheosis of dance”, to quote Richard Wagner. Both works display Beethoven’s mastery of and audacious approach to musical form as well as the richness of his melodic invention, and are generally praised as paragons of symphonic composition. Andrew Manze brings his experience in the field of historically informed performance to the polished symphonic sound of the NDR Radiophilharmonie, providing an ambience that fits these early nineteenth-century works like a glove. © Pentatone
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Classical - Released January 8, 2021 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released June 1, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released February 8, 2019 | PentaTone

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Considered to be the highest triumph of instrumental composition in his own day, Mozart’s final symphonies continue to sweep audiences away. From the famous G-minor opening movement of the 40th symphony that cuts straight to the chase to the unprecedented complexity of the 41st symphony’s majestic finale, Mozart displays his vivid melodic invention as well as the maturity of his “old” musical soul. Even if his untimely death came unexpectedly, these two symphonies fill the listener with a sense of culmination, and may be seen as a sublime conclusion of both Mozart’s musical development and of the eighteenth-century symphony in general. These extraordinary works are performed here by the NDR Radiophilharmonie and Andrew Manze, and will be followed by a recording of Mozart’s 38th and 39th symphonies. With their first Mozart album, conductor and orchestra extend their successful Pentatone discography that already contains the complete symphonies of Mendelssohn, crowned with a 2017 Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. © Pentatone
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Classical - Released February 14, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released July 10, 2020 | CPO

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Opera - Released November 16, 2018 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

To the extent that Dmitry Kabalevsky has been viewed as the Soviet composer par excellence, his reputation has suffered in the west, especially since the end of the Cold War. Certainly, some of his less politically rewarded contemporaries have risen to greater prominence in the same period, and this demonstrates a shift in public opinion, from favoring the tuneful and conservative music of Kabalevsky to exploring the deeper, agonized expressions of such artists as Dmitry Shostakovich and Mieczyslaw Weinberg. Particularly in the realm of the symphony, Kabalevsky's four symphonies are far less significant than Shostakovich's fifteen or Weinberg's twenty five, which reflect in their troubled music much of what was wrong in the Soviet Union, while Kabalevsky's adhere to the party line and portray a heroic Russian populism that rings false today. This is not to say that Kabalevsky's symphonies are bad music, for they are constructed quite well in the expansive, late Romantic style, and anyone who appreciates highly melodic music in the tradition of Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov will find these works easy to appreciate. Indeed, the lively performances of Eiji Oue and the NDR Radio Philharmonic convey their excitement over these rarely recorded works, and their muscular energy makes them worth hearing, even though they are among the shallowest of twentieth century symphonies and of primary interest to students of Russian history. CPO's sound quality is excellent, so the performances come across with natural orchestral colors and resonance. © TiVo
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Opera - Released April 1, 2016 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

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Classical - Released July 1, 2013 | CPO

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

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Film Soundtracks - Released July 3, 2015 | CPO

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Classical - Released February 8, 2006 | Berlin Classics

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Classical - Released May 29, 2020 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | CPO

Contemporary with Berlioz, Cherubini, and Gossec, Georges Onslow contributed to the small body of French symphonies at a time when opera reigned supreme in Paris and the influence of Beethoven was only beginning to be felt. In Onslow's hands, the Classical form undergoes Romantic expansion and heightened drama, though not as extreme as Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, the sensation of 1830. Onslow's Symphony No. 1 in A major, Op. 41, was premiered the same year to glowing praise, and found favor across Europe afterwards as a model of style and melodic elegance. But growing comprehension of Beethoven's and Berlioz's innovations soon made Onslow's music seem passé, even to his admirers. The Symphony No. 3 in F minor of 1834 addresses this situation with greater theatricality and a fuller use of orchestral resources, taking the symphony further still from Haydn and Mozart in its scope, emotionalism, and power; in time, Onslow earned approval from Berlioz for its brilliance. The NDR Radio-Philharmonie, directed by Johannes Goritzki, presents both symphonies with fine articulation, fresh timbres, and symphonic propulsion, and show that these neglected works hold up quite well in comparison with almost any other French symphony of the time. CPO provides clear and balanced sound. © TiVo