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Classical - Released September 3, 2013 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Robert Schumann is about as interesting you can get when it comes to historical musical figures. From his courtship with Clara Wieck and their subsequent marriage, his relationship with the likes of Mendelssohn and Brahms, the bizarre contraptions he built that eventually destroyed his ability to play the piano, and finally his mental instability that ultimately ended his career, Schumann never fails to disappoint. The same can be said of his symphonies, which provide a relatively good cross-section of his compositional output and delineate his growth and his treatment of the medium. Having all four of the symphonies together in a collection such as this one makes such a comparison easier, although the liner notes are somewhat lacking in providing sufficient historical background. The Philharmonia Orchestra (or the New Philharmonia Orchestra for the Fourth Symphony) under the direction of Riccardo Muti does a suitable job of representing Schumann's search for something new to offer the symphony. While the overall execution in these recordings from the late 1970s intonation, articulation, and ensemble -- is good, their sound quality is not always ideal. The lower end of the orchestra is often muddy and indistinct; this is especially true of the Fourth Symphony, whose sound is overly reverberant throughout. In symphonies No. 1 and No. 3, the tympani is extremely aggressive and sticks out inappropriately. While this collection is generally an acceptable introduction to these four great symphonies, listeners may also wish to consider the Cleveland Orchestra's recordings under Szell for a more well-balanced rendition.
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Classical - Released February 4, 2008 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released September 1, 2010 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released December 20, 1989 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Symphonic Music - Released September 11, 2015 | CSO Resound

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's label, CSO Resound, is noted for its extraordinary sound quality and its exciting performances, many of which are among the finest it has ever offered on disc. This double CD of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique and its intended sequel, Lélio, ou le retour à la vie, is a bit of a rarity because they are infrequently paired, due to the different forces required for each. Symphonie fantastique is a five-movement programmatic symphony for orchestra, while Lélio is a melodramatic cantata for narrator, vocalists, chorus, two pianos, and orchestra, which makes mounting a performance of the two works together a bit daunting (quite aside from the fact that Lélio fell into neglect after the Romantic era, while the Symphonie fantastique has always been a hit). For this performance, Riccardo Muti leads the CSO in a rousing, if solidly mainstream, interpretation of the symphony on the first disc, and he is joined on the second disc by actor Gérard Depardieu, tenor Mario Zeffiri, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, in a performance that conveys the extremes of lyricism and bombast that are so characteristic of Berlioz. It helps to know French, though the texts are provided, and Depardieu's highly dramatic reading communicates the intensity of Berlioz's passionate expressions. But listeners will be delighted by the variety and inventiveness of the music, both of which argue convincingly for Lélio's revival. Highly recommended for Berlioz devotees and collectors of CSO Resound releases.
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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released October 11, 2010 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 14, 2013 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released October 30, 2009 | Masterworks

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Classical - Released October 4, 2004 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released March 14, 2011 | Warner Classics

Classical - Released September 19, 1995 | Sony Classical