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Classical - Released January 13, 2017 | SWR Classic

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released January 18, 2010 | Oehms Classics

Distinctions The Unusual Suspects
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Classical - Released May 5, 2015 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released November 19, 2013 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released January 15, 2010 | Oehms Classics

Bruckner's Seventh Symphony may top the list of Bruckner's most important compositions for it was not until its premiere that the composer's symphonic works were finally given due consideration by both the public and contemporary critics. Bruckner was a devout fan of Wagner, and this Seventh Symphony is inextricably tied to him by choice of instrumentation, compositional elements, and of course the second-movement Adagio, which was written around the time of Wagner's death. Conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski leads the Saarbrucken RSO in yet another masterful performance. There can be no doubt as to why Skrowaczewski is heralded as such a master of Bruckner's works. The connection between conductor and orchestra seems almost organic and the ensemble truly performs as if it were a single instrument. Every section of the orchestra is equally deserving of recognition. The brass are particularly strong without ever being too forceful or covering the busy inner voices. But it is the string playing in the second movement that is truly the highlight of this recording. The mournful Adagio is infused with both serenity and introspection by the warm, brooding tone of the string section. The dynamic control and subtle crescendos and diminuendos make listening to this movement an enjoyable experience. Like Skrowaczewski's other recordings of Bruckner symphonies, this album deserves a place of honor on any collector's shelf. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 18, 2010 | Oehms Classics

The 2006 releases of Beethoven's symphonies on Oehms Classics may not be acclaimed as the greatest recordings ever made of these essential classics, but they certainly are terrific versions, and anyone looking for solid and affordable performances would do well to consider these fine recordings by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. This disc of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor and the Symphony No. 6 in F major, "Pastoral," offers mainstream interpretations that are neither too fast and fussily authentic nor overly reverent and stodgily traditional, but pretty much what listeners of any persuasion might accept as sincerely felt and precisely played renditions. Skrowaczewski has always been noted for his meticulous conducting, so he draws clear and crisply detailed performances from the orchestra, which plays modern instruments with such accuracy and brilliance that it might rival any period ensemble. Beyond matters of performance practice, these symphonies are bold and exciting, and the musicians really dig in to deliver music with maximum impact; whether in the triumphant Finale of the Symphony No. 5, or the storm movement of the "Pastoral," the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra is as thrilling as any better-known orchestra. And in the passages that require refinement, such as the Fifth's Andante con moto or the Sixth's Szene am Bach, there are few other ensembles that could be more moving. Oehms' reproduction is spectacular in depth, dynamics, and presence, so these have to be considered among the best-sounding Beethoven symphonies of the year, if not the decade. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 18, 2010 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released December 12, 2006 | Naxos

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 14, 2010 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released January 13, 2010 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released January 15, 2010 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released January 18, 2010 | Oehms Classics

Even though Oehms Classics' 2006 releases of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies are unlikely to be hailed as the last word on these masterpieces, they deserve attention for the precise conducting of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and the committed playing of the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, and should be appreciated for their impressive musicality and expressive richness. The Symphony No. 7 in A major and the Symphony No. 8 in F major receive mainstream interpretations from Skrowaczewski, who seems to follow some aspects of modern research by keeping tempos brisk and articulation crisp, while at the same time he observes more traditional approaches, as in maintaining a full-sized symphony orchestra, using full-bodied modern instrumentation, and so on. This compromise seems to be the most sensible and appealing solution to win over a broad audience, since it can potentially please both enthusiasts of period style and fans of more conventional approaches; but few will argue with Skrowaczewski's polished results, regardless of their stylistic persuasions. The Symphony No. 7 is graceful and elegant, and the Symphony No. 8 is lively and rollicking with humor, and both performances have the coherence and emotional balance to satisfy the expectations of all but the fussiest partisans in the debate over authentic performance practice. Oehms recording is wonderful in its spacious depth and wide frequency range, and these are undoubtedly among the best-sounding Beethoven symphonies of the year. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 15, 2010 | Oehms Classics

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Classical - Released September 1, 2005 | Naxos

Booklet
One of George Rochberg's early successes, the Symphony No. 2 (1955-1956), is a vigorous work in the rugged American symphonic tradition, shot through with modernist atonality and brusque dissonances, yet filled with muscular themes and energetically argued developments that reveal its essentially traditional character. Cast in five movements and running over 30 minutes in length, this ambitious essay traverses a broad range of moods and expressions; the dominant tone, however, is active, typified by the punchy accents and propulsive rhythms that dominate the Declamando and the Allegro scherzoso, subside in the Adagio, then return with full force in the Quasi tempo primo and the coda. This symphony's pugnacity is often attributed to Rochberg's experiences in World War II, and this aspect of the work seems emphasized in the hard-edged performance by the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra under Christopher Lyndon-Gee. In its exotic tone colors and subtle evocation of Gagaku music and Ukiyo-E painting, Imago Mundi (1973) is worlds away from the wartime hostilities that fueled the symphony, and reflects Rochberg's impressions from his trip to Japan. Yet certain odd quotations from Shostakovich and Bartók, among others, seem to indicate some ambivalence about the work's subject or direction, and this vagueness seems to have thrown off the conductor and the orchestra, who play with somewhat less enthusiasm, clarity, and cohesion. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 14, 2003 | Naxos

Booklet
By rejecting the pursuit of originality as a pointless endeavor, and by drawing on the masters for inspiration, George Rochberg has become a controversial figure -- admired by conservatives, distrusted by the avant-garde, and possibly misunderstood by all. His music defies categorization, even under the rubric of post-modernism, so each work must be judged without preconceptions. His Symphony No. 5 openly partakes of Schoenberg's expressionism and Mahler's elegiac lyricism, yet these are internalized and adapted so well that they merge into a coherent and fairly successful whole. Black Sounds was composed in homage to Varèse, but its blatant imitation of that composer is troubling. The fanfares, clusters, and repeated pitch cells are too close to those in Arcana and Intégrales, and Rochberg even matches Varèse's timbres to the point where his effort seems slavish. The Transcendental Variations, adapted from the String Quartet No. 3, is the most overtly tonal work on this disc, and its rich harmonies and shimmering string sounds leave a strong impression. Yet Rochberg's passionate embrace of the past is a little unsettling here, if only because his self-consciousness is detectable in every mannered trill and turn. The Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee, is fine in these performances, and the recorded sound is balanced and clear. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 14, 2010 | Oehms Classics