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SCHUMANN: Symphonies Nos. 1 'Spring' and No. 2.
National Symphony Orchestra
Piero Coppola/London Philharmonic Orchestra Georges Enesco.
Dutton Laboratories CDK1209
68m ADD (Transferred from Decca originals 1946/1947)
These are 'grand manner' recordings with pompously slow adagios and expansive
allegros really romanticizing what is already quite sugary music. However
the vintage Decca sound is extremely good and the thrill that these recordings
must have caused in their day will be more than apparent to the present day
listener. I retain a marked preference for Krips' magisterial LSO version
of the 'Spring' recorded with the LSO in the late fifties but here, Piero
Coppola and the NSO are also full of felicitous interpretative touches. The
opening brass solos are indeed superb as is the genial Larghetto and a very
frolicsome Finale. To my mind Coppola captures the right spirit for Spring!
Dutton's remastering is as usual, quite astonishingly vivid and you could
not wish for a better transfer. I was not that content with Enesco's Second
Symphony. The first movement lacks its repeat and the slow movement is
unforgivably ponderous. Still the sense of a grand occasion is present and
the LPO play with fire and brimstone for the great Rumanian.
Dutton have changed colours for the CDK series We are now regaled with a
bright green for this one; a welcome departure from the rather boorish red
that characterized previous issues. These two recordings begin to plug important
gaps in collectors' discographies and for that they are very welcome. Obviously
not a first choice though.
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