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Schubert: The Symphonies

Schubert: The Symphonies

1. Januar 1991
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Produktinformation

  • Ursprüngliches Erscheinungsdatum : 1. Januar 1991
  • Erscheinungstermin: 3. Februar 1992
  • Anzahl der Disks: 4
  • Label: Decca
  • Copyright: ℗© 1991 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Erforderliche Metadaten des Labels: Musik-Datei enthält eindeutiges Kauf-Identifikationsmerkmal. Weitere Informationen.
  • Gesamtlänge: 4:30:23
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001SV4K7E
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 3 Kundenrezensionen
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 163.290 in Alben (Siehe Top 100 in Alben)

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Merkwürdigerweise führt diese Gesamteinspielung der Symphonien von Franz Schubert mit den Wiener Philharmonikern unter István Kertész ein Schattendasein, obwohl sie besondere Aufmerksamkeit verdient hätte. Sicher ist die Konkurrenz groß und haben die meisten Einspielungen ihre Meriten, aber bei vorliegender Gesamteinspielung, die zwischen 1964 und 1972 entstanden ist, stimmt aber auch alles. Auch die Klangtechnik lässt keine Wünsche offen. Sämtliche Details sind brillant herausgearbeitet, die Tempi sind schlüssig gewählt - ohne zu verharren oder zu schleppen. Obwohl den Wiener Philharmonikern ihr Franz Schubert quasi in den Knochen steckt, erlebt man keine Routine, sondern konzentrierte und individuell stimmige Sichtweisen entsprechend den einzelnen musikalischen Gedanken. Die einzelnen kontrastierenden Orchesterstimmen sorgen für eine beeindruckende Plastizität – auch im Zusammenklang sind die Orchesterstimmen zwar von satter Farbigkeit, ohne jedoch im Geringsten dickflüssig zu erscheinen. Der (1973 vor der Küste von Israel ertrunkene) Dirigent leitet das Orchester stringent und lässt keine falschen Sentimentalitäten aufkommen, und doch kommt das Gefühl für Schubert in allen Fassetten überzeugend zum Ausdruck. Es gibt auch gute kammermusikalische Einspielungen, aber man spürt bei gefordertem großen Orchesterklang das Fehlen eines großen und farbenreichen Orchesterapparats (auch wenn bei manchen großen Orchestern das Klangbild dickflüssig erscheint und die Kontrastfarben zu wünschen übrig lassen).Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Als Istvan Kertész 1973 ca. 44-jährig verstarb, wurde eine beginnende vielversprechende Karriere als Meisterdirigent jäh und tragisch beendet und seine exzellenten Aufnahmen gerieten in Vergessenheit.

Das Sensationelle an seinen Aufnahmen ist, dass sie nicht sensationell sind. Kertész stellte nicht sich selbst sondern die Musik in den Vordergrund. In hörbarer Liebe zu den Kompositionen bringt er sie detail- und facettenreich, lebendig und mit feiner Rythmik zum Klingen.

Ein besonderes Verdienst dieser Gesamtaufnahme ist es, dass der musikalische Reichtum auch der frühen Sinfonien Schuberts erlebbar wird.

Wenn ich Schuberts Sinfonien in seiner Aufnahme lausche, dann stellt sich das Gefühl ein : ja - genau so klingen sie. Wie wenn Schuberts Geist bei der Aufnahme anwesend gewesen wäre.

Sehr empfehlenswert !
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.... Aufnahme der Sinfonien von Franz Schubert. Lange habe ich gesucht, in meinem CD regal stehen Aufnahmen mit Böhm, Karajan, Muti, Zinman, Brüggen, Goodman und Merriner. Mit keiner davon bin ich wirklich glücklich und ich glaube irgendwo in einer Rezension gelesen zu haben, daß es angeblich keine rundum überzeugende Gesamtaufnahme der Schubert`schen Sinfonien gibt. Sie gibt es doch - meine Vorrezensenten haben schon ausführlich darüber geschrieben und ich kann mich dem nur voll anschließen!
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Amazon.com: 4.6 von 5 Sternen 7 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Best Schubert Cycle 9. November 2003
Von Michael Brad Richman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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I currently own three Schubert Symphony Cycles and this one by Istvan Kertesz and the Vienna Philharmonic is the best so far. The stereo performances, beginning in 1963 with the 8th and 9th Symphonies and the Overtures, with the remainder done in 1970 and '71, are first rate and the value is unbeatable. Compared to the other two Cycles I own, you get more music with the Kertesz than the Bohm in the form of three Overtures, and the performances are every bit its equal. It is also a better overall value (and better performances!) than the Karajan (currently available as four mid-line single discs in EMI's "Karajan Edition" series, though the label would be wise to reissue those performances as a competing slim, paper-sleeved box set). With that being said, my dad and I have yet to swap Schubert Symphony Cycles, so I cannot comment on accounts by Sawallisch, Menuhin or the new budget reissue by Sir Neville Marriner, which finishes the "Unfinished" and even completes a 10th Symphony. Despite that, I can't imagine a more successful Schubert Symphony Cycle from start to finish than this one by Kertesz.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Kertesz and Schubert 8. Januar 2013
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The playing is excellent. The ninth symphony is very very good, the others are good to very good. The Abbado collection is better for symphonies 1 to 6, this one is better for symphony 9 and the overtures. There are many many recordings of the 8th symphony, and some are better than Kertesz or Abbado
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 15. November 2016
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Great gift.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen THE BEST IS SAVED FOR LAST 6. März 2008
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The earlier Schubert symphonies are New wine in Old Bottles, and pose a challenge for even the greatest conductors. Since they are (mostly) constructed on a Haydn/Mozart time-scale, it is tempting to 'classicize' these works by playing them as if they WERE Haydn or Mozart - ignoring the new, more rustic, more expansive nature of their melodic and harmonic content. On the other hand, one can fall into the trap of savoring some of those movements too romantically, thereby pulling them out of shape. That being said, I happen to disagree MORE with the 'classicizing' approach to Schubert's 1st through 6th. That is to say, if I must choose between an imbalance favoring the Bottles or the Wine, I'll take the wine, thank you. Eric Fenby put it this way : "The formative works of an original mind are always interesting when played in the spirit of that mind's increase." (FENBY ON DELIUS, 1996 ed., pp. 144-45)

The authenticist Bruno Weil takes the 'classicizing' approach to its outer limit : he plays even the UNFINISHED as if it were by Stamitz, Quantz - or, at any rate, some Rococco work. But the fine line between classical poise and romantic expansiveness runs almost (but not exactly) evenly through these six Symphonies, fluctuating nearly imperceptably from work to work. For this reason, each of these works (no less than the UNFINISHED and GREAT) must be approached as its own sound-world, in terms of structure, harmony and melodic content. Otherwise, you get something sounding like either second-drawer Mozart or weak Beethoven.

Sir Thomas Beecham was a master of these earlier works (except for the 4th, which he never recorded, although an air-check of his live 1954 RPO performance - the only one of his career - may yet turn up, as his live 1954 'GREAT' indeed has). In addition to his inner identification with Schubert's poetic moods and shadings, what enabled him to successfully advocate these Symphonies, perhaps more than anyone else in his time, was
1) his consummate mastery of the polished Mozartean turn-of-phrase
2) his vast experience with Delius (the ULTIMATE Nature Poet of music), which rendered him "in sync" with the rustic, nature-poetry of Schubert. But occasionally, even Sir Tommy could fall down in this territory.

In terms of commercial recordings, Beecham's chief contemporary rival, in half the early Schubert Symphonies was Eduard van Beinum who, with the Concertgebouworkest, recorded the Third through Sixth (but, sadly, NOT the First & Second). If Beecham was "beauty, charm and poetry," then perhaps Van Beinum was "unassuming purity, beauty and poetry." This works especially well in the 3rd Symphony (more on that, later).

In going through each performance in this set, my subjective standard has been this: whether or not it possesses enough energy, focus, beauty of playing, and feeling for that Symphony's unique DNA (for lack of a bettter term) - such that it can make me forget my other favorite versions. Overall, Kertesz's 1st, 2nd and 3rd fall short of this: they strike me as Boxed Set Performances. (That is, "The Company wants to put out a complete boxed set, and we have X number of allotted sessions, so let's get through them shall we.") In any case, Kertesz seems to get better with each successive symphony - that is, in order of composition, not of recording. (The 1st through 3rd and the 6th were recorded in October 1971; the 4th and 5th in April 1970; and the Overtures, the UNFINISHED and the GREAT are from November 1963.)

SYMPHONY NO. 1: This dates from 1813, when Schubert was only 16, and one year away from composing his first songs of genius. And yet, this Symphony's second movement is generally regarded as Schubert's first, truly characteristic lyrical outpouring. Kertesz takes it at a disappointingly brisk tempo, which is partially alleviated by the Vienna Philharmonic's magnificent tone. But overall, this version cannot hold a candle to the 1953 Beecham / RPO, where the innate personality of this early work is magisterially coaxed forth, via Beecham's rapport with his players and his painstaking turns of phrase. Still, Beecham makes no attempt to gloss over, but rather brings out, sonorities and several moments of color which clearly descend from the Mozart 40th. Schubert's compositional personality is indeed there, but aside from the length and breadth of the first movement, he has hardly begun to grapple with the challenge of being "symphonic" in the time of Beethoven.

SYMPHONY NO. 2: Johannes Brahms compared this symphony to a stretch of grass, dotted with so many flowers that you could not avoid crushing a few underfoot as you walked by. It is intensely melodic, reeks of Spring, and in spots anticipates the fleet, gossamer textures of Mendelssohn. Kertesz's interpretation is a bit more vital than with the 1st symphony. And because Kertesz takes the rarely played first-movement repeat, we get to hear its brief-but-deft first-ending transition (we get to hear several of these, in this cycle). Still, this movement works better without the repeat. Kertesz does not quite equal the heady atmosphere and style of either the 1949 Munch / Boston (on an old RCA EP set) or the 1954 Beecham / RPO.

SYMPHONY NO. 3 : This is smaller in time-scale and more polished than the 1st and 2nd. Throughout the early symphonies, Kertesz tends to take the Menuettos so briskly that, in order to offer contrast in the Trio section of these movements, he is compelled to make gear shifts into slower tempi which sometimes work, sometimes do not. (In this symphony, they DO work.) The Finale is rather Rossinian, and invites felicious playing from the Vienna Philharmonic.

Beecham's RPO 5th and 6th are, deservedly, well-loved classics. But to my ears, his 3rd is somewhat heavy-footed and very nearly smacks of taffy-pulling, i.e., romantically making more of this small-scale work than Schubert may have intended. Overall, the tempi in Eduard van Beinum's 1955 Concertgebouw recording may come a bit of a shock, after the more leisurely Beecham. But this enables him to cover the first movement WITH the expositional repeat, in just slightly more recording time than Beecham takes it WITHOUT the repeat. And unlike parts of Kertesz's 3rd, it all comes off as NATURAL - that is, with no air of special pleading. In any case, van Beinum's 3rd, which to my ears is even more exquisitely played, has become my favorite. To dredge up an overworked Schubertian metaphor, van Beinum's 3rd may be to Beecham's, what the fleeting-but-powerful scent of a REAL clump of lilacs is to long-longering lilac perfume.

SYMPHONY NO. 4 : Kertesz broadens his overall approach to turn in a beautifully paced first movement, and he does nicely with the Finale and what William McKnaught described as the 'country walk' of the second movement. (Its melody recalls the Andante of Mozart's 39th and, reoccuringly, the phrase-ending-tag of "...morte mi da" from DON GIOVANNI !) But Kertesz nearly falls off his horse in the Menuetto, which is taken at a Tally-Ho-The-Fox kind of clip - necessitating one of those Trio-section gear shifts into a slower tempo. To my ears this jars a bit, but some may like it. My favorite Schubert 4th remains the 1961 Maazel / Berlin. There, the 'country walk' really is just that; the Menuetto is a MENUETTO (not a Tarantella); and the outer movements, while kept reasonably taut, are given enough time to beguile the listener with their lyricism. Eduard van Beinum's 1952 Concertgebouw version, my runner-up favorite, just misses first place due to its uncharacteristically stodgy, meat-and-potatoes Menuetto. Still, EvB's way with this movement has an undeniable, peasant charm (think "wooden clogs, clunking about on a pine floor").

SYMPHONY NO. 5 : This is generally the most technically polished and popular of the early Schubert Symphonies, and described as "ineffibly Mozartean". True enough, but passages such as the Minuet's Trio are more Rustic than Salon - and, in fact, most performances of the Schubert 5th tend to short-change the Rustic. (This is even the case in Beecham's 1937 LPO and 1958-59 RPO performances - wonderful though they are.) My preferred 5th is Fritz Busch's 1949 Winterthur performance (now available on GUILD); without sacrificing ensemble discipline in any way, it still captures the Rustic side of this symphony better than any other. Kertesz comes in a close second, striking a near-perfect balance between the Salon and the Rustic - thus out-performing both of Bohm's DG performances (Berlin & Vienna), with even better playing and sound. Eduard van Beinum's 1946 Concertgebouw set has a scintillating first movement; a beautiful, but strangely slow-paced second movement (strange, because even in Bruckner's Adagios, EvB was not one to dawdle like this); a GEMUTLICH Scherzo & Trio (the Decca master of which was apparently damaged, leaving some 'dropouts' - only partially restored, at least on the Dutton transfer); and a deft Finale.

SYMPHONY NO. 6 : One of music's Received Opinions is that not until the UNFINISHED does the 'mature symphonic Schubert' show himself. AU CONTRAIRE: as I see it, the 'mature symphonic Schubert' first raises his head in the outer movements of the 6th (and perhaps as early as the first movements of the 1st and 2nd Symphonies). That is to say : the challenge of following (or being contemporary with) Beethoven is being faced; things are expanding, and this sexy, buxom Fraulein of an early Romantic Symphony cannot quite fit into her old Mozartean 'corset'. Still, this has not prevented even some great conductors from trying to squeeze Fraulein Sechste (Miss Sixth) into such a corset. If you prefer this kind of approach, then van Beinum's 1957 Concertgebouw (on Philips) may be the most successful 6th on record. (While not granting our Fraulein a new, Romantic party dress, at least EvB allows her a larger corset, i.e., in which she can BREATHE.) Bohm makes a noble effort in the same direction, but it does not quite come off.

Beecham's 1955 RPO Sixth makes as strong a case for this work as anyone has. (In pacing the Finale, he is even more successful in his 1944 LPO version, where, sadly, even Sir Tommy's masterful conducting must fight its way through sound quality which - reagardless of WHO has done the transfers - is sub-par, even for 1944.) But Kertesz has probably given us the most successful hi-fi/stereo realization of the Sixth since Beecham. The music never sags, and yet throughout, Fraulein Sechste is given enough leisure to shake out her tresses and radiate her rustic, slightly naughty charm. And there IS more leisure, here: unlike Beecham, Kertesz takes the first & final movement repeats - which can be a mixed blessing, given the occasional awkward patches in these movements.

The three overtures, scattered throughout this box, are also must-haves. In the early Overture to DES TEUFELS LUFTSCHLOSS (which falls merely two catalogue numbers ahead of SYMPHONY NO. 1), Kertesz massages the weak middle section such that it can at least bear the company of the stronger outer sections, and so we can enjoy the whole thing without reservation. Kertesz and the Viennese are astounding in the ITALIAN and FIERABRAS Overtures; the FIERBRAS, in particular, exudes a Furtwanglerian sense of awe and spaciousness.

Sadly, Kertesz appears not to have recorded the ROSAMUNDE Overture and Incidental Music. Fritz Lehmann's 1953 DG-Berlin set is a winner, if you want it all. And of course, Furtwangler's live 1953 Overture is stupendous and spacious. But for REAL enchantment (and no fooling), leave no stone unturned to locate Van Beinum's 1952 Overture, Intermezzo No. 3 and Ballet Music No. 2. The Overture can be found in the "Volume 1" Universal box of EVB's Deccas; the remaining two items are only available (with the Overture) on a Japanese Decca CD. But do whatever you have to do, this side of the law, to get it...The famous keening woodwinds and exquisite strings of EVB's Concertgebouworkest were at their post-war peak, and you could almost smell the forest.

The opening of the UNFINISHED is so softly played that it is nearly inaudible. But the INTENSITY is there, and from this point onward, we encounter perhaps the greatest stereo UNFINISHED ever recorded. Certainly this is the only UNFINISHED that made me (temporarily !) forget van Beinum on the one hand, and Furtwangler on the other. The Vienna Philharmonic, in 1963, still retained that legendary burnished tone which one can hear in the Solti RING. (Beginning in the mid-1960s, many of the older players who dated back to the pre-war days, began to retire, and their unique sound was soon gone forever.) Only Furtwangler, in his live 1952 Berlin UNFINISHED, breathes more naturally and deeply.

Finally, the GREAT : I am tempted to let this one-word caption stand for and by itself. (Why try to describe the ineffible?) Still, I will say that this ain't no "cooly-chiselled, classical" approach to the GREAT (as Philip Hart described Fritz Reiner's live GREAT). It is BIG, full-bodied and leisurely, but it never lacks underpinning rhythmic tension. This is all-important in the GREAT which, unlike Schubert's other Symphonies, has no real points of repose. Still, the sheer tonal beauty of the Viennese, especially in the second movement, conjures an illusiuon of such repose, while remaining IN TEMPO : amazing ! In fact, Furtwangler has almost met his match. (Still, to this writer, there remains no greater GREAT than Furtwangler's 1942 Berlin performance - on disc, vinyl, tape, or cylindrical foil for that matter.) Eduard van Beinum's live 1950 Concertgebouw is closer to the 'classicizing' approach, while still remaining true to the spirit of this Symphony. Szell took an even more 'classical' take on the GREAT with his magnificent Cleveland Orchestra - adding an exciting, if rather nasty, edge to the proceedings. (One of Szell's fascinating theories was that Schumann, not Schubert, really invented the Romantic Symphony. Did this perhaps compel him to 'classicize' the Schubert GREAT, after the fact? And would this render the UNFINISHED "un-Romantic" - or at least "pre-Romantic"?)

It would be a musical grace if Universal put out a 2-CD "Originals" set of Kertesz's Schubert, with the following (the timings WOULD fit):

DISC 1: the 5th & 6th, the FIERABRAS & ITALIAN Overtures
DISC 2: the UNFINISHED & GREAT.

These performances alone make this set indispensible.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best parts are incomparable in their charm 10. September 2010
Von Santa Fe Listener - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kertesz makes good use of the Vienna Phil. and its ability to add an aura of charm to anything (even Alban Berg). As one of the earlier reviewers notes, this charm bathes the first few symphonies. As much as I admire Harnoncourt in these works, and of course Thomas Beecham, the lilting insouciance of the Minuet in Sym. #1 would melt any heart. How strange that Kertesz, with such natural good humor and effortless rhythm, later became something of a difficult conductor, to the point that he parted early from the London Sym.

From Sym. #1 to #4 we are in the innocence of a pastoral paradise (Kertesz isn't interested in the teenage composer's tougher side,which Harnoncourt brings out in quasi-Beethoven style.) There's also a sweeping momentum to these readings -- they don't lapse into the dull impersonality of Bohm or the reticent propriety of Colin Davis -- and the large orchestra, recorded vividly in Decca's classic analog sound, adds a sense of occasion. Hard as it is do to, Kertesz turns these into "event" performances. If only Decca would remaster these recordings to remove some digital rawness and glare.

Sym. #5 and #6 are still loosely organized, but he has gained in assurance about what he wants to express. I'm not implying a major change; until the "Unfinished" appears, the composer seems to mine the same sunny terrain, with some passages of Sym. 4 excepted these are the only two minor key symphonies. I wish Kertesz had been more attentive in Sym. #5, which feels too generic. This is too familiar a work to amble through with a leisurely smile; something has to happen to catch your attention. Kertesz responds well, however, to the larger ambitions of Sym. #6 whenever Schubert becomes more forceful. In other hands the lighter parts can sound mincing, but not here. So far, five symphonies out of six have been superb, and if you already own great readings of the "Unfinished" and "Great" C major, these joyous early works will justify at purchase.

Does a cycle need to have outstanding accounts of the two unquestioned masterpieces in Schubert's symphonic career? Kertesz's "Unfinished" i more than professional, but at times he shies away from the music's undercurrents of mystery, and the dissonant eruptions in the first movement feel disturbing. They're just loud. Perhaps others will feel very differently, because there's plenty of force and power here. The second movement benefits from perfect Viennese poise; it fares very well, I think, on its own terms, but there really is more mystery and melancholy to be expressed.

The Scubert "Great" is a major enterprise compared to all that preceded it, and here Kertesz competes with Bruno Walter, Toscanini, Furtwangler, and Klemperer, to name only a few renowned conductors whose Ninths are acclaimed. Since Kertesz's premature death in 1973, there have also been fine performances from Sinopoli, Harnoncourt, and (for many British critics) Solti. Kertesz's approach is forceful, with strong accents punctuating the first movement. Yet I'm not quite sure it soars, and the brisk second movement, at a pace older conductors would never have favored, lacks repose. Clearly he feels more robustness in this music than I do. The Schrzo is straightforward (not a compliment), leading to an exciting finale that nonetheless fails to communicate the joy that this music should impart. The three overtures added as fillers are stylishly done -- I love the old-fashioned whiny oboe in the "Over. in the Italian Style."

Because the best things here are almost incomparable in their charm, I can see buying Kertesz's cycle as a first choice without hesitation, and if you enjoy his No. 5, 8, and 9 more than I do, noting can possibly go wrong.
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