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Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 - Christian Thielemann / Philharmonia Orchestra

Robert Schumann , Christian Thielemann , Philharmonia Orchestra Audio CD
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2001 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2001 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 1. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivaceChristian Thielemann12:19Album Only
listen  2. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 2. LarghettoChristian Thielemann 7:04Album Only
listen  3. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 3. Scherzo (Molto vivace)Christian Thielemann 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 4. Allegro animato e graziosoChristian Thielemann 9:13Album Only
listen  5. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 1. Ziemlich langsam - LebhaftChristian Thielemann11:57Album Only
listen  6. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 2. Romanze (Ziemlich langsam)Christian Thielemann 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 3. ScherzoChristian Thielemann 6:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 4. Langsam - Lebhaft - Schneller - PrestoChristian Thielemann10:32Album Only

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Christian Thielemann
  • Composer: Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00005QBDL
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly inferior September 2, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Though it's been over two weeks since I first heard this recording, I am still somewhat in shock over its inferiority. I suppose I wouldn't be so surprised if this recording wasn't made by Deutsche Grammophon, one of the most respected labels in classical music recording. As another reviewer indicated, about 30 seconds into the introduction of the first movement of the Fourth Symphony, there is a definite and noticeable "jump" of about one second. I initially thought this was a flaw in the disc, so I returned it to get another one. However, I found, to my horror, that that disc exhibited the same jump. It, therefore, couldn't have been a problem with the disc, but a problem with the editing or with the master tapes. Before I returned the disc, I contacted DG to see whether they knew anything about this. To their credit, they diligently pursued the matter, but to their discredit, they did not hear the flaw that I heard.
I already own Thielemann's other recordings of Schumann's symphonies, and I wanted to round out my collection with this. Unfortunately, however, this otherwise fine recording is marred by a fatal flaw, and therefore I must recommend that the collector look elsewhere for worthy recordings of Schumann's symphonies.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst recording ever made? February 11, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Good grief. Having bought Christian Thielemann's splendid recordings Schumann's Second(an especially marvellous interpretation) and Third Symphonies, I was looking forward to hearing what insights he could bring to the First and Fourth. Unfortunately, the resulting CD contains the worst performances of any pieces of the central repertoire that I(and a number of friends whose musical opinions I value) have ever heard. I am in a particularly advantageous position to appreciate just how dreadful the performance of the Fourth is since, in the week when I bought this recording, I conducted the piece twice. The First Symphony, while sluggish and with little feel for instrumental colour, is marginally more successful but most of the comments about the Fourth can be applied to that piece too, more's the pity. To start at the beginning: there is a dreadful edit thirty seconds in to the first movement of the Fourth, when a clarinet pops up from nowhere. Surely, if Deustche Grammophon are willing to pay the huge expenses of hiring a conductor, orchestra and recording team, they could iron out errors like this? Sonic mistakes aside, the performance is simply awful. Thielemann actually succeeds in making the Philharmonia(who, believe me, are one of the world's very best orchestras) sound unpleasant. The balances throughout are poor; chiefly, the winds, brass and timpani are muffled behind a thick blanket of string sound and there is seemingly no attempt to ensure precision of ensemble. Entries are messy on an unacceptably large number of occasions(more than this orchestra would flunk live) and, as a result, the symphony sounds monochrome and slack. Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soft-grained, romantic styling that can be very poetic February 23, 2008
Format:Audio CD
A newcomer to this Schumann First and Fourth from Thielemann would be hard pressed to know what it's like from the previous reviewers. The five-star review claims that the sytle here is like Masur and Kubelik when in fact those conductors prefer Schumann to be swift, bright, and extroverted while Thielemann is the opposite: this is measured, carefully molded, poetic Schumann to the extreme. The negative reviews carp about the recording quality, which is actually very fine, absent a single editing glitch.

So let's start from scratch. Clearly Thielemann is bucking the modern trend of making the German classics swift and lean. Does he succeed? I think on the whole he does. Begin with the slow movement of the "Spring" Sym. and you will kow immediately if you like his surging, soft-grained, almost dreamy approach. Thielemann was more distinctive early in his career, but if you check his recent Parsifal and Tristan, you'll hear the same soft grain and neo-romantic sensibility. Frankly, I was intrigued and my attention never wandered. Whether you like it or not -- and some might carp that this is just imitaiton Furtwangler -- this conductor clearly has something original to say, and that alone is much appreciated.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Schumann robbed of momentum October 29, 2012
Format:Audio CD
While the recordings are clear enough as modern digital recordings are these days, Thielemann's tempos are romantic slow and "draggy" and he fails to define the phrasing and lyric qualities of Schumann's symphonies. Certainly no match for Sawallisch/EMI. Here however accurate the Philharmonia's playing and the depth of instrumental tone, the lingering tempi and smooth phrasing never catch fire to reveal the genius of Schumann.
I found myself likeing the recorded musical detail, but was always wanting for the phrasing, dynamics, instrumental counterpoint to "happen".
The additional overtures etc did nothing for me they sound like professional rehearsal run through recordings. The Manfred overture seem neutered. No reason to expect better than Sawallish/EMI in robust analog sound. Bernstein Schumann (DG) is an era gone by and Karajan/DG - dry sound and underwhelming performances. JOhn Eliot Gardners performances on period instruments never did much for me. I haven't heard Sinopoli other than public radio. Except for Schumann collectors or Thielemann die-hards, this is mediocre Schumann. My set with Rafael Kubleik Rundfunk Orchestra - CBS is an even odder duck.
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