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Symphonies 3 & 4 Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, May 8, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

The Signature Collection is a brand new series from EMI Classics featuring the finest catalog recordings released for the first time ever in high resolution
format. The first batch of ten titles which include Jacqueline du Pré s Elgar Cello Concertos, Giueseppe Di Stefano s Neapolitan Songs and Walter Gieseking s
Debussy: Complete Piano Works offer listeners more clarity and detail than ever before. The expert engineers at Abbey Road Studios who remastered the original EMI recordings on Hybrid Super Audio CDs have breathed new life into these iconic catalog recordings. Each title in the Signature Collection is beautifully presented in a full-color illustrated hardback book. The liner notes explore not only the rich music but also the story behind original LP covers. Also included are never before seen photographs of the original master tapes.

Disc: 1
1. The Hebrides Overture, 'Fingal's Cave' Op. 26
2. I. Andante con moto - Allegro un poco agitato - Assai animato - Andante come prima. - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, 'Scottish' Op. 56
3. II. Vivace non troppo. - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, 'Scottish' Op. 56
4. III. Adagio. - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, 'Scottish' Op. 56
5. IV. Allegro vivacissimo - Allegro maestoso assai. - Symphony No. 3 in A minor, 'Scottish' Op. 56
Disc: 2
1. I. Allegro vivace - Più animato. - Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op.90 'Italian'
2. II. Andante con moto. - Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op.90 'Italian'
3. III. Con moto moderato. - Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op.90 'Italian'
4. IV. Saltarello (Presto). - Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op.90 'Italian'
5. I. Ziemlich langsam - Lebhaft. - Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op.120
6. II. Romanze (Ziemlich langsam). - Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op.120
7. III. Scherzo (Lebhaft) & Trio. - Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op.120
8. IV. Langsam - Lebhaft. - Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op.120

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B0079J26TI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,832 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By oldfolks on May 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
With the exception of the Schumann Symphony #4, the early Romantics were not often programmed by Klemperer in his concerts. The performance of the Schumann Symphony #4 on this recording is nothing short of magnificent, one of the greatest recordings ever made of this work.

The Mendelssohn performances are more controversal. The tempos for all the movements of the Mendelssohn Symphony #3 "Scottish" and the Symphony #4 "Italian" are slower than usual, as was typical of Klemperer in the early 1960's. The orchestral balance, phrasing, and mastery of structure, however, lend a satifying inevitability to each of these works. The "Scottish" in particular, which always struck me as being a bit episodic, has great cohesiveness in Klemperer's hands. The same can be said for the companion Hebrides Overture. Klemperer, at least temporarily, convinces you that everybody else plays these works too fast.

From a technical standpoint, the SACD remasterings give a sharper focus, resulting in lighter weight, and greater orchestral transparency than their redbook counterparts. Despite their age (1960), no apologies have to be made for the sound on these recordings.

These performances may not be to everybody's tastes, but they are certainly worth listening to. After a few listenings, you too may fall under Klemperer's spell.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By W. Chiles on May 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having purchased and subsequently lost the prior remastering of the Mendelssohn recordings, I'm quite familiar with the brilliant account of these symphonies by Klemperer. Fortunately, EMI's engineers decided to give some of their better master tapes the royal treatment, remastering them using today's higher resolution technology. The performances were highly praised in ARG reviews for their (uncharacteristic for late Klemperer recordings) well paced tempos. The 4th is nice and breezy without being as rushed in the first movement as so many conductors treat it. You can hear brilliant articulation in the winds and a transparency combined with weight that was unique to Klemperer. The 3rd or "Scottish" Symphony benefits from Klemperer's good judgment in giving the bombastic and un scottish coda it's proper weight. I hate how most other conductors just blast their way through it as a means of coping with its awkwardness. Klemperer does tend to slower tempos than his contemporaries but not by such a great degree as you might expect. The finale of the 4th is indeed slower than the indicated vivacissimo indicated in the score but it still works quite well. Maybe not as brilliant as my favorite recordings (Commissiona/ Baltimore on Vox if you can find it, or Abbado,LSO on DGG) but still quite good.

The Schumann 4th was an unexpected pleasure, weighty yet quite transparent. Klemperer admits to a bit of tinkering with the score to eliminate some doublings or add others to improve balance, but this was rather common in his era when conductors were not so pedantic about fussing with original scores where the performance would be enhanced by it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kent Minault on November 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I admit I'm a Klemperer nut. I love the way he pulls the inner detail into focus. Because of his tendency to go for measured speeds, you might not find these the most exciting versions of these works. I like Peter Maag for the Scottish, Sir Charles MacKerras with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for the Italian, and Sawallisch for the Schumann. But that said, I keep wanting to give these discs a spin, because all three works come off with a unique effect I don't get from my "favorites." So if you want a "first choice," keep shopping, but if like me, you've gained a taste for the old master (try his "Eroica" and his Leonore Overtures) this issue is some mildly expensive fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. R. Caulk on November 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wholeheartedly recommend this 2 disc set to any one looking for a definitive Schumann 4th or Hebrides Overture. The remastered sound is significantly better than my old late 80's CD copies of Schumann. I am referring to the SACD layer of these recordings but I would not be surprised if the CD layer is almost as good. Regarding performance, each is at or near the top of the pile as far as I'm concerned. For me, the only rivals to the Klemperer Schumann fourth and Hebrides overtures on this CD are those conducted by Herbert von Karajan with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Schumann 4th) at the Salzburg Festival in 1972 on a DG cd (which I fear is now out of print) and HvK conducting the Hebrides overture with the Berlin Phil. in the early 70's. The sheer intensity of the live Karajan/Staatskapelle wins by just a whisker in the Schumann 4th but Klemperer/Philharmonia have the edge in the Hebrides. Klemperer's Italian has also placed itself alongside Munch and the Boston Symphony as one of my favorites. This is rock solid conducting. While his tempos in the Italian may be a little slower than some others, they are not as slow as the ones ones he favored in his sunset years. Here the performance still has a driven, bracing quality that I find refreshing. If you have SACD playing capability (even if you don't) snatch these up and hopefully EMI will be encouraged to continue releasing newly remastered classic analog performances on hybrid SACD.
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