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Symphony No 4 Italian / Symphony No 9 Great

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, February 12, 2008
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
7:49
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2
30
6:29
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3
30
6:39
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4
30
5:27
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5
30
13:13
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6
30
14:11
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7
30
10:57
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8
30
12:19
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt
  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Schubert
  • Audio CD (February 12, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B0010M6HCC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,619 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAME on February 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Klaus Tennstedt made two Schubert Ninths in 1984, this studio version from Berlin and a live concert version with his own London Phil. released posthumously on BBC Legends. Some reviewers disparage the Berlin account in order to praise the London one, but the truth lies in a statement made by The Gramophone's reviewer: Schubert's "Great C major" is a symphony which cannot be learnt; a conductor either feels it in his bones or he doesn't. Strangely, Karajan was one of those who didn't get it, while Tennstedt most definitely did.

Under his baton, Karajan's Berliners are rougher and more robust -- the trombones tend to blat and the woodwinds are glossy smooth. But this suits Tennstedt's way, which is to bring out the Beethoven in Schubert's writing. More than that, he realizes that such a long, repetitive symphony requires emotional variety to avoid losing focus. He manages superbly, especially in the lengthy Andante, usually prone to tedium but here full of spontaneous change-up in phrasing and tone. The second theme is sublime in its haunting lyrical quality. I think the live reading on BBC is more spontaneous sitll, but it's essential for us Tennstedt lovers to own both.

The Mendelssohn "Italian" Sym. is also with the Berliners. It displays the same warmth and spontaneity as the Schubert, but with the addition of a thrillingly fast finale. In both works the maestro has found the secret of making repetitive music sound fresh each time around.
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