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Schubert: Complete Symphonies / Blomstedt, Staatskapelle Dresden

Schubert / Staatskapelle Dresden / Blomstedt
Release Date: 10/29/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94693   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


There are so many Schubert cycles available now, many of them very fine, but this may well be the best of all. Without taking anything away from Blomstedt, whose Schubert credentials are second to none (his San Francisco remakes for Decca were also excellent), the principal asset here is the Staatskapelle Dresden, whose lean but glowing sonority, textural transparency, and world class solo winds prove ideal for Schubert, both early and late.

So often in this music, for example, the trumpets and drums either blast crudely (period instrument performances), or aren’t audible at all (modern instruments). Here, they cut through the ensemble without sounding out of balance and energize the
Read more melodic line. And then there’s Blomstedt, the kind of conductor who truly loses himself in the music in a good way; you aren’t conscious of a guiding hand at all in the sense that each movement moves naturally, inexorably, at an ideal tempo, as if self-propelled. Consider, for example, the delicious bounce to the opening allegro of the Third Symphony.

The above comments, however, should not be taken as an indication that this is a “middle of the road” cycle in terms of emotional intensity. Blomstedt grinds out the menacing climax of the first movement development in the “Unfinished” as well as anyone, and in “The Great” C major Symphony he shapes an eloquent interpretation without a single dead spot, culminating in an overwhelmingly energetic finale. The sonics, like the interpretations, never interpose themselves between the listener and a visceral experience of the music. A great set, for sure.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in D major, D 82 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1813; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1982 
2.
Symphony no 2 in B flat major, D 125 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1814-1824; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Symphony no 3 in D major, D 200 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Symphony no 4 in C minor, D 417 "Tragic" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
5.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, D 485 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1984 
6.
Symphony no 6 in C major, D 589 "Little C Major" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Symphony no 9 in C major, D 944 "Great" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-28; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 World Class All The Way May 1, 2019 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Although I admit to using excessive hyperbole in many of the comments I've posted with Arkivmusic over the years, I'm confident that these particular remarks are solidly grounded. Let's get right to the point: this 4 CD set of Franz Schubert's symphonies confirms the stellar reputation of Germany's Dresden Staatskapelle in every conceivable way. What a glorious tour de force this set is! Conductor Herbert Blomstedt takes a steady, no-nonsense approach, letting this wonderful orchestra develop and explore all the famous lyrical qualities of Schubert's orchestral writing throughout the entire program. Recorded in Dresden in the late 1970's and early 1980's, the analog sonics you will hear are spectacular- great dynamics, unbeatable clarity and depth of sound. The CD notes spend quite a bit of time distinguishing between Schubert's 6 early symphonies and the 'mature,' fully developed symphonies of great power and grandeur (#8 'Unfinished' and #9 'The Great'). I think there is an element of truth in this distinction, as #8 and #9 are sensational, fully the equal or better of any competitive recordings of these popular symphonic masterpieces. On the other hand, if one is led to infer that #1-6 are therefore somehow second tier works, please be disabused of this notion at once. The Blomstedt/Dresden performance of these earlier Schubert works are uniformly brilliant, ravishing interpretations that perfectly demonstrate Schubert's genius for paradigmatic melody. In short, this full set of Schubert's symphonies must surely rank (in my opinion) at or near the top of the list. It's simply hard for me to imagine how the Herbert Blomstedt/Dresden Staatskapelle cycle could be surpassed, so if you are looking for a full set of Franz Schubert's symphonic works, Brilliant Classics has the solution set for you- this one! Highest recommendation." Report Abuse
 Exceptional Schubert October 30, 2014 By owen  ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "Schubert's early symphonies (no. 1-6) are characterized by their abundant tunefulness and predominately cheerful nature. By the ''Tragic'' 4th he is pushing the Classical envelope and sounding slightly ''Romantic.'' It seems to me that his 5th has a touch of the pastorale to it and his 6th sounds Beethovian (this is just my uninformed opinion). Schubert became ill in 1822 and realizing his mortality composed his enigmatic ''Unfinished'' no.8 and the ''Great'' no. 9. He passed away in 1828 at the age of 31 leaving us to wonder where he would have taken his future works. Dominy Clements (Music-Web-Int) sums up this set: ''What Blomstedt offers is high quality and consistency through the entire set. For red-blooded playing of expressive depth and range you can do far worse than these performances.'' Brilliant Classics has once again given us a bargain reissue of exceptional merit and Arkiv makes it available to us at a mere $5- per disc." Report Abuse
 EXTRA FINE SCHUBERT SET January 25, 2014 By J. Thornburg (Englewood, CO) See All My Reviews "I love this orchestra. They mesh as a unit and each section blends seamlessly for stunning results. The recording is of a superior quality that perfectly compliments this fine orchestra, highlighting their unity. The selfless conducting and performing reminds the listener that: "The music is the star here."" Report Abuse
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