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Roger Norrington - The Romantics

Schubert / Radio-sinfonieorchester Stuttgart Des
Release Date: 01/28/2014 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93313   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertHector BerliozFelix MendelssohnAnton Bruckner,   ... 
Performer:  Anu Komsi
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony OrchestraSouthwest German Radio Symphony OrchestraStuttgart Radio Orchestra
Number of Discs: 10 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This new version's qualities begin at the beginning, with a beautifully shaped first-movement introduction adorned by remarkably agile violins at their rapid entrance. Indeed, the entire first movement enjoys such a feeling of forward movement that even the exposition-repeat sounds inevitable. In The Ball Norrington lets us hear every note of the harps, and he whips the movement up to an idiomatically feverish frenzy at the end. The Scene in the Country lasts just 16 minutes, which is very fast by today's standards (Munch, you may recall, takes less than 15), and it strikes me as exactly right. This time around, Norrington's willingness to "interpret" reveals itself at the end, in "distant thunder" that comes pretty Read more close to annihilating the concert hall and everyone in it. I didn't mind, and you won't either.

Norrington paces the March to the Scaffold very slowly, but with such excellent balances and rhythmic precision that it only enhances the music's grotesquerie. He's also more than willing to let the percussion section have its say in the movement's latter stages, with the bass drum in particular captured with stunning fidelity. The performance thus projects exactly the quality of panache that the earlier version so singularly lacked. Norrington's finale is similarly moderate in tempo (exactly the same timing as Markevitch, in fact), but woodwinds play spectacularly at the opening, the Dies Irae episode has the necessary gruesomeness, and Norrington really turns up the heat to bring the work to a thrilling close.

I wish the applause at the end had been eliminated, but you certainly can understand the audience's enthusiasm. The overture to Les Francs-juges, too rarely performed and equally well done, makes a great curtain-raiser, and the SWR engineers have outdone themselves in terms of depth and realism. Certainly this is the finest version so far to give us "authenticized" Berlioz, and it's also very heartening to be able to salute Roger Norrington in his 70th year as an interpreter of real stature.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
reviewing the Berlioz recordings


This live 2007 performance by Norrington of the 1874 version comes from two concerts given on consecutive days. At 60:33, it’s the fastest 1874 on disc. Other recordings of this version include the Wöss (75:03 on a vanished Brucknerhaus LP set), Inbal (68: 04 on Teldec), Rozhdestvensky (76:28 on deleted BMG), Lopez-Cobos (70:02 on Telarc), Gielen (63:55 on deleted EMI), Davies (67:19 on Arte Nova), Young (70:01 on Oehms), and Bosch (68:56 on Coviello). I haven’t heard the Gielen, while the recent Young and Bosch readings have yet to come my way. The two I’ve weeded are Rozhdestvensky (too slow overall and marred by unidiomatic Russian brass) and the generally mediocre Davies. The 1975 Wöss/Munich Philharmonic is the lone world premiere recording of any Bruckner original version, but it’s sluggish and not particularly well executed (e.g., there are too many bloopers in the brass). Incidentally, Kurt Wöss (1914–1987) was a Weingartner pupil who reportedly died while conducting a Bruckner Fourth at Dresden. Judging from the 1874 Fourth recordings I’ve heard, the troop leaders are Norrington, the 1982 Inbal, and the 1990 Lopez-Cobos. Ultimately, Norrington emerges as the most brilliantly executed and the best recorded.

...With its absorbing annotations by Cohrs (who notes a few minor differences in the text used here), first-rate execution, and excellent recorded sound, this release is clearly a winner. I’m holding onto my Inbal and Lopez-Cobos renditions: both are a bit warmer in the Andante and generally very expressive throughout. However, let it be said that this effort from Norrington represents his finest recorded Bruckner.

-- Jeffrey J. Lipscomb, FANFARE
reviewing the Bruckner Fourth


As is so often the case with Norrington’s performances, these readings of the Brahms symphonies are marked by highly linear, streamlined phrasing, brisk tempos, lean sonorities, and extraordinary textural clarity... Norrington recorded these symphonies roughly 20 years ago with his London Classical Players, but feels that these performances provide better amplitude and sense of drama. I concur.

-- Lynn René Bayley, FANFARE
reviewing the Brahms symphonies Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 9 in C major, D 944 "Great" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-28; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Die Zauberharfe, D 644: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1820; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; France 
Venue:  Beethoven Hall, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 14 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Les francs-juges, Op. 3: Overture by Hector Berlioz
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1826; France 
Venue:  Live  Beethoven Hall, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 12 Minutes 32 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 56 "Scottish" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/03/2004 
Venue:  Live  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 42 Minutes 14 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 4 in A major, Op. 90 "Italian" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/07/2004 
Venue:  Live  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 28 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major, WAB 104 "Romantic" by Anton Bruckner
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Symphony no 3 in F major, Op. 90 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Austria 
9.
Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Austria 
10.
Carnival Overture, Op. 92 by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; USA 
11.
Symphony no 9 in E minor, Op. 95/B 178 "From the New World" by Antonín Dvorák
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
12.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
13.
Parsifal: Excerpt(s) by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1882; Germany 
14.
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan" by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888/1896 
15.
Symphony no 1 in D major "Titan": Blumine by Gustav Mahler
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1888; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Live  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
16.
Symphony no 4 in G major by Gustav Mahler
Performer:  Anu Komsi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1900; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/2005 
Venue:  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 52 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: German 
17.
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 "Enigma" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898-1899; England 
18.
Introduction and Allegro for String Quartet and String Orchestra, Op. 47 by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904-1905; England 
19.
In the South, Op. 50 "Alassio" by Sir Edward Elgar
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903-1904; England 

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