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Schnittke: Concerto Grosso No 3, Symphony No 5 / Chailly

Release Date: 12/11/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 430698   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Jaap van ZwedenRonald BrautigamViktor LibermanSaskia Boon,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Decca have sportingly given the competition 18 months' free run with Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 4/Symphony No. 5. But fine though the Gothenburg/Jarvi performance is, the new recording surpasses it.

In Schnittke's world expressive urge and structural constraint will never unite in total wedded bliss, but in the Fifth Symphony (for short) the thing they produce is certainly bigger than the both of them. I won't rehearse the description I gave in my review of the BIS issue, save to say that it progresses from Stravinskian concerto grosso, through Mantovani-with-a-nervous-breakdown pastiche (based on the teenage Mahler's unfinished Piano Quartet) to full-blown tragic symphony echoing archetypes from Mahler's Fifth and Sixth
Read more Symphonies. The Concertgebouw, for whose centenary the work was composed, are on superlative form, and Chailly meets every interpretative challenge head-on. I particularly admired his pacing of the finale, which keeps the full force of horror at bay by a series of delaying tactics until a final paroxysm which can soberly be described as blood-curdling.

The quality of the invention places the Fifth Symphony far above the punk-expressionism of some of Schnittke's work (and that of his imitators). In my judgement it stands a real chance of outliving the Zeitgeist within which it was born. The Concerto Grosso No. 3, on the other hand, probably needs historical background knowledge of the kind so expertly and sensitively supplied in Gerard McBurney's insert-note. Here the jumping-off points are Bach (Brandenburg Concertos and Beethoven (Fourth Piano Concerto), and if the superb Concertgebouw performance does not wholly allay my doubts about the musical quality of the piece, this remains a superior coupling to the orchestral study Pianissimo offered by BIS. Both works are as magnificently recorded as they are played. In sum, if a single Schnittke CD is all your collection will run to, I would recommend it be this one.

-- Gramophone [2/1992]
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Works on This Recording

Concerto Grosso no 3 by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Jaap van Zweden (Violin), Ronald Brautigam (Harpsichord), Ronald Brautigam (Piano),
Viktor Liberman (Violin)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; USSR 
Date of Recording: 02/1990 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 21 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Symphony no 5 "Concerto Grosso no 4" by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Saskia Boon (Cello), Jan Piet Knijff (Harpsichord), Robert Waterman (Violin),
Gerrit Jan Leuverink (Viola), Jan Spronk (Oboe), Jaap van Zweden (Violin),
Ruud Van den Brink (Piano)
Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988; USSR 
Date of Recording: 10/1989 
Venue:  Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam 
Length: 36 Minutes 55 Secs. 

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