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Schmidt: Symphony No 4; Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No 1 / Mehta

Release Date: 06/03/2010 
Label:  London/Decca Enterprise Catalog #: 430007   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz SchmidtArnold Schoenberg
Performer:  George DrexlerBert GassmanWilliam KosinskiMerritt Buybaum,   ... 
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic OrchestraLos Angeles Philharmonic members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These two very different manifestations of twentieth-century Viennese symphonic composition make a slightly improbable but stimulating coupling. Schoenberg's flamboyantly economical display of contrapuntal wizardry, storming the bastions of traditional form and harmony, precedes Franz Schmidt's relatively conservative symphony by more than 20 years, and the only flaw in Mehta's reading of it is a tendency to opt for caution when (as most more recent recordings demonstrate) daring is the better part of valour. Mehta is particularly sedate in the scherzo, when heard alongside the Orpheus CO (DG) or the Dutch Schoenberg Ensemble (Schwann/Koch International), and the clear though dryish sound coarsens noticeably in the work's final stages. Read more ...[N]evertheless...it provides a striking counterweight to Schmidt's expansive and much less radical enterprise.

Schmidt's Fourth Symphony has won some extravagant praise which I can understand but cannot completely endorse. Given its length— almost 50 minutes—it lacks that sustained, Brucknerian sense of ecstacy to which it aspires, at least until the impressive moment of crisis at the end of the scherzo. Schmidt has a fine feeling for the dynamics of tonal harmony, but less flair for conjuring up the arrestingly memorable musical idea. This is nevertheless a well-projected performance, the sound a little constricted but with that typical Sofiensaal opulence shining through whenever the brass come into play.

-- Gramophone [2/1991]
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 4 in C major by Franz Schmidt
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1932-1933; Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1971 
Venue:  Sofien Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 49 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Chamber Symphony no 1 in E major, Op. 9 by Arnold Schoenberg
Performer:  George Drexler (Flute), Bert Gassman (Oboe), William Kosinski (English Horn),
Merritt Buybaum (Clarinet), Kalman Bloch (Clarinet), Franklyn Stokes (Bass Clarinet),
Frederick Moritz (Bassoon), Fred Dutton (Contrabassoon), Henry Sigismonti (French Horn),
Ralph Pyle (French Horn), David Frisina (Violin), Miles Zentner (Piccolo),
Harold Dicterow (Violin), Jan Hlinka (Viola), Kurt Reher (Cello),
Richard F Kelley (Double Bass)
Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1968 
Venue:  Royce Hall, UCLA 
Length: 20 Minutes 53 Secs. 

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