Brass thrillingly to the fore: have these stirring tone-poems sounded better?
This is a superb disc. There have been distinguished collections of Smetana’s symphonic poems (notably a vintage Kubelík disc) but none quite to compare with this in excitement, richness of detail and, in the case of Wallenstein’s Camp, sonic spectacle – how well Smetana writes for the brass! Indeed this, Richard III and especially Hakon Jarl emerge afresh as symphonic poems every bit the equal of those of Liszt. The early Jubel Overture (1848) with its thundering, frantic opening timpani and energetic folksy flavour is a real find. So, too, is the beautiful wateryRead more tableau The Fisherman, which has a Wagnerian evocation gently reminding one of the moonlight sequence in Vltava.
But the key works are the first three mentioned above, Wallenstein’s Camp full of vivid military invention, Richard III with its atmospheric, doom-laden portrait, including a memorable dominating theme, gently lurching to represent the king’s gait. The orchestration is highly evocative, as it is in the even more ambitiously dramatic Hakon Jarl. Here the central lyrical section with its falling scalic main theme, introduced by harp and bass clarinet, is all but Tchaikovskian and leads to a superb climax. The Shakespeare March closes the programme boisterously.
Gianandrea Noseda draws wonderfully characterful and spontaneous playing from the BBC Philharmonic, and the Chandos engineers surpass themselves with the realistic vividness of the sound and the naturalness of the balance. Not to be missed.
WELCOME TO CAMP WALLENSTEIN!!!March 14, 2015By Zita Carno (Tampa, FL)See All My Reviews"Every time I've heard the first track on this superb album I find myself thinking of a camp run by Wallenstein---a camp for grownups on a rampage, a sort of Camp Runamuck for folks who have never grown up, and I get quite a rise as I think of the goings-on perpetrated by these overgrown juveniles---I have to chuckle. And then I get serious as I hear the rest of the album, and I enjoy the music just as much. And Noseda is a very fine conductor in his own right---I'm surprised no one has heard of him before."Report Abuse