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Schubert: Symphony No. 5 - Brahms: Serenade No. 2 / Gardiner, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique

Release Date: 08/31/2018 
Label:  Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog #: 729  
Composer:  Franz SchubertJohannes Brahms
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a disc of pure delight.

This brilliant release features a live recording of the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique led by Sir John Elliot Gardiner performing Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Brahms’ Serenade No. 2 in A Major. The recorded concert took place in November 2016 inside the stunning acoustics of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 was written mainly in September 1816 and was completed on October 3 of that same year just six months after the completion of his prior symphony. In character, the writing is often said to resemble Mozart; Schubert was infatuated with the composer at the time he composed it. Brahms’ second Serenade was written in 1859 and dedicated to Clara Schumann.
Read more The five movement work is scored for chamber orchestra, including double woodwinds but omitting violins, trumpets, trombones and percussion.



In matters of colour and timing, the playing of this early-Romantic repertoire has undergone its own revolution in the past 30 years. Under Goodman and Mackerras, even Minkowski, the Minuet of Schubert’s Fifth is neat but plain by comparison with Gardiner. Every phrase of the Andante is weighted and cherished. For its combination of tenderness, gravity and springtime joys, the performance may be set alongside Klemperer’s Philharmonia (with a first flute, Marlen Root, who has nothing to fear by comparison with Gareth Morris). The conclusion is quickly faded, but applause is retained after the Brahms. It’s a disc of pure delight.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 5 in B flat major, D 485 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Serenade no 2 in A major, Op. 16 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1858-1859; Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Defying the darkness of the unknown September 8, 2018 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "In his Book of Friends Hugo von Hofmannsthal says "Joy requires more devotion, more courage than sorrow. Joy enjoins one to submit, precisely so far as to defy the darkness of the unknown." It's this joy that we hear over and over again in John Eliot Gardner's great recordings of Bach. He talks in his great book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven about "the festive joy and zest of this dance-impregnated music," and it's this zest that comes out in this new Schubert/Brahms disc recorded at a concert in The Concertgebouw on November 12, 2016. It's perhaps easy enough to bring out the joyful side of Schubert's lovely 5th Symphony, which contains more beautiful melodies than some composers produce in a lifetime. Gardiner treats this very much as a classical work, which makes sense considering how much Schubert was in the thrall of Mozart at the time. That both Schubert and Mozart suffered in their lives more than the average composer makes this music even more miraculous; it truly does "defy the darkness of the unknown." The two Brahms Serenades also come from a dark time, just following the death of Robert Schumann. As much as I love Brahms, I've never really taken to either of these works, but not because of any life circumstances. Rather, they both suffer a bit from being preparatory works for Brahms's symphonies to come. It's too calculated a move, I think, for such slight material. Gardiner gives it his best shot, as do his marvellous musicians, but the music doesn't really take off like the Schubert does, and furthermore it suffers from coming right after such a perfect piece. At the concert at The Concertgebouw the Brahms led off the evening, and the Schubert was the last work, following Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto with Kristian Bezuidenhout. Still, serviceable Brahms and perfect Schubert still make for an entertaining and joyful hour of music." Report Abuse
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