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Schubert: Complete Overtures Vol 1 / Benda, Prague Sinfonia


Release Date: 01/27/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570328   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

You may feel drawn to this disc out of a sense of duty. You know that you ought to know more of Schubert’s overtures than the so-called “Rosamunde” or the Overtures in the Italian Style. So you put this disc on – and are immediately transported with a sense of sheer delight. What is more, this continues throughout the disc as one engaging work follows another. At the end you pour yourself another cup of Earl Grey and start again. Well, at least that was my experience.

You may know all of these early works already and have scores or good recordings of them, in which case none of this will come as a surprise. For those who do not, let me explain that the nine overtures on this disc are all relatively early works written for a
Read more variety of purposes. Some are for operas or plays, some are concert works, and the last was probably written for a Cantata in honour of the Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools, a man also in charge of the fund for teachers’ widows. Despite that it is a very engaging piece. The notes by Keith Anderson helpfully explain the origins of each Overture, but I doubt whether you would be able to distinguish which is which without those notes. They are however unfailingly attractive, most with slow introductions followed by sonata-form movements. If you enjoy Schubert’s first three Symphonies, you will certainly enjoy these pieces which are very much in a similar vein and with similar virtues, especially in respect of the very characteristic scoring. Over and over again the listener will find themselves delighted by a turn of phrase, an unexpected harmony or deft orchestration.

Although clearly this is essentially down to the composer, much of the pleasure of the disc is also due to the bright but affectionate performances by the Prague Sinfonia, an expanded version of the Prague Chamber Orchestra. Christian Benda comes from a very distinguished family of Czech musicians and directs performances that are just right for these pieces, avoiding on the one hand blandness and on the other excessive point making. The recording quality is clear and full.

You will have gathered by now that I have had considerable pleasure from this disc. Completeness can be a mixed blessing, but on this occasion I am very glad that Naxos have decided to do this in respect of a category as unexpected as Schubert’s Overtures.

-- John Sheppard, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Der Teufel als Hydraulicus Overture in D major, D 4 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1812; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
2.
Der Spiegelritter, D 11: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 
3.
Overture in D major, D 12 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1811/1812; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 8 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Overture in D major, D 26 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs. 
5.
Des Teufels Lustschloss, D 84: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Length: 9 Minutes 4 Secs. 
6.
Der vierjährige Posten, D 190: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
7.
Claudine von Villa Bella, D 239: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 56 Secs. 
8.
Die Freunde von Salamanka, D 326: Overture by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
9.
Overture in B flat major, D 470 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Christian Benda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Sinfonia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Der Teufel als Hydraulicus Overture
Overture in D, D 12

Sound Samples

Der Teufel als Hydraulicus, D. 4: Overture
Der Spiegelritter, D. 11: Overture
Overture in D major, D. 12
Overture in D major, D. 26
Des Teufels Lustschloss, D. 84: Overture
Der vierjahrige Posten, D. 190: Overture
Claudine von Villa Bella, D. 239: Overture
Die Freunde von Salamanka, D. 326: Overture
Overture in B flat major, D. 470

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