Schmidt, a cellist of the Vienna Philharmonic, let hte orchestra premiere his symphony in 1913, which since then belongs to their main repertoire. With Semyon Bychkov they are a proven team to champion Schmidt's Symphony. The Second Symphony is the most brilliant and extroverted one with the biggest instrumentation. "It remains that rare combination, a work of tremendous immediate appeal and a compositional tour de force." (Gramophone Magazine) The recording features the famous intermezzo from the same-named opera by Strauss. It's full of Straussian yearning and lyricism performed by The Strauss Orchestra.
It's apparent here the amount of affection with which conductor andRead more orchestra approach this work. The symphony is an essentially sunny and pastoral work of shifting, beautifully dappled colors. There are disparate hints of Strauss, Reger, and Bruckner, and others, as well as a couple of passages that look forward to future Schmidt work.
The performance here determinedly lets the music develop at its own pace; Bychkov is not a conductor to seek out cheap thrills. One admires what the conductor achieves with the variations in the second movement, for example, and the slow-burn momentum of the initally underwhelming finale.
A persuasive case is made here for a work of considerable beauty. A gentle, tender account of Strauss' most famous Intermezzo interlude makes a charming coupling.
Well Conducted Symphony from Minor ComposerAugust 17, 2017By Louis Galie (Leander, TX)See All My Reviews"I bought this CD based on a review in the BBC Music magazine. The BBC reviewer liked the symphony much more than I did. Franz Schmidt, as far as I am concerned, can remain in the halls of lesser-known, lesser-lights."Report Abuse