On balance, this is probably the finest, most consistent Schubert cycle available. It has flown "under the radar" for many years now, owing to the vagaries of distribution and availability of (then) East German recordings, but hopefully it will remain around long enough for music lovers to take notice. Herbert Blomstedt is one of those self-effacing conductors who never made much of splash, even during his tenure in San Francisco, where he did some outstanding work (his Sibelius cycle for Decca particularly). His approach here--lively but elastic tempos, affectionate phrasing in the slow movements, incisive rhythms, and translucent textures--works magnificently well, but the star of the show, equally, is the StaatskapelleRead more Dresden.
This orchestra, Germany's finest even when Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic was grabbing all of the (Western) headlines, has the music in its bones. Every section plays with distinction, especially the woodwinds, who lend so much character to the early symphonies and make something truly special out of "The Great" and "Unfinished". Or listen to the crisp elegance of the strings in the Fifth, or notice the always present but never vulgar trumpets and drums (even in the First and Second). These truly are performances where the interpretation simply vanishes into the natural, effortless flow of the music, and if that isn't a "classical" ideal then nothing is. The sonics, a touch shallow by the best modern standards but otherwise perfectly fine, have held up well. Essential.
– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing earlier reissue, Berlin Classics 2692 Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 in D major, D 82by Franz Schubert Conductor:
Period: Romantic Written: 1813; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 1982
Schubert SymphoniesOctober 8, 2012By Gary Denni (San Pedro, CA)See All My Reviews"I am comparing these recordings of the Schubert Symphonies with the recordings made by Riccardo Mut with the Vienna Philharmonic between 1987 and 1993. With our getting boged down in too much detail, both sets of recordings are very good and I would suggest either edition as a good addition to your collection. However, I fee Muti creates a little more intensity and drama then Blomstedt does especially in Symphonies 8 and 9. Muti's effort matches Bruno Walters efforts on the 8th and 9th done in the late 50's early 60's. Gary Denni San Pedro"Report Abuse
A fine Schubert Symphony set!September 22, 2012By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"Herbert Blomstedt and the Dresden Staatskapelle have produced an excellent set of performances of these symphonies. The style is that of 50 years ago, without unbalancing repeats,and with the sound of a full-size orchestra. But the phrasing is crisp, avoiding dullness and congestion while projecting the drama required in the last two symphonies. The earlier, lighter ones are beautifully done, too. I have long appreciated this performance of the 9th symphony; now we have them all in an excellent set."Report Abuse