Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Schmidt, Vassily Sinaisky, Malmö Symphony Orchestra|
Franz Schmidt: Symphony No.2; Fuga Solemnis
A great symphony receives a great recording
AndrewCF | Brockton, MA USA | 09/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"[[ASIN:B000000AJH Schmidt: Symphony No. 2 In E Flat Major] ]Most people I know who love Mahler first discovered Franz Schmidt through a renowned recording of the Symphony No. 4 conducted by Mehta on London/Decca. While a general concensus seems to exist that the Fourth is Schmidt's greatest symphony, I believe, especially upon hearing this new recording, that the Second is far greater. Oddly enough, Schmidt and Mahler were colleagues at first, both having studied with Robert Fuchs, and Mahler showed unusual favoritism for Schmidt (a cellist in the Court Opera). Schmidt's musical gifts were celebrated before Mahler's, and the jealousy felt by Mahler caused a rift in their friendship. The redolence of Mahler is obvious in the first movement (Lebhaft) of Symphony No. 2, characteristic of the familiar nostalgia and sensuality of the composer; for me it brings to mind Mahler's 6th which was written about 8 years previous to Schmidt. Yet the second movement takes off in a deluge of ecstasy that is more typical of the great expressionist composers, such as Zemlinsky and Schreker. Some years ago, Jarvi brought us the first (?) complete cycle of Schmidt's four symphonies, which remain brilliantly recorded for the most part and worthwhile. However, Jarvi's Second (a live recording) with the Chicago Symphony, has always seemed under-rehearsed, and at times the orchestra struggles to keep up. Not so this new recording with Sinaisky; the Malmo Symphony Orchestra is well up to the task of this dense work. Tempi are perfectly judged. Rarely has a Naxos recording sounded this lush. This series will, in years to come, be the standard-bearer by which all other Schmidt cycles will be compared, I sincerely believe. At this budget price, it is a must."
A Good Recording
Hegelian | Concord, MA USA | 07/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer's tale of how people come to Franz Schmidt (through Mehta's 4th) is exactly how I came to him c. 1990, and I've tried hard over the years to like his other symphonies. There are several good recordings of the 4th, and the Jarvi and (under-rated) Luisi recordings of the other three have much to recommend them, though in each case the 2nd is the weakest performance. I was hoping this Malmo recording would warm me up to this symphony, but it doesn't, and the inclusion of (the first recording?) of the ponderous and lugubrious "Fuga Solemnis" doesn't tip the balance for me either. Still, this is an inexpensive way to explore this repertoire, and if you enjoy the present disc, you will probably want the other symphonies as well."