Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz [Vienna] Schubert, Michael Halasz, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra|
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 "Unfinished"
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Enthusiasm and delight but with obvious weaknesses
Leslie Richford | Selsingen, Lower Saxony | 10/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While listening and re-listening to this disc I was struggling with myself whether to award it a three- or a four-star evaluation. On the positive side, Hungarian conductor Michael Halász was here obviously able to spark a certain infectious enthusiasm for Schubert that positively affected the Slovakian orchestra, and listening at fairly low volume via loudspeakers it was this enthusiasm and delight in Schubert which impressed me most. But listening via headphones, it was the typical Naxos weaknesses which came to the forefront: The acoustics in the empty Moyzes Hall in Bratislava with a five-second echo tend to make the sound a little sharp, Naxos' recording technique, while adequate, is still not world-class ? and unfortunately, the same has to be said of the Slovakian Philharmonic whose strings ('Unfinished') and winds (Symphony No. 5, mediocre flutes) are definitely 'second division' material. All in all, I would say that this is a good disc for Schubert beginners (perhaps even for schoolteachers who want to give music classes a first impression of Schubert's great symphonic work), but that listeners who want to 'get into' this music in more detail and take time over it would do better to look for a higher-class recording. My own favourite is Sir Charles Mackerras' recording with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, where the Unfinished Symphony is 'completed' with a third movement derived from Schubert's notes by Brian Newbould and where the fourth movement is construed to be the same as the Ballet Music No. 1 from 'Rosamunde' (which Halász unfortunately did not record)."
Nathan Cooper | Houston, TX | 03/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For the price of this Naxos disc, it's an excellent deal.
This is a great recording of 2 of Schubert's most beautiful and melodic symphonies. Maybe the previous reviewer is correct about the sound of the musicians in the hall, but on a good stereo system you can't really tell. I recommend this disc."