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CD83618 Pfitzner conducts Schumann Syms. 1 & 2, Mendelssohn Hebrid

CD83618 Pfitzner conducts Schumann Syms. 1 & 2, Mendelssohn Hebrid
CD83618 Pfitzner conducts Schumann Syms. 1 & 2, Mendelssohn Hebrid
Item# CD83618
Regular price: $12.95
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Product Description

CD83618 Pfitzner conducts Schumann Syms. 1 & 2, Mendelssohn Hebrid

If I can manage to get back to regular posts here, and do some more transfer work, this will be the first of about three posts of recordings by Hans Pfitzner, mostly (but not entirely) focusing on him interpreting the works of other composers. First up is an extremely rare acoustic recording of the the 1st Schumann Symphony. I think you will find that the ear adjusts fairly quickly to the reduced orchestra and limited recording quality. One thing that will come as a shock are the first notes played by the brass, because rather than the indicated fanfare on the notes D, Bb, C and D, they play down a major third from this, starting on Bb!! I'm not sure why this is the case, and have never heard this in another performance.

It is certainly much easier to hear the hallmarks of Pfitzner's interpretive style with the improved sonics of the 2nd Schumann Symphony and Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture. There is an unforced quality that may seem, at first, like the conductorial reins are held loosely. Careful listening reveals a wealth of nuance and shaping that is on a very high order of sophistication indeed! Balances are often unusual, with unusual contrapuntal elements highlighted (but never in a contrived or spotlit manner). I'll just mention a couple of representative moments in the first movement: the very "directed" shape of the cello lines at 4:26 and afterward, and the wonderful trombone "stinger" on the chord at 6:05. Somehow through all of this it is the lyricism that comes through as the prevailing focus….I'm not sure that you will find longer lines and phrases in another performance. Generally the Berlin State Opera Orchestra is up to the task, but there are a few ragged moments in the difficult string parts in the Scherzo movement.

It's interesting to hear the differences (perhaps not so great as one might have thought), between the State Opera orchestra, and the BPO in the Mendelssohn. Sharp ears will notice that the hall acoustic changes quite a bit for the second side of the Mendelssohn (at the 4:08 mark), which was recorded a year after the first.

Schumann: Symphony No. 1 in Bb, Op. 38 Berlin State Opera Orchestra Polydor 69795-98 (matr. 2013-16as, 2038-41as) Recorded October, 1925

Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C, Op 61 Berlin State Opera Orchestra Polydor 66873-7 (matr. 1464-68bmi, 827bi, 1470-72bmi, 1626bmi) Recorded 1928 & 1929 (sides 6 & 10 only)

Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Polydor 95372 (matr. 919bm, 929bii) Recorded 1928 & 1929


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USA Telephone (404) 200-4776 We sell only opera recordings. The recordings are sent to you in paper sleeves with no tray card or inserts, just the raw discs with printed labels. These recordings are of nonprofessional quality that are in the public domain. The quality of these old opera recordings is not very good and they are meant for collectors and educational purposes only. Most of them are 30 or 40 years old, so they might be blurry, colors faded, and not sound very good, but they might not be available elsewhere. Please note that most of our recordings do not have tracks, they have 1 long track per disc.