MENDELSSOHN: Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95. Symphony
No. 1, Op. 11. Symphony No. 3, Op. 56 "Scottish"
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 1 in D, Symphony No. 2 in B flat. Funeral
March from Adrast. Rosamunde Overture.
GRIEG: Symphony in C minor. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
British conductor Edward Gardner (b. 1974) is among the finest of today's younger conductors. He has many many superb recordings for Chandos, many of them multi-channel. Some of these have been mentioned on this site: Lutoslawski (Cello Concerto/M ala Site/Symphony No 2) (REVIEW), Symphonic Variations/Piano Concerto/Paganini Variations/Symphony No. 4 (REVIEW) Gardner has a close association with the City of Birmingham Orchestra since 2011, and he also is principal guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic. Some months ago, he began a Mendelssohn series for Chandos with Symphonies 4 and 5, and now we have this superb second disak featuring the Scotch symphony, Ruy Blas overture, and the seldom-heard Symphony No. 1 which actually is a full orchestrtion of the last (thirteenth) of his early symphonies for strings. It is a charmer with a dazzling , fiery finale. All of this music is superbly played by the first-class orchestra, and the Chandos engineers did an equally fine job in providing rich, satisfying audio, not particularly "srround," but giving us the sound of a large orchestra playing in a fine hall.
More than a year ago this site praised a recording of Schbert's Symphony No. 6 and music for Rosamunde t SACD with Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, part of their series of the composer's symphonies and other major symphonic works (REVEW). Now we have e the final disk in the series, and again it is superb: vivacious, lively performances immaculately played, recorded with BIS's finest audio. Don't miss this one.
Audite continues their Grieg series with Volume 4 which features two early works, the relatively unknown Symphony in C minor, and the popular piano concerto. The Symphony was a very early work, Grieg was unsatisfied with it, but from time to time it is resurrected, even though it is atypical of the composer's music. Certainly Eving Aadiand and the excellent WDR Orchestra give a spirited performance, and it has been very well recorded by Audite's first-class engineers. Soloist in the concerto is Herbert Schuch. Born in Romania in 1979, he recently won a number of prestigious competitions and has made a number of recordings in a wide range of repertory. His performance of the Grieg concerto is highly idyllic, particularly in the second movement, but there is keen competition in well over a hundred recordings by just about every pianist you can think of, some of whom have recorded it multiple times. This new version surely has much to offer, and surely it is heard in state-of-the art natural sonics. It has keen SACD competition from BIS; their recording of these two works was mentioned on this site more than a decade ago (REVIEW), a disc that also included the overture In Atumn,
R.E.B. (Octobe 2014)