Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Symphony No. 1: Recordings

As promised, here's a brief review of the available recordings of Weinberg's Symphony No. 1.

Alexander Titov and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra
(coupled with the Cello Concerto, Op. 43)

   This is the recording that was featured in the Youtube links in my previous post. It suffers from a lack of precision, which does not help with promoting rarely heard works. That said, it is a good effort, and the recording of the Cello Concerto with Dmitry Khrychov as soloist is worth a listen. To my ears the recording sounds very close and often very raw in sound, unsuited to some of the more tender moments in this symphony.  Occasionally, it also suffers from distractingly-off tuning (for the most obvious example, see the Clarinet entry twenty seconds into the beginning).

Thord Svedlund and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

(Coupled with Symphony No. 7, Op. 81).

   The series of Chandos Weinberg recordings has generally been excellent, aside from a few criticisms of short running times on some of the other discs - a problem amply compensated with this release. Svedlund's performance easily beats Titov's previous interpretation of the work, partly because of the excellent choice of tempi in comparison, but also because of the gloriously colourful and warm quality of the recording itself. The solo voices in this recording are heard in great clarity, yet the darker moments still pack the punch they need. (The 7th symphony comes across as somewhat dry in comparison, and this recording struggles to compare with Rudolf Barshai's emotionally cold and brutal interpretation on a previous Olympia release).

No comments:

Post a Comment