NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

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maestrob
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NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by maestrob » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:18 am

Here are Times critics’ favorite Schumann CDs. Given the volatility and uncertainties of the classical record market, some of these CDs may be out of print or may be found under different record numbers, and may require searching in specialty shops or through online sources, where some are available for purchase or downloading.

Opinions? Agree, disagree? What are YOUR favorites?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/17/arts/ ... wanted=all

josé echenique
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by josé echenique » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:41 pm

As always, agree with some, disagree with others.

For the symphonies, I would vote for:

1.-Sawallisch and the Dresden Staatskapelle.
2.-Kubelik and the BRSO.
3.-Gardiner and the ORR.
4.-Sinopoli and the Staatskapelle Dresden.
5.-Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester.
6.-Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For the Piano Concerto:

1.-Dinu Lipatti/Karajan.
2.-Martha Argerich/Harnoncourt.
3.-Martha Argerich/Myung Whun-Chung.
4.-Murray Perahia/Abbado.
5.-Adsnes/Jansons.
6.-Geza Anda/Fricsay.

For the Cello Concerto:

1.-Heinrich Schiff/Haitink.
2.-Christophe Coin/Herreweghe.
3.-Du Pré/Baremboim.

For the Dichterliebe:

1.-Fritz Wunderlich.
2.-Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
3.-Ian Partridge.
4.-Hans Peter Blochwitz.

For the Fantasia in C

1.-Maurizio Pollini
2.-Murray Perahia.
3.-Svjatoslav Richter.

For the Frauenliebe und leben:

1.-Janet Baker.
2.-Anne Sofie von Otter.
3.-Bernarda Fink.
4.-Elly Ameling.

For the Kreisleriana:

1.-Radu Lupu.
2.-Vladimir Horowitz.
3.-Martha Argerich.
4.-Arthur Rubinstein.
5.-Evgenij Kissin.

For the Scenes from Goethe´s Faust:

1.-Herreweghe.
2.-Abbado.
3.-Harnoncourt.
4.-Britten.

For Das Paradies un die Peri.

1.-Gardiner.
2.-Harnoncourt.

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by John F » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:39 pm

Ian Bostridge - twice? And nobody remembers Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? Either the critics have deliberately chosen to emphasize musicians still alive and active, or good grief!
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Barry » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:43 pm

My favorite sets of the four symphonies are:

1. Sawallisch/Dresden
2. Barenboim/Berlin Staatskapelle
3. Bernstein/VPO

With honorable mentions to Levine/Philadelphia and Zinman/Zurich and individual honors to Furtwangler's fourth with the BPO on DG, Boult's second, and the first two symphonies by Sawallisch/Philadelphia.
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:20 am

It's better than most other lists that have graced this Board recently... :wink:
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by val » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:24 am

The 4 Symphonies and Overture, Scherzo & Finale: Sawallisch with the Staatskapelle Dresden

and the 4th Symphony by Cantelli with the Philharmonia.

The piano concerto by Freire/Kempe, Anda/Kubelik, Rubinstein/Giulini.

The cello Concerto by Fournier and Fricsay.

And Manfred's overture in the extraordinary version of Furtwängler with the BPO (he recorded another one with the VPO, not at the same level of inspiration).

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Lance » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:17 pm

Interesting comment. I'm not all that sold on Bostridge, actually. Fischer-Dieskau would definitely take precedence in this case.
John F wrote:Ian Bostridge - twice? And nobody remembers Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? Either the critics have deliberately chosen to emphasize musicians still alive and active, or good grief!
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:48 pm

Lance wrote:Interesting comment. I'm not all that sold on Bostridge, actually. Fischer-Dieskau would definitely take precedence in this case.
John F wrote:Ian Bostridge - twice? And nobody remembers Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? Either the critics have deliberately chosen to emphasize musicians still alive and active, or good grief!
Bostridge is an excellent Singer, it's just that not everything he touches turns to Gold...although most of it comes pretty damn close... :wink:
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Lance » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:20 am

I have quite a few discs of Bostridge. I've always thought his voice was very thin and perhaps a bit unexpressive; nothing he sings touches me as does DFD, but Bostridge is, nonetheless, a fine singer. I just haven't heard (yet) repertoire from him that sends me over the top. I've learned from Chalkie that not every artist is going to appeal in the same to way to every listener or music lover. This seems to be especially true with vocalists.
Chalkperson wrote:
Lance wrote:Interesting comment. I'm not all that sold on Bostridge, actually. Fischer-Dieskau would definitely take precedence in this case.
John F wrote:Ian Bostridge - twice? And nobody remembers Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau? Either the critics have deliberately chosen to emphasize musicians still alive and active, or good grief!
Bostridge is an excellent Singer, it's just that not everything he touches turns to Gold...although most of it comes pretty damn close... :wink:
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Jack Kelso » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:52 am

Older recordings of just about every master are at least as fine as the newer ones. Schumann is no different. My PERSONAL favorites (for what they're worth) are:

Symphonies: Levine (except for the finale of the Fourth!), Muti and Sawalisch for complete sets. I recently got Inbal's First and Third (Philharmonia Orchestra on PentaTone Classics)----absolutely stupendous! Try to get that one! Herreweghe and Barenboim are pretty good, too. Also, Karajan and Thielemann for the Third, Bernstein for the Second.

Concerti: Serkin/Ormandy cannot be topped, but there are so many fine ones for the Piano Concerto(e.g., Grimaud/Salonen). Starker or du Pres are strongest for me in the 'Cello Concerto. The Naxos release of the Konzertstück für 4 Hörner with the American Horn Quartet is excellent! The Violin Concerto (my wife's fav!) gets superlative treatment from Szeryng/Dorati/London Symphony as well as Zehetmair/Eschenbach/Philharmonia. But...there are others....

Lieder: Wunderlich, of course for the "Dichterliebe". After that, there are tons of wonderful voices for the other cycles.....hard to choose!

Piano works: Best IMHO are Geza Anda, Richter and Rubinstein. A shame they didn't record more!! Ashkenazy also has some great moments....and while I enjoy his 7-CD Schumann box very much, some of his interpretations seem a bit too hasty.

Choral/Dramatic works: Beecham's "Manfred" (mono) is just magnificent. Sinopoli's recording of "Das Paradies und die Peri" brings out most of the deeper beauties of that score. Abbado/Berliner Philharmoniker "live" recording of "Szenen aus Goethes 'Faust'" is also sensational, but more restrained than Benjamin Britten's very dramatic reading from the 1960's. But both are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine.

"Genoveva" is (surprisingly, for me!) in good hands with Kurt Masur. I'm not normally a fan of his, but here he delivers the goods.....it's intense!

"Der Rose Pilgerfahrt" either in Schumann's orchestral version or for two pianos is absolutely a winner. Frühbeck de Burgos is my choice. Sawallisch for the Mass, op. 147 and Bernhard Klee for the Requiem.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Lance » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:48 pm

Speaking of Schumann, as his year winds down, you may want to consider the outstanding DGG 35-CD boxed set. I see even ArkivMusic has it about as inexpensive as it gets for them. This is truly a "jewel" edition and is a wonderful tribute to Schumann, probably the best one I've seen from any company, not surprising since Schumann was German and much appreciated in Germany. The other surprise edition came from Brilliant Classics [94008, 14 CDs, piano works only], which might be overlooked by some collectors. I have also the EMI sets issued in multi-CD boxes, which also has some golden moments. While I never thought of Vladimir Ashkenazy as a “extended Schumannist”, I was greatly impressed by many of his recordings in the budget-priced Decca box [470 915, 7 CDs], in fact, I found some Schumann pieces to be among the best of anything Ashkenazy has ever committed to disc.

One of the great pianists whose name is not frequently mentioned with regard to Schumann is Adrian Aeschbacher, who recorded one of the finest Davidsbündlertänzes I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. He recorded for Deutsche Grammophon initially and this was licensed to Donald Isler, our esteemed CMG member, who makes it available again on his KASP label. Among the finest Fantasiestückes, Op. 12 that I've ever heard comes from the piano of Benno Moiseiwitsch, which is worth seeking (recorded for HMV/EMI, appeared on RCA Bluebird, and lastly on the Testament label.

The Humoreske is another favourite piece of yours truly but seems to be largely neglected in the concert hall. Many fine recordings exist of this piece, but I am drawn to Sviatoslav Richter, de Larrocha, Brunoff, Lupu, and Frankl, along with some others.
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by bombasticDarren » Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:29 pm

Just some recordings which appeal especially to me:-

Symphonies: John Eliot Gardiner, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Archiv or Wolfgang Sawallisch, Staatskapelle Dresden, EMI

Piano Concerto: Radu Lupu/Andre Previn, London Symphony Orchestra, Decca or Martha Argerich/Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Teldec

String Quartets: Fine Arts Quartet, Naxos or Zehetmair Quartet

String Quintet: Martha Argerich/Dora Schwarzberg/Lucy Hall/Nobuko Imai/Mischa Maisky, EMI

Piano Trios: Beaux Arts Trio, Philips

Piano Solo: a selection from Pollini, Richter, Uchida, Kempff and Schiff

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Heck148 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:18 pm

My favorite Schumann symphony sets are

Bernstein/NYPO
Barenboim/CSO

I also like Szell/CO and Solti/VPO.

The best#2 I've ever heard is Reiner/CSO "live"

Levine/PhilaOrch #4 is very excellent. also.

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:27 pm

Lance wrote:Speaking of Schumann, as his year winds down...

Yippee...it seemed more like a decade than a year...
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:16 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Lance wrote:Speaking of Schumann, as his year winds down...

Yippee...it seemed more like a decade than a year...
Well then----2011 will be a joyous continuation of reviewing the new Schumann recordings! So you can look forward to perhaps even more postings about his music.

Of course, if the Schumann threads irritate you too much you really don't have to read them..... :lol:

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:39 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:Of course, if the Schumann threads irritate you too much you really don't have to read them..... :lol:
But, if I did that I would have nothing to ridicule...luckily, Le Rat only recorded the Piano Concerto and that was twenty years ago, fortunately he did not record the Symphonies, and that is about the only good thing that I have to say about him...

I did (almost) enjoy this recent Cycle of the Symphonies however... :wink:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dri ... mp_id=2722
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Lance » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:15 pm

I get very "hurt" when Chalkie speaks of one of my very favourite composers this way. :shock: :cry: :( I cannot get enough Schumann and even within the same works—symphonic or instrumental—there is such a variety of superb interpretations. Among the first people I want to see if/when I make it to the Pearly White Gates is Robert Schumann! I hope Chalkie will be there to meet the Great Master, too, but I'm not sure he's going to make it! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Chalkperson wrote:
Lance wrote:Speaking of Schumann, as his year winds down...

Yippee...it seemed more like a decade than a year...
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by arthound » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:28 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Of course, if the Schumann threads irritate you too much you really don't have to read them..... :lol:
But, if I did that I would have nothing to ridicule...luckily, Le Rat only recorded the Piano Concerto and that was twenty years ago, fortunately he did not record the Symphonies, and that is about the only good thing that I have to say about him...

I did (almost) enjoy this recent Cycle of the Symphonies however... :wink:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dri ... mp_id=2722
Chalkie - have you got the new remastering of the Levine RCA set? I would be interested to hear your thoughts - particularly on the 4th.

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:28 am

arthound wrote:Chalkie - have you got the new remastering of the Levine RCA set? I would be interested to hear your thoughts - particularly on the 4th.
I ordered it, won't play it for a few weeks though...
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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:47 am

arthound wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Of course, if the Schumann threads irritate you too much you really don't have to read them..... :lol:
But, if I did that I would have nothing to ridicule...luckily, Le Rat only recorded the Piano Concerto and that was twenty years ago, fortunately he did not record the Symphonies, and that is about the only good thing that I have to say about him...

I did (almost) enjoy this recent Cycle of the Symphonies however... :wink:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dri ... mp_id=2722
Chalkie - have you got the new remastering of the Levine RCA set? I would be interested to hear your thoughts - particularly on the 4th.

Image
Yes, indeed! I have the set---and it's one of the best. Only Levine's Fourth (Finale) doesn't agree with my sense of tempo, it's extremely slow in parts. But his Third ("Rheinische") treats the 4th and fifth movements as they SHOULD be played. I only slightly prefer Inbal's here.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:54 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Of course, if the Schumann threads irritate you too much you really don't have to read them..... :lol:
But, if I did that I would have nothing to ridicule...luckily, Le Rat only recorded the Piano Concerto and that was twenty years ago, fortunately he did not record the Symphonies, and that is about the only good thing that I have to say about him...

I did (almost) enjoy this recent Cycle of the Symphonies however... :wink:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dri ... mp_id=2722
Beermann is a good musician (his Mozart piano concerti cycle with Matthias Kirschnereit is very good), but I'm not terribly interested in a Schumann Third that lasts a mere 28 minutes---any more than I would enjoy a Brahms Third under half an hour. But maybe non-Schumann fans prefer the Zwickau Master when he sounds like Haydn! :)

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: NY Times Favorite Schumann Recordings

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:44 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:Beermann is a good musician (his Mozart piano concerti cycle with Matthias Kirschnereit is very good), but I'm not terribly interested in a Schumann Third that lasts a mere 28 minutes
I loved that, if only the four symphonies could be edited down to fit on a single compact disc, that would be my idea of heaven... :wink:
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