WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Three Pieces in Old Style
PERFORMER: Susan Gritton (soprano); RPO/Yuri Simonov
CATALOGUE NO: TRP 084
At 53:17 minutes, Simonov and the RPO are the closest on any recording I know to the 54 minutes given in the score. The English soprano Susan Gritton sympathetically balances emotion and purity, but the sound on this Tring recording lacks clarity.
More importantly, Simonov often seems laboured. At both the beginning and the end of the first movement’s recapitulation, his nudging and stretching suggest a lack of faith in the whole enterprise. If he’d persuaded the RPO strings to achieve a real incandescence of sound, that lengthy winding down of the canon would have been much more convincing.
Kord on Philips has a more moving soprano (Joanna Kozlowska) and probably the best recorded sound. On Naxos – which, like the present disc, includes the composer’s Three Pieces in Old Style and is at budget price – Wit’s control of tempo and structure is much surer and the Polish National Radio SO plays as though it believed in every note. Keith Potter