WORKS: Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 6; Overture Die Zwillingsbrüder
PERFORMER: English Sinfonia/Sir Charles Groves
CATALOGUE NO: IMP Classics PCD 968 DDD
The merits of Sir Charles Grove’s conducting are well known, namely a spruce attention to detail and a celebration of Schubert’s exhilarating inspiration. The introduction to both symphonies brings surprises – the second for its urgent Largo and the sixth for its sonorous Beethovenian weight -but nothing else detracts from Groves’s delightful lightness. He sustains the propulsion of the Second Symphony’s first movement with an exemplary dynamic vitality, yet enables the second subject to float with enticing charm. In contrast, the Andante of the Sixth delights with its poised woodwind solos and finds Groves in a blithe mood, which darkens for the Scherzo.
The recording is excellent; if it seems to produce a big-band Schubert sound, the effect is dissipated by the fleetness of the conducting. Neil Morris