Schubert: Symphony No. 4 in C minor (Tragic); Symphony No. 5 in B flat; Rosamunde Overture

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COMPOSERS: Schubert
LABELS: Sony Essential Classics
WORKS: Symphony No. 4 in C minor (Tragic); Symphony No. 5 in B flat; Rosamunde Overture
PERFORMER: Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy, Columbia SO/Bruno Walter, Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell
CATALOGUE NO: S8K 60267 ADD Reissue (1961, 1967)
With a workaday reading of Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 (Tragic) from Ormandy and his Philadelphians, and Bruno Walter’s bleary-eyed Columbia Symphony Fifth, this re-hash from the CBS back catalogues is relieved only by George Szell’s majestic Rosamunde overture from Cleveland. In sum, these performances are adequate but unremarkable, and sound quality is mediocre at best. Karl Bohm’s classic 1966 Berlin version of the Fifth is masterfully authoritative, yet deliciously alluring and naturally idiomatic, while there are few more resolute and defiant versions of the Tragic than his 1971 recording. And with fresh-sounding transfers, too, the remaining delights of this DG set are just too plentiful to mention here – no Schubertian should miss it. Michael Jameson

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