Weber: Overtures; Horn Concertino in E; Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Weber
LABELS: Nimbus
WORKS: Overtures; Horn Concertino in E; Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2
PERFORMER: Anthony Halstead (horn); Hanover Band/Roy Goodman
CATALOGUE NO: NI 7062/3 Reissue (1986, 1988)
These are high-adrenalin performances of the symphonies, often rough round the edges, but relishing the young Weber’s rude, riotous energy and novel orchestral effects. A pity, though, that the ultra-cavernous acoustic – a hallmark of early Nimbus recordings – blurs so much detail in the tuttis. Anthony Halstead, supremo of the natural horn, revels in the zany humour of the Horn Concertino. The orchestra’s lack of finesse is more serious on the companion disc of overtures, where the competition is, of course, much stiffer. Plenty of game and gutsy playing here, but also some routine phrasing, dodgy ensemble and a balance which favours the brass at the expense of the wind and strings. Richard Wigmore

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