Brahms/Schubert/ Mendelssohn

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COMPOSERS: Brahms/Schubert/ Mendelssohn
LABELS: RCA Victor Gold Seal
WORKS: Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 5; Hebrides Overture
PERFORMER: Chicago SO/Fritz Reiner
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 61793 2 ADD (1956-60)
Reiner was a byword for clarity, precision and flexible phrasing, and all are manifest on this disc. The Brahms starts a shade fast and he omits the first-movement exposition repeat – crucial to the proportions of this more than most other symphonies – but he swings perfectly into the second subject of the finale, and the third movement has an engaging lilt. There’s no repeat, either, in the opening Allegro of Schubert 5, and Reiner pulls the time about most erratically in the third movement’s Trio. But the Andante is well moulded, and Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture makes a pleasing fill-up.Wadham Sutton