Schubert: Overtures in the Italian Style; Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished); Symphony No. 9 (Great C major)

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COMPOSERS: Schubert
LABELS: Philips Duo
WORKS: Overtures in the Italian Style; Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 3; Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished); Symphony No. 9 (Great C major)
PERFORMER: Dresden Staatskapelle/ Wolfgang Sawallisch, LPO/Raymond Leppard
CATALOGUE NO: 446 536-2/446 539-2 ADD (1967/72)
Sawallisch’s complete cycle of the Schubert symphonies is distinguished by fine, deftly controlled playing from the Dresden Staatskapelle. The earlier symphonies could have greater spontaneity, however, just as the later ones reveal the expressive concentration of Sawallisch’s interpretations. Take the Unfinished, whose remarkably slow Andante, despite being two minutes longer than Harnoncourt’s version, is nonetheless potently atmospheric. The two Overtures in the Italian Style reveal Schubert’s lighter side with idiomatic charm. The recordings are not always ideally clear, but the sound is generally vivid with natural presence. Nicholas Rast

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