Sibelius, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Mendelssohn,Mozart,Schubert,Sibelius
LABELS: Philips
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: George Szell
WORKS: Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 5; Symphony No. 34; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Rosamunde (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra/ George Szell
CATALOGUE NO: 442 727-2 ADD (1958-67)
Meticulous, dictatorial, and often cruelly ironic, George Szell was both profound theoretician and savage perfectionist. While elevating the Cleveland Orchestra to legendary status as its music director between 1946 and 1970, Szell’s recorded legacy with the Concertgebouw Orchestra included gripping accounts of Beethoven’s Fifth and Sibelius’s Second symphonies, likewise signalling the triumph of intellect, will and inspiration. His account of Mozart’s C major Symphony, K338, has astonishing élan and perfect Classical equilibrium, while compelling dramatic flair informs the Schubert and Mendelssohn works. Orchestral playing and digital remastering are of the highest quality; to paraphrase Szell himself, issues of this stature ‘begin where others have finished’. Michael Jameson

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