Weber: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2

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COMPOSERS: Weber
LABELS: ASV
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: CD DCA 515 DDD (1982)
It’s curious that these two symphonies aren’t in most orchestras’ regular repertoire. Both are in C major, a key that can get clogged, but which offers young Weber (like Bizet) few problems. Weber’s instinctive feel for the dance uplifts even outer movements, while the slow sections’ dark orchestral timbres – nothing too serious – are beautifully caught. Sole drawback is ASV’s 43 minutes. Sawallisch, on Orfeo, also offers only the symphonies, but the highly acceptable Naxos adds charming fillers and Roy Goodman’s plangent period instrument version on Nimbus (NI 5180) appends 12 minutes of splendid Horn Concertino. But this Marriner version will satisfy almost everyone. Roderic Dunnett

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