Many thanks to Tovarnik for these little known virtuosi
The Franz Schmidt Third is a work of mystery and reflection, but it takes a sensitive interpreter to bring out this depth. Beautifully played by the Slovak Philarmonics at a relaxed pace that gives the work plenty of room to breathe, Libor Pesek reveals its secrets. It is a sun-dappled journey into a beautiful but unsettling place, melancholy and nostalgia throughout. There is an unmistakable undercurrent of shadow, even beneath seemingly ingratiating passages; the sound of darkness barely restrained (explosive in moments, only to be bottled back up again). Austrian to its core, there are distant echoes of Brahms (the opening motif sounds like a nod to the Brahms Serenade in A), Mahler, Richard Strauss, and Schubert, but in a uniquely individual voice. The somewhat bitterly ironic waltz of the third movement gives a nod to Ravel’s La Valse, which itself was ironic commentary.
Composer: Franz Schmidt
Orchestra: Slovak Philarmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Libor Pesek
Number of Discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 933 MB
The Schmidt Third is a reflective lament that rewards the patient listener. It is in its own way as powerful as the overtly dark Schmidt Fourth, if not more so. Those who would view the Third work as merely “sunny and happy” miss out on its substance, and many tight, brisk, rigid performances of this symphony do unfortunately reinforce this “happy music” fallacy. For example, Neeme Jarvi’s brisk, polished but superficial account blows past many of the subtleties. But Pesek gets it right, and so does the 1980s recording conducted by Ludovit Rajter (a student of Schmidt’s) with the Radio Bratislava Symphony on the Opus label. Both take the work at a relaxed pace. The Rajter recording has dry, thin sound and a slightly more acerbic texture. The interpretation is broader, warmer, more patient and relaxed, with better orchestral play and better sound.
Analyzed folder: /96k Franz Schmidt – Symphony No. 3 – Pesek
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR14 -0.59 dB -20.18 dB A1 I Allegro Moderato.aif
DR14 -8.31 dB -27.78 dB A2 II Adagio.aif
DR16 -1.20 dB -23.10 dB B1 III Scherzo. Allegro Vivace.aif
DR14 -2.38 dB -21.61 dB B2 IV Lento. Allegro Vivace.aif
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR14
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
- Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section.
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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