Thielemann: Schumann - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 (FLAC)
Thielemann: Schumann - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 (FLAC)

Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra
Conductor: Christian Thielemann
Composer: Robert Schumann
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 283 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

# Symphony No. 1 in B flat major (“Spring”), Op. 38
Composed by Robert Schumann
Performed by London Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Christian Thielemann

# Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Composed by Robert Schumann
Performed by London Philharmonia Orchestra
Conducted by Christian Thielemann

Soft-grained, romantic styling that can be very poetic

A newcomer to this Schumann First and Fourth from Thielemann would be hard pressed to know what it’s like from the previous reviewers. The five-star review claims that the sytle here is like Masur and Kubelik when in fact those conductors prefer Schumann to be swift, bright, and extroverted while Thielemann is the opposite: this is measured, carefully molded, poetic Schumann to the extreme. The negative reviews carp about the recording quality, which is actually very fine, absent a single editing glitch.

So let’s start from scratch. Clearly Thielemann is bucking the modern trend of making the German classics swift and lean. Does he succeed? I think on the whole he does. Begin with the slow movement of the “Spring” Sym. and you will kow immediately if you like his surging, soft-grained, almost dreamy approach. Thielemann was more distinctive early in his career, but if you check his recent Parsifal and Tristan, you’ll hear the same soft grain and neo-romantic sensibility. Frankly, I was intrigued and my attention never wandered. Whether you like it or not — and some might carp that this is just imitaiton Furtwangler — this conductor clearly has something original to say, and that alone is much appreciated.

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