View Full Version : Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Gerard Schwarz

Mar-20-2007, 08:36
This recording of Schwarz’s version of the kinetically charged Schuman Third Symphony is projected with tremendous power. I rate this as amongst the most powerful works of the mid-20th century. Its war-time origins are consonant with both its primal violence and its soulfulness. While it has a steely and irresistibly euphoric joy in power it does not lack for elegiac substance. We can hear this in the throbbing Tallis-like singing of the strings in the Chorale.

While it wants that last ounce of quasi-hysteria to be heard in Bernstein’s still glorious 1960s version it is accorded a natural sounding yet potent recording. Bernstein’s better recorded 1980s Third is available on a DG set. His unmissable 1960-session Third is on a very desirable Sony CD if you can find a copy. However Schwarz’s is no mere stop-gap as the squat brass, jazzy and ruthless syncopation, gun-shot side drum ‘rounds’ and thrumming strings of the final five minutes of the Toccata instantly proclaim. Just superb! The rest is just as good.

The Symphony for Strings is in an idiom similar to that of the Third and has that same blood-rush. The string choirs are presented here with sonorous power from top to bass. One gains the sense of a nation’s soul at song and of boundless and bounding energy. Alongside this there is always an exciting and yielding humanity that often eludes composers such as Markevitch and Mossolov.

You can find more information at: http://www.naxos.com/reviews/reviews.asp#cd6. More information about the composer (http://www.naxos.com/composerinfo/1287.htm)