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Martinu: Symphonies (The) [Box set]

Neeme Bamberg Symphony Orchestra | Jarvi , Bohuslav Martinu , Neeme Jarvi Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 27.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Neeme Jarvi
  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinu
  • Audio CD (19 Sep 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: BIS
  • ASIN: B0000B0A08
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 1, H. 289: I. ModeratoBamberg Symphony Orchestra10:25Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 1, H. 289: II. AllegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 7:590.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 1, H. 289: III. LargoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 8:23Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 1, H. 289: IV. Allegro non troppoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 9:58Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 2, H. 295: I. Allegro moderatoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 6:190.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Symphony No. 2, H. 295: II. Andante ModeratoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 7:580.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Symphony No. 2, H. 295: III. Poco allegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 4:430.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Symphony No. 2, H. 295: IV. AllegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 5:080.59  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: I. Allegro poco moderatoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 8:45Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: II. LargoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 8:36Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: III. Allegro - AndanteBamberg Symphony Orchestra11:49Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 4, H. 305: I. Poco moderatoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 7:000.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Symphony No. 4, H. 305: II. Allegro vivoBamberg Symphony Orchestra 9:07Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 4, H. 305: III. LargoBamberg Symphony Orchestra10:13Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 4, H. 305: IV. Poco allegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 7:140.59  Buy MP3 

Disc 3:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: I. Adagio - AllegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 9:04Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: II. LarghettoBamberg Symphony Orchestra10:05Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: III. Lento - AllegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra12:16Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 6, H. 343, "Fantaisies symphoniques": I. Lento - AllegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 8:35Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 6, H. 343, "Fantaisies symphoniques": II. Poco allegroBamberg Symphony Orchestra 7:430.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Symphony No. 6, H. 343, "Fantaisies symphoniques": III. LentoBamberg Symphony Orchestra11:35Album Only

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars buy the Brilliant set!! 30 May 2010
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I have the same set (same works, same performances) but on the Brilliant label and bought it from Amazon at a quarter of the price of this one. For some reason it doesn't currently come up on Amazon when you search but it is, I know, still available. Here is a link Martinu : Complete Symphonies. This is a rewarding set (I provide a longer review under the Brilliant label's set).
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Available on the Brilliant Classics label 30 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD
Here it is, Martinu: Complete Symphonies [Box Set], same all, Brilliant Classics label, at 1/3 the price. Enjoy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jarvi's Martinu Cycle -- superb 9 Mar 2010
By Autonomeus - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I discovered this Brilliant box of Martinu in Berlin on the way to the Brecht-Weigel House on Chausseestrasse. An excellent bargain! (This BIS box has now been reissued by Brilliant at a bargain price.)

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) only began composing symphonies after fleeing the Nazis into American exile in 1941. He was of a generation that saw the symphony as passe -- Bartok was born in 1881 and Stravinsky in 1882, and Martinu was born in 1890 -- while Mahler was born in 1860, and Sibelius and Nielsen in 1865. Modernism entailed new forms and styles, and while Martinu was never a modernist he did inhabit a soundworld with a lighter touch full of dance rhythms, not heavy, four-square symphonies. But he received a commission from Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony, so he wrote a symphony. And then another, and another... He ended up composing a symphony a year every year from 1942 to 1946, No.s 1 through 5, and later a Sixth, his most popular. They are graceful, full of dancing rhythms, and of classical proportions, ranging from 23 to 36 minutes in length. Symphonies 1, 2 and 4 are in the traditional four-movement form, while No.s 3, 5 and 6 each have three movements. The First, Third and Sixth were premiered by the Boston Symphony, the Second was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra, the Fourth was premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Fifth is unique in having been premiered by the Czech Philharmonic and Rafael Kubelik.

Symphony No. 1 demonstrated that Martinu's gifts, previously applied to the concerto grosso form, all manner of chamber music, and opera, could be applied to great effect to the symphonic form, despite his misgivings. Its success spurred him on. Symphony No. 2 is shorter and uses Czech and Moravian folk melodies in the slow movement, his most Czech symphony, and features the use of several small groups of instruments. Symphony No. 3 stands out from the others in its dark and somber hue. While parts of the First and Second had reflected the war, the Third is clearly marked by it through and through. It is Martinu's only work that reminds me of Shostakovich in its gravity and tragic cast. It is a powerful work which ends without a triumphant resolution, despite Beethoven's Eroica being an inspiration and despite the D-Day landing at Normandy taking place shortly before Martinu completed it. Though atypical, I consider this to be one of the finest jewels in this string of six. The Fourth complements the Third perfectly as it celebrates victory. The second movement Allegro vivo reminds me of nothing so much as the scherzo to Beethoven's 9th, a propulsive dancing march rhythm. It has the forward momentum of the opening of Roussel's Third Symphony, but is lighter on its feet. And the Poco allegro finale is an ecstatic celebration, the triumph that was withheld at the conclusion of the Third. The Fifth is more questing and tentative after that burst of enthusiasm. It was first heard at the inaugural Prague Spring Festival in 1947. A head injury caused by a fall from an open second-floor terrace led to several years of expensive treatment and convalesence, but Martinu returned to composing at the peak of his powers. The Sixth was finished in 1953, and is the most broadly Romantic of his symphonies, sounding like Copland in parts with lush, sweeping melodies, and using the melody "Across the Wide Missouri," though I've never seen this mentioned anywhere. Listen for yourself and see. It remains one of Martinu's most popular works.

This box, with Neemi Jarvi leading the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, is now in direct competition with the Chandos box of Martinu symphonies with Bryden Thomson leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. They were recorded at about the same time -- Jarvi's cycle, originally on BIS, in 1987/1988, and Thomson's in 1989/1990. This set combines the works chronologically, with 1 & 2 on Disc One, 3 & 4 on Disc Two, and 5 & 6 on Disc Three. The Chandos box pairs 1 & 5, 2 & 6 and 3 & 4. I prefer the chronological ordering myself. The Chandos box is a "true box" with the discs in cardboard sleeves, while this Brilliant set is not actually a box, but rather a fold-out with three jewel-case inserts for the discs. Not as elegant, but it works.

Some have reached the sweeping conclusion that the Thomson set is faster than the Jarvi set. This is not totally accurate. Comparing movement by movement, Jarvi is actually faster in 8, while Thomson is faster in 13. It is true that Jarvi takes the slow movements more slowly, but the overall timing does not dramatically differ between the two. And while both cycles are fine accomplishments, I would not be without Jarvi's Third, which I prefer decisively over Thomson's because the opening is *faster.* Overall Thomson excels in bringing out the dancing rhythms in Martinu, while Jarvi is better at accentuating the more classical, more Germanic, elements, but these differences are relatively minor.

If you are a symphony lover, and/or someone interested in hearing great early 20th century classical music, you should definitely not miss the symphonies of Martinu!
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