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Martinu-Symphonies Nos 3 and 5 [CD]

Arthur Fagen , National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 4.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Martinu-Symphonies Nos 3 and 5 + Martinu: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 + Martinu - Symphonies Nos 1 & 6
Price For All Three: 12.97

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Dec 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00005U4W2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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View the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: Allegro poco moderato 9:34Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: Largo 8:23Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 3, H. 299: Allegro - Andante - Andante poco moderato - Largamente11:27Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: Adagio - Allegro - Adagio - Allegro 9:07Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: Larghetto 9:33Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 5, H. 310: Lento - Allegro - Poco Andante - Allegro12:30Album Only


Product Description

CD Composer: Martinu,Bohuslav

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music for a fiver 11 Feb 2002
Format:Audio CD
This disc is definitely worth its modest cost. The Symphonies of Martinu are a world unto themselves and well worth exploring - not quite like anything else. There are odd echoes of Stravinsky, Janacek + even Copland? and no doubt lots of others, but, in the end, these are quirky and individual pieces. They are also very rewarding and approachable, not at all of the plink, plonk, crash, wah school. Nos 3 and 5 are probably two of the best of the 6 for the newcomer to Martinu's idiom, and No 3 is particularly well played in this Naxos version. No doubt both symphonies have been and will be played in a more award-winning style than here, but this performance of No 3 is worth the price alone and this disc should certainly win over some new converts to this composer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best 17 Mar 2010
By Mr. A. R. Boyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Martinu's symphonies, perhaps unlike the rest of his output, are generously served by available recordings. Some of them are very good. I would recommend first of all the complete set by Bryden Thompson with the Scottish National Orchestra. The full set is on Chandos with bright sound and these are the most colourful and urgent versions to be had. Alternatively, also on Chandos, there ar esome excellent recoridngs with Jiri Belohlavek and the Czech Philharmonic. If you're looking for individual symphonies and at a budget price then this Naxos recording beats the competition. The sound isn't as good as Chandos, particularly on higher register instruments but it is okay overall. The performances are very good and Arthur Fagen is clearly an expert Martinu interpreter.

What about the symphonies? The third is a war symphony through and through but with Martinu's typical mature mix of neo baroque discipline and radiant lyrical expression. The "Slow" middle movement is particularly impressive, blending some menacing neo baroque fugal writing, war drum beats, and anguished lyricism. Thompson's performance on Chandos probably takes this section a bit too fast but Fagen is spot on. The dramatic outer movements are equally impressive, especially the finale that melts into the most meltingly delicious pastoral lyricism with still just that hint of menace in the background. For such a short symphony this work has quite a clout. If I have any reservation it is tha the picks through the urgen topening movement a little carefully.

The fifth is rather more enigmatic - perhaps Martinu was reflecting, after the war was won, on what happens next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Workman-like at Best 22 May 2013
Format:Audio CD
"The artist is always searching for the meaning of life, his own and that of mankind, searching for truth. A system of uncertainty has entered our daily life. The pressures of mechanisation and uniformity to which it is subject call for protest and the artist has only one means of expressing this: by music." Thus speaks Bohuslav Martinù, one of the Twentieth Century's greatest composers. By virtue of his conservative idiom, he has never received his due in sharp contrast to contemporaries of lesser talent. His time is coming. Martinu has a distinctive patina of his own which is a hallmark of a great composer; his music is instantly recognisable.

Martinu's Fourth Symphony is his calling-card on eternity but there is much to be said for its siblings on either side. The Third is a wartime, exilic work written "by the rivers of Babylon" whereas the Fifth, written in 1946, is mired in the tensions of the post-war years when it appeared that the conflagration past was a mere prelude to Armageddon. Both symphonies are top-tier Martinu.

Reader, it is horses for courses. Leave Elgar to the Poms and Bruckner to the Germans - and if an old unrepentant Nazi is around to conduct the latter, so much the better. Equally, Martinu belongs to the Czechs like no-one else. Place a Belohlavek, Neumann or an Ancerl in front of the Czech Philharmonic and a bullseye invariably ensues.

Re this Naxos disc. It is a stopgap and no more, particularly when the Naxos recording is so pedestrian. I cannot hear any deep-set affinity between the Ukrainian orchestra and the composer. Surely you can do better.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Introduction to Martinu 13 Mar 2004
By Joshua Grasso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sad to say, I really didn't know Martinu's music until a concert at the Cincinnati SO last month, where they took his marvelous Frescoes for an outing. I was riveted from the first movement to the last, and immediately set out to discover more of his work. I started here, with this marvelous collection of symphonies, each one unique, masterfully orchestrated, and impossible to forget even after a first listening. Kuchar and the Ukraine Orchestra have performed much neglected repertoire on Naxos over the years, from Prokofiev's symphonies to Ippolitov-Ivanov's colorful suites. Martinu's music is a much more formidible challenge, since there's so much going on here, and a second-rate orchestra cannot make this music work. It would simply dissolve into a formless mush of music and color. Kuchar has a keen eye on the development of each symphony, allowing even the novice listener to trace the journey through a succession of moods and landscapes.
The two symphonies form a nice contrast, since the Third is more tempesutous, with a rhythmic piano providing Stravinsky-ish percussion throughout. The Fifth, though volatile at times, is more lyrical and calm, with an expansive, glorious finale. But most of all, I'm surprised how "first rate" Martinu's voice is. There's no filler here, no tedious passages of bombast or hackenyed melodies; to me, it all works, and works so well I can't understand why his music isn't played as much as Prokofiev or Shostakovich. He's certainly less dour than the latter gentleman (if a touch less profound).
Once again, it pays to buy Naxos. It's a great way to dip your toe into uncharted waters, though I rarely find the Naxos recordings a mere introduction--they typically remain my first or second choice. I imagine this will be the case with Martinu's Third and Fifth symphonies. Highly recommended if you enjoy Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravisky, Respighi, Dvorak, Bax, Walton, or Vaughan-Williams.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Workman-like at Best 22 May 2013
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"The artist is always searching for the meaning of life, his own and that of mankind, searching for truth. A system of uncertainty has entered our daily life. The pressures of mechanisation and uniformity to which it is subject call for protest and the artist has only one means of expressing this: by music." Thus speaks Bohuslav Martinù, one of the Twentieth Century's greatest composers. By virtue of his conservative idiom, he has never received his due in sharp contrast to contemporaries of lesser talent. His time is coming. Martinu has a distinctive patina of his own which is a hallmark of a great composer; his music is instantly recognisable.

Martinu's Fourth Symphony is his calling-card on eternity but there is much to be said for its siblings on either side. The Third is a wartime, exilic work written "by the rivers of Babylon" whereas the Fifth, written in 1946, is mired in the tensions of the post-war years when it appeared that the conflagration past was a mere prelude to Armageddon. Both symphonies are top-tier Martinu.

Reader, it is horses for courses. Leave Elgar to the Poms and Bruckner to the Germans - and if an old unrepentant Nazi is around to conduct the latter, so much the better. Equally, Martinu belongs to the Czechs like no-one else. Place a Belohlavek, Neumann or an Ancerl in front of the Czech Philharmonic and a bullseye invariably ensues.

Re this Naxos disc. It is a stopgap and no more, particularly when the Naxos recording is so pedestrian. I cannot hear any deep-set affinity between the Ukrainian orchestra and the composer. Surely you can do better.
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