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Schumann: Symphony 1-4, Overtures Julius Caesar, Scherzo & Finale [CD]

Wiener Philharmoniker Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Georg Solti
  • Composer: Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (12 April 1999)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000026BKV
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,906 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Schumann: Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, Op.52 - 1. Overture (Andante con moto - allegro)Sir Georg Solti 5:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Schumann: Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, Op.52 - 2. Scherzo (vivo)Sir Georg Solti 3:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Schumann: Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, Op.52 - 3. Finale (Allegro molto vivace)Sir Georg Solti 5:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 1. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivaceSir Georg Solti10:56£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 2. LarghettoSir Georg Solti 6:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 3. Scherzo (Molto vivace)Sir Georg Solti 5:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Schumann: Symphony No.1 in B flat, Op.38 - "Spring" - 4. Allegro animato e graziosoSir Georg Solti 7:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 1. Ziemlich langsam - LebhaftSir Georg Solti11:12£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 2. Romanze (Ziemlich langsam)Sir Georg Solti 5:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 3. ScherzoSir Georg Solti 5:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Schumann: Symphony No.4 in D minor, Op.120 - 4. Langsam - Lebhaft - Schneller - PrestoSir Georg Solti 7:51£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Schumann: Overture "Julius Caesar", Op.128Sir Georg Solti 7:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61 - 1. Sostenuto assai - Un poco più vivace - Allegro ma non troppo - Con fuocoSir Georg Solti11:39£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61 - 2. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)Sir Georg Solti 6:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61 - 3. Adagio espresssivoSir Georg Solti10:06£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Schumann: Symphony No.2 in C, Op.61 - 4. Allegro molto vivaceSir Georg Solti 7:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 - "Rhenish" - 1. LebhaftSir Georg Solti 9:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 - "Rhenish" - 2. Scherzo (Sehr mäßig)Sir Georg Solti 6:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 - "Rhenish" - 3. Nicht schnellSir Georg Solti 4:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 - "Rhenish" - 4. FeierlichSir Georg Solti 6:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Schumann: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.97 - "Rhenish" - 5. LebhaftSir Georg Solti 5:56£0.79  Buy MP3 


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A set for good listening 26 May 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Good quality and fine interpretations. It is what you expect from Georg Solti with fine playing from the Viennese players.
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19 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condutor, Great Composer 11 Nov 2001
Format:Audio CD
This excellently priced collection features the symphony cycle of Schumann, one of the great 19th century composers, one of the "Big Eight" (The others are J.S. Bach, Wolfgand Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig von Beethoven, Schubert, Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, and Gustav Mahler). The playing is excellent, and the conducting is wonderful (as it is Sir Georg Solti!). If you love Sir Georg, you might also want to purchase his recordings of the Brahms and the Mahler cycles, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invigorating Schumann from Solti 29 Jan 2008
By Johannes Climacus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
To hear these wonderful creations of Schumann's spontaneously-combusting imagination is to fall in love with the art of music all over again. Did romanticism in full flower ever produce a symphony cycle as engaging as this? True, Bruckner is more profound; Brahms more coherent. But Schumann's genius is ever fresh, ever renewing. Nor was he as clumsy an orchestrator as has sometimes been supposed.

Solti's is one of the few consistently successful Schumann cycles. His tempi are well chosen, and he responds instinctively to Schumann's chimerical mood-swings. The VPO play spendidly--as to the manner born. Solti draws superb articulation from the strings particularly, so that the finale to the "Spring" and the scampering scherzo of the Second are given astonishing point and precision. The more atmospheric moments, such as the "Cologne Cathedral" movement of the "Rhenish" are also not slighted. Others, such as Szell and Karajan, have found a deeper vein of inwardness in the slow movement of the Second, and of course no-one can match Furtwängler's seamless transition to the last movement of the Fourth. But overall, Solti can rank alongside Bernstein and Szell as a consistently perceptive and predictably exciting Schumann interpreter. Indeed, he's warmer than Szell and less interventionist than Bernstein, so in many ways he achieves just the right balance.

Another advantage of this compilation is that, unlike many of its competitors, it includes the rarely-heard "Overture, Scherzo and Finale" (almost like having a fifth Schumann symphony--though not quite as good as the canonical four) and "Julius Caesar" overture (the latter not one of Schumann's more inspired creations, however). I would gladly have traded "Julius Ceasar" for "Manfred."

The remastered sound is clearly focused with a fair amount of amplitude, though the violins sounded a bit dry to my ears. But this is a minor reservation which should not deter prospective purchasers. The list price for this "twofer" is rather high, but it is available for far less from some of Amazon's "used and new" sellers.

There is much "listening for enjoyment" here.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent! 11 Mar 2005
By Ali Erol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I think, the first movement of the first symphony is best part of this record. Especcialy when one hears the presentation of the main theme! VPO is energitic under Solti thorough the disc. Savallisch's record on Emý has also its merits. But, Solti's tempo is magnificent in specific moments. Sound quality is very good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solti's Schumann shines 14 Oct 2011
By allemande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Robert Schumann used to get a bad rap. Critics faulted his orchestrations on the basis of balance and tended to dismiss his symphonies. In time, the "period instrument" movement revealed that Schumann's writing was just fine for the orchestras of his era, and the reputations of these wonderful works and their composer saw a proper rehabilitation. A really nice aspect of this Schumann symphony cycle, though, is that Georg Solti recorded it with a modern orchestra some years before performance on historically authentic instruments took hold. The lovely balances one hears in these recordings were attained by the hand and ear of a skilled conductor, leading a responsive body of musicians.

All four symphonies in this set can be recommended without hesitation, owing to Solti's clear affinity for this music. It is difficult not to have favorites, though. Mine are the last two, particularly the "Rhenish". In this one, every mood and nuance is felt and heard, appropriate tempos are employed throughout. In the first three movements, the broad passages soar and the lovely, lyrical melodies sing. The stately fourth movement attains mighty proportions at times, in keeping with the religious sense of awe that inspired it. And the final movement spreads pure joy, all the more because Solti does not rush things. It moves along to be sure, but is allowed to unfold naturally. If a better performance of this symphony exists I have not heard it.

In the Fourth Symphony, Solti gets the proper drama from this often brooding work, but surrenders to its tender moments as well. George Szell's recording arguably does these things better, attaining a remarkable structural sense and building to a breathtaking conclusion--and beating Solti to the finish line by nearly five minutes. But Solti is not out-classed here; his is just a different approach. While Szell seemingly injects more of himself into his reading--he was also known to have re-touched Schumann's scores, presumably over the balance issue--Solti takes Schumann more at face value. Both approaches work just fine for me.

When these recordings were first issued on LP in the late Sixties, they were praised for their warmth of sound--and criticized for not revealing enough detail. The Third and Fourth Symphonies were remastered for an LP re-issue, and this time more detail was present, but the warm glow was diminished. Needless to say, the low-resolution medium of compact disc does not settle any of this one way or another. But the recordings sound okay to my ears, and I enjoy them too much to quibble about technical matters.

Since these recordings were made, many other Schumann symphony cycles have been released, particularly after music scholars demonstrated their "rightness" performed on the instruments for which they were conceived. But, because Solti's recordings seem unjustly neglected these days, I would like to briefly mention others from the same era that also seem deserving. Of course, George Szell's Schumann recordings are outstanding, and there remains perhaps enough of a following for this conductor to ensure their survival in the marketplace. And there is Jerzy Semkow, whose Schumann cycle with the St. Louis Symphony for Vox remains very satisfying. Semkow was an underrated conductor and, at the time of these recordings, the St. Louis musicians had not received their due. Semkow, and his successor Walter Susskind, helped to lead this fine orchestra to prominence. Semkow's Schumann cycle, originally on LP and later on CD, may be hard to find just now, but worth the search.

In any case, thanks to Decca for keeping these wonderful Schumann performances by Georg Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic available in the digital age. They cannot become obsolete, and should continue to please all who value great music, well-played.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Set 14 Sep 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My favorite Schumann symphonic cycles, in no particular order, are those by Dausgaard, Szell, Sawallisch, Goodman, Gardiner, Bernstein (NYPO) and Masur (Gewandhaus). And this one, usually bringing up the rear of the favorites. Not that I mean that as a slight. Though the recordings are over four decades old, the sound is mostly clear and fresh, and I find the playing to be energetic. Sometimes there are changes in loudness that I find a little too much, but that's a quibble. As noted by at least one other reviewer, one gets the Overture, Scherzo and Finale in the deal as well, as well as the Julius Caesar Overture, which has always been a favorite of mine. For a strong mid-price Schumann symphonic set, this one certain is worth considering.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than Bernstein with the same orchestra. 1 Mar 2010
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a really lovely and thrilling Schumann symphonic cycle.
Wonderfully played and with better tempi judgment from conductor.
The highlight could be the fantastic 2nd that is a jewel in Soltí's
hands. This is a safe recommendation and enough for anyone that want
only one anthology of this symphonies.
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