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Schnittke: Symphonic Prelude / Symphony No. 8 / For Liverpool CD

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Audio CD, CD, 29 Mar 2005
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Product description

BIS 1217; BIS - Svezia; Classica contemporanea Orchestrale

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Late Schnittke deserved better treatment... 24 Jun. 2007
By villegem - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just like the previous reviewer, I acquired this CD for the two premiere recording of Schnittke's late works "symphonic prelude -1993" and "For Liverpool- 1994" for I had already the existing two recordings of the 8th Symphony. From the first bars of the Symphony No.8, it was eminently clear that the orchestra and the conductor were out of their depth and out of breath. Polyansky's version is also my personal favorite because he brings a nobility and an unushered time and space to this work that is unmatched, luminous.
So what does it suggest for the interpretation of the two other pieces under the baton of Lu Jia? Is it a case of the Bis Otaka's reading of Schnittke's 6th and 7th? Perhaps...
The symphonic prelude is a dark piece reminiscent of Wagner overture to Tannhauser. Under Lu Jia I found it lacking purpose, meaning: it seems the overall vision of the piece was not present. Late Schnittke is minimalist and thus challenging to convey. Those who understand the work -such as Polyansky- are able to convey the composer's thread.
For Liverpool is shorter and in a sense more in line with a classic Schnittke short show piece with plenty of surprises. However one feels the conductor is discovering the score as you do...
If Bis can be congratulated for keeping recording the complete Schnittke, not all outputs are of the same quality. Recently I reviewed their latest effort under the impulse of Alexander Ivashkin, featuring Symphony No.0 and the oratorio Nagasaki, early pieces that were given high quality treatment.
I cannot wait to hear Polyansky or Rozhdestvensky or Eri Klas record these pieces again: at that point their merit as compositions could be properly assessed.
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