Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
a stirring rendition of some of the finest symphonic literature
on 25 February 2008
A stunning recording of some beautiful (and, I feel, very much under-rated) symphonies. The orchestra capture all that is necessary to bring these wonderful symphonies to life, with a brilliant, bright tone (neither too light nor too heavy - ideal for the repertoire) and a technically superb sense of ensemble. Expertly conducted by Harnoncourt, perfect tempos, clear and traditional readings whilst shedding new light on old masters. I particularly enjoyed listening to the third and eighth symphonies. Also included are two overtures in the Italian style.
The recording quality is perfectly clear without being "tinny". The CDs are presented in four sleeves inside a box with ample programme/sleeve notes - a booklet of some 62 pages outlining the history of each work, its place in Schubert's repertoire, the development of symphonic form, and of course the biographies of the performers. The only bad comment I can pass is that the works are not presented in order (they run as nos.1, 4, Italian overtures, 2, 6, 3, 5, 8, and 9), although this is a minor point and for most listeners will not be a cause for concern.
Do not be put off by the relatively low cost nor the fact that it comes from the Warner Classics label (who, I think it is fair to say, are not exactly renowned for the world's finest recordings) - this set is a joy to listen to.