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Daniel Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Robert Schumann: Symphonien Nos. 2 & 3 "Rheinische" (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Daniel Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Robert Schumann: Symphonien Nos. 2 & 3 "Rheinische" (1990)

Daniel Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Robert Schumann: Symphonien Nos. 2 & 3 "Rheinische" (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 355 Mb | Total time: 73:23 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 469 554-2 | Recorded: 1977

Robert Schumann often described the opposing “Florestan” and “Eusebius” facets of his own personality. The contrasts between the mercurial, exuberant Florestan and the more considered and introspective Eusebius comes into sharp focus when you compare these spectacular Chicago performances of Schumann’s Second and Third symphonies under Daniel Barenboim with their more recent Decca counterparts with Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra. Barenboim’s Chicago recordings were made in March, 1977. I took out my old DG vinyl copy, remembering my earlier enthusiasm for these accounts, but nothing could have prepared me for the tremendous sonic benefits realized in these new digital masterings.
These Galleria transfers have thrilling impact and presence, conveying the virtuoso playing of the Chicago Symphony to brilliant effect. Where Dohnanyi’s version of Symphony No. 2 constantly highlights the thematic unity that informs the work (with frequent references to its heroic motto theme), Barenboim’s focuses principally on the unsettled, obsessive nature of a work written as its composer was recovering from his first nervous breakdown in 1845. Barenboim’s reading lacks something of the lyric subtlety that Dohnanyi brings to it in his more measured, cerebral interpretation, but what it lacks in intellectual depth is counterpoised by the electric response Barenboim secures from his orchestra. And in the reckless Scherzo, the Chicago strings have all the bravado and technical reserves to play this histrionic movement faster than I’ve ever heard it done on disc.
Barenboim also gives a lucid yet relaxed and bucolic performance of Schumann’s Rhineland holiday journal, his Symphony No. 3 in E-flat (“Rhenish”). The solemn Cologne Cathedral scene is tremendously powerful, though the joyful finale is a touch too slow. But I still prefer Barenboim’s accounts of both works to Christian Thielmann’s controversial recent versions with the Philharmonia Orchestra on DG–and the urgent propulsiveness of these performances also sets them at some variance against Dohnanyi’s.
Lastly, while Barenboim’s Chicago disc won’t fail to excite most listeners, it doesn’t provide quite the degree of musical illumination that George Szell brought to these works in his 1958-60 recordings with Cleveland. Szell gave some of the most eloquent Schumann performances you’ll find anywhere, but he wasn’t above tampering with aspects of the composer’s “problematic” orchestration. You can judge the differences for yourself–Szell’s Schumann symphonies are available on Sony’s Masterworks Heritage label–but these wildly spontaneous, richly detailed, purposeful Barenboim readings remain a strong, highly recommendable choice.

Performer:
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim, conductor

Tracklist:
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61
01. I. Sostenuto assai – Allegro, ma non troppo
02. II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace
03. III. Adagio espressivo
04. IV. Allegro molto vivace
Symphony in E flat major, Op. 97 "Rhenish"
05. I. Lebhaft
06. II. Scherzo. Sehr mässig
07. III. Nicht schnell
08. IV. Feierlich
09. V. Lebhaft


Exact Audio Copy V1.6 from 23. October 2020

EAC extraction logfile from 23. December 2022, 14:32

- / Schumann: Sinfonien Nr. 2 & 3 'Rheinische'

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Daniel Barenboim, Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Robert Schumann: Symphonien Nos. 2 & 3 "Rheinische" (1990)

Thanks to the original releaser