Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Symphonies-No 2

Magazine article Gramophone

Schubert: Symphonies-No 2

Article excerpt


Symphonies--No 2, D125 (a); No 6, D589 (b)

Basle Symphony Orchestra / Dennis Russell Davies

Sinfonieorchester Basel [F] SOB07 (59' * DDD)

Recorded live at the Stadtcasino, Basle, (a) August 28 & 29, "November 12-14, 2013

Having recorded the complete symphonies of both Haydn (Sony) and Bruckner (Arte Nova), Dennis Russell Davies is well placed to tackle the particularities of Schubert's intermediary idiom. The inner movements of the Second present just such a Janus-faced approach in microcosm. A pretty Andante tune gains warmth and grace with each added voice and every succeeding variation; the journey through major and minor, before hard-won quietude in the major, is one Haydn had taken with the Andante of the Drumroll Symphony.

The Basle orchestra make neat play with legato and staccato articulations from wind and strings respectively but Davies finds little more than clockwork charm. Down the road in Zurich, David Zinman's Tonhalle players use more pointed accents and lift the dotted rhythms. He brings real menace and not merely repetition to the Minuet's stamping gait. …

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