:: The Flying Inkpot :: Carl Schuricht – Brahms Symphony 2, Choral works : Haenssler

:: The Flying Inkpot :: Carl Schuricht – Brahms Symphony 2, Choral works : Haenssler

Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 op. 73 D Major, Schicksalslied op. 54, Nänie op. 82 Historical Recordings 1954, 1966 Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra Carl Schuricht, conductor

Haenssler Classic

by Derek Lim

This all-Brahms CD is but the third volume of what looks to be an extensive retrospective of the art of the conductor Carl Schuricht. This performance of the second symphony stems from the last concert at the Sueddeutscher Rundfunk Stuttgart. Schuricht’s tempi seem broad in the opening of the first movement but things quickly pick up and this account turns out to be anything but autumnal – instead it’s sundrenched, with nary a shadow obscuring the joie de vivre that permeates everything. The orchestra plays with all their heart and if they don’t sound very Viennese, so be it – the performance isn’t any less enjoyable for that. The second movement and third movements are also taken briskly and feature tight ensemble and a strong familiarity with Brahms’ idiom as well as some lovely woodwind playing. Schuricht clearly has a palpable rapport with the orchestra but despite that this performance, while accomplished, doesn’t replace the classic Jochum/London Philharmonic Orchestra or Monteux/San Francisco Orchestra performances that I love. The coda in particular lacks the grandeur that I find so bracing in the Furtwängler performances or the heart-racing quality of the Jochum. As a souvenir of Schuricht’s artistry, so seldom captured in the studio, however, it is invaluable. Likewise, the performances of the choral works Schicksalslied (or Hyperions Schicksalslied) and Nänie will probably not be first choices – in terms of choral technique and recording technology they have been superseded many times over. But they are interesting for those who want to hear Schuricht conduct these choral works and are imbued with an idiomatic warmth typical of Brahms, despite the subject matter. As a way of wrapping up, may I say that it’s frustrating that a series as well-produced as the Carl Schuricht series should be bogged down by technicalities such as text and translation, which are not included. This series may have been targeted at the local German market, but the inclusion of text and translation in the booklet frequently tips the balance from mere curiosity toward actual purchase. In case this should bother you from getting this fine release, do note that the translations for these two works are available from the links below:http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=22407 Translation for Schicksalsliedhttp://www.sfbach.org/repertoire/nanie.html Translation for Nanie return to top

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