This well-filled disc includes some of the finest choral works by three Romantic-era composers which are often rather underrated especially the Schumann piece which is almost unknown. Nagano conducts a forceful reading of "Die Erste Walpurgisnacht", reminiscent of the classic reading by Peter Maag (Arts) with strong tempi and some delightful choral singing. This is now the version to have for this piece as both Dohnányi (Decca) and Maag even more are beginning to sound their age.
"Nänie' is also quite ravishingly done and is almost in the same league with Sinopoli's splendidly-recorded DG version as well as Robin Ticciati's equally fine rendering on Tudor. Schumann's "Der Königssohn' is an impressive piece which really struck me forcefully on first listen and Nagano treats the work with great respect, surely it is one of the discoveries of the year for me.
Farao delivers excellent sound in all departments and a fulsome booklet with detailed notes and full texts although there are no translations. A real winner apart from the rather staid front cover photo.
Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech.