I was not familiar with Gustav Mahler's orchestrations of the Schumann symphonies but after hearing these wonderful performances under the formidable baton of Riccardo Chailly I was completely bowled over by the sheer power of the music.
My favourite in the Schumann canon remains the so called 'Cinderella' which is Symphony #2. Chailly conducts with an inner feel for this noble music and all comes through in the magnificent Finale which matches the legendary Sawallisch for rhythmic incision. The overture to 'Genoveva' is also one of my favourite works and it too receives a sterling performance.
Chailly is also master of ceremonies in the ubiquitous Fourth Symphony, an early experiment in continuous linked movements. Again the Germanic pedigree of this magnificent Leipzig orchestra brings the music to the fore and I have nothing but praise for this version which ranks amongst the very best on all counts. There is really nothing more to add than an unhesitant and unqualified recommendation in all departments for this issue.
Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech