Having only recently invested in an SACD player I was extremely excited to begin re-hearing and acquiring SACD versions of music which I was already quite acquainted with over the years. A request to the genial Swiss company Tudor soon found some SACDs in the post and it was good to start off with their Schubert symphony cycle rather excellently conducted by Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.
For a start the surround sound really adds a new dimension to the whole listening experience. The strings and woodwind coming at you from different directions truly enhance the enjoyment one gets out of a good performance. Nott chooses judicious and energetic tempi in the 2nd and 4th symphonies with the opening movements very much engaging as well as a pretty boisterous Finale in both works.
The second disc brings together the Fifth and Sixth symphonies and here I was again pretty much bowled over by the superb sound on offer. Nott's Fifth is rather similar to more illustrious names such as Beecham, but he always lets the music speak for itself with the lovely Andante con moto particularly moving. The same goes for the Sixth, "Little C Major" which dances around with bucolic intensity.
Nott has already given us similarly polished versions of the 1st, 3rd, 7th and the "Great" symphonies (Tudor SACD 7144) which are obviously a must have for anyone interested in completing this glorious SACD cycle. Detailed and informative notes as well as lovely presentation set the seal on what can be termed as one of the most satisfying Schubert symphony cycles of recent times with the SACD sound an added bonus.
Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech