Posts Tagged ‘Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra’

Russian romantic music performed like this in a 1992 recording by Antoni Wit and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is the reason the Naxos label came out of nowhere to the kind of well-deserved prominence that makes ‘budget music’ seem an irrelevant misnomer.

Tchaikovsky’s great Symphony Number 5 is played with exceptional verve. The stirring Andante tempo that predominates in three of the four movements comes off majestically. If Tchaikovsky teetered on the edge of madness, he managed to transpose whatever chaos gusted in his soul into memorable late romantic lines that occasionally make one almost shudder. This fifth symphony set him up for the unforgettable sixth (‘Pathetique’), in which emotion burst whatever dam was still standing as he wrote this, its precursor. (more…)


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The six-note motif that introduces Robert Schumann’s Overture (later Scherzo and Finale), Op. 52 is the calling card of a formidable Romantic composer. In the main, the Schumann pieces included in this anthology of his overtures make due on the promise put down by those first six notes.

The Overture to Genoveva is as evocative as the tale its opera tells. The overtures to ‘Bride of Messina’, ‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Hermann and Dorothea’, ‘Faust’, and ‘Manfred’ are all beautifully performed on this 1992 Naxos recording by the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Johannes Wildner.

The market for operatic overtures is not huge. Naxos has done us a service with this serviceable presentation.

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