JAMES FEDDECK

BBC Music Magazine - - THE FULL SCORE -

Con­duc­tor

Con­duc­tor David Zin­man’s record­ings of the Schu­mann sym­phonies with the Ton­halle Orches­tra have af­fected me in a very per­sonal way. I was not al­ways cap­ti­vated by these works, but work­ing with David on them com­pletely changed my view. In these record­ings, he truly re-eval­u­ates what Schu­mann ac­tu­ally wrote, and also shows a will­ing­ness to ex­plore ar­eas that oth­ers sim­ply take as read, such as the tem­pos and the thick­ness of the or­ches­tra­tion. There’s a great fresh­ness and sin­cer­ity here.

Mahler seems to have be­come such a per­sonal state­ment for con­duc­tors and so we have many great sym­phony cy­cle record­ings. But I al­ways come back to Clau­dio Ab­bado’s record­ing of Sym­phonies Nos 2 & 4 with the Chicago Sym­phony and Vi­enna Phil­har­monic or­ches­tras. What a priv­i­lege to have mezzo-so­pra­nos Mar­i­lyn Horne and Fred­er­ica von Stade singing in them – it’s like an all-star cast of its time! Ab­bado’s Mahler con­duct­ing al­ways has this very gen­er­ous over­all arc to it, as he doesn’t stop to smell all the flow­ers along the way.

I grew up with a cas­sette tape of Ge­orge Szell con­duct­ing the Cleve­land Orches­tra in Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, Till Eu­len­spiegel and Tod und Verk­lärung. Szell clearly had such a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with this mu­sic and, while there’s an al­most in­hu­man pre­ci­sion in there, it’s never at

fresh ap­proach: con­duc­tor David Zin­man sheds new light on Schu­mann

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