WAGNER: Tannhäuser Overture. SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2
in D, Op. 43
MOZART: Symphony No. 14 in A, K. 114. Symphony No.18 in F, K.
130. Symphony No. 20 in D, K, 133, Symphony No. 39 in E flat, K. 543.
Symphony No. 41
in C, K. 551 ":Jupiter."
MESSIAEN: Trois petites Liturgie de la Présence divine.
O sacrum convivium! Cinq Rechants.
Andris Nelsons is enjoing a triumphant first season as music director of theBoston Symphony, and rigtfuly so. He has brought new excitement to the famed orchestra, his concerts are sold out and there is international interest in whats going on in Boston. This SACD offers two performances, the Wagner Tannhäuser Overture from September 2013 and November of the same year. The Wagner is a surprisingly sedate performance, but the Sibelius is much more successful. Currently there are about 100 recordings of the Sibelius available inclding the first ever made about eight decdes ago with th e commposer's friend, Robert Karajnus and the London Symphony. And just about every major conductor has recorded it, and some of these are on SACD inclding Mariss Jansons/Concertgebouw, Sir Colin Davis/London Sympny and Pavo Järvi/Cincinnati.
James Levine has specialized in Mozart throughout his career. Over three
decades ago he recorded all 41 symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic,
and he has recorded any of the operas, sometimes more than once. Now
we have this two-disk set of Symphonies 14, 18, 20, 29 and 41 recorded
his tenure of the Boston Symphony, in 2009. As one would expect, these
fist-class performances beautifully played, and recorded sound, particularly
when experienced in SACD mode) is very good. However, this is a full-price
set and I cannot imagine why collectors would be interested particularly
when the fine early Vienna Philharmonic set is currently available at
super-budget price and costs about the same as this new release that
contains only 5 symphonies. Unless you are interested in Levine's latest
Mozart, skip this one.
R.E.B. (June 2015)