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  Membran -
  Berwald: Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4 - RPO/Bolton
  Franz Adolf Berwald: Symphony No. 3 in C major "Sinfonie Singuliere", Symphony No. 4 in E flat major "Sinfonie Naive"

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ivor Bolton (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 2

Review by Peter November 14, 2006 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Berwald Symphonies 3 and 4 - RPO Bolton

These are very good performances, with excellent playing from the RPO, of these still underrated works. I'd love to hear them live. Whilst I'm pleased to add this disc to my collection, I feel that some of the wittiness of these works doesn't communicate quite as well as Ehrling achieves in his well-respected set for Bis, and my favourite Berwald disc remains the BPO with Markevich (DG mono) which fizzes with energy, as do Ehrling's complete symphonies, my second favourite, which benefit from just the right tempi and very good recording quality.

Compared with Neeme Jarvi's excellent set on DG, Bolton's tempi feel far too slow, and much listening to various sets of these wonderful symphonies has led me think after all these years that Jarvi pushes ahead just too much. The Goodman set on Hyperion is also quite successful and well recorded, but Ehrling remains for me now the best overall choice for all four symphonies. Alas, these are not available on SACD. I can also recommend Kamu's recordings on Naxos as an alternative to Ehrling's as they, too, are played with great insight into Berwald's sound world. Again, these are available on CD only.

In stereo the recording quality is very good if very much multi-miked, with excellent string sound (top to bottom); the phasing is correct and the time between tracks is more normal than reported about previous releases in this series. However, there is rather less depth to the soundstage here than in the fine Bis recording mentioned above, but at jpc's price this should be very tempting to anyone wanting to dip their toe in the water. For those who've never heard Berwald, you might think prototype-Nielsen/Schumann with a sense of humour. Whether this disc cuts the mustard as the only example of Berwald's music is debatable.

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Review by raffells December 3, 2005 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is the only Membran from the current batch thats getting 5 stars for both recording quality and performance.I am very fond of this music having grown to like the Bjorlin box of his 4 symphonies concertos and poems I totally disagree that the later DGG version was anywhere near as good in either lp or CD format.The Chandos release was slightly better than the DGG but I am now totally convinced that this version by the same orchestra as Bjorlin used is a winner.
These two of his best symphonies are some where between Mendlessohn/Schumann/ Brahms and Schubert in style. If you are not familiar with these works I would suggest you just buy them and then start asking why his other works are not available.To be honest only the Violin concerto rises to the same heights.
Interestingly enough this was recorded at CTS studios London and its slowly becoming clear as to which venues produced the better sonics in these pretty varied quality Membran reissues.Its also nice to have something other than the standard rep...
60 minutes of delight.Strong recommendation..usual average out of date booklet and artwork with usual shortish gap between movements .Doesnt matter of the batch so far ...Dave

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Works: 2  

Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 3 in C major "Sinfonie Singuliere"
Franz Berwald - Symphony No. 4 in E flat major "Sinfonie Naive"