From my collection.
Bought in January 2010.
First listen CD 1: 26-1-2010.
Second listen CD 1: 25-10-2010.
Third listen CD 1: 30-10-2016.
First listen CD 2: 2-2-2012.
Second listen CD 2: 23-3-2012.
Third listen CD2: 31-10-2016.
Recording dates: CD 1: June 1986 & December 1986.
Recording venue: Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineers: Robert von Bahr, Siegbert Ernst.
Running time CD 1: 58:08. CD 2: 56:27.
Classical relevance: Not a a absolute must to have, there are better performances and recordings.
Symphony No. 1 & 8 CD 1.
No. 2 & 7 CD 2.
Works performed by: Stockholm Sinfonietta, Neeme Järvi.
It was some time ago that I played these works, and was not really satisfied with the recording, so I found it time to reassess my thoughts about them. As performances they are in a sense excellent, and only sometimes disappointing, but the real let down in the Symphonies 1,8,2,7 is the sound. Now the BIS founders deliver almost always good recordings, so no doubt they have tried in this instance also to reach their high standard. But that is not what I hear, and no doubt the acoustics of the Stockholm Concert Hall is responsible for this. Why von Bahr and the more experienced Siegbert Ernst chose to go ahead with the unpleasant and unclear acoustics is a riddle to me. Be it as it may, you will lose much detail over it, and the lower instruments tend to muddle up, and have a boomy effect. And that in turn lowers your appreciation of Gade's excellent Symphonies. For they are full of beautiful melodies and filigree detail that needs to be heard to get a full view on what Gade has to offer. And then the insistent loudness of the timpani at times, makes its effect a mockery of that contribution. But the message of the music comes across be it somewhat crippled. Jarvi appreciates the value of this composer, but he has to fight the ambiance, as dry as a bone. And there is also the fact of unresponsive playing of this Stockholm Sinfonietta that can get on your nerves at times. Still I will keep them in my collection for there is enough reason for me to keep them, despite my criticism.
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