Schumann: The Symphonies - Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin (2004)
EAC Rip | FLAC, IMAGE+CUE, LOG | 571 MB | Covers(front + back)
Classical | Label: Warner Classics | Catalog Number: 61179 | RAR 3% Rec. | RS/Hotfile/Fileserve
Daniel Barenboim turned in a very decent if a touch heavy-handed account of Schumann's symphonies for DG with the Chicago Symphony, but this set is something else altogether: conducting of genius that immediately leaps to the top of the heap, sharing that position with the likes of Szell, Bernstein, and Sawallisch, while sounding better than any of them. Given the excellence of his Beethoven symphony cycle with these same forces, I expected good results from Barenboim, but nothing prepared me for music-making so gripping that you can play both discs and all four symphonies straight through at a single sitting and never once find your attention distracted (even at 2 am!). In fact there's so much going on here interpretively that verbal description can barely scratch the surface–but imagine Szell's care with balances (and liberal instrumental retouching here and there) allied to a healthy dose of Bernstein's animal energy and Sawallisch's light textures and ability to float a phrase at speed, and you'll have a good picture of what to expect. Barenboim doesn't put a foot wrong anywhere and these are some of the most treacherous works in existence.