Locke: Musick for His Majesty's Sackbutts & Cornetts; Schumann: Symphony No. 1; Brahms: Symphony No. 2

Locke: Musick for His Majesty's Sackbutts & Cornetts; Schumann: Symphony No. 1; Brahms: Symphony No. 2

by István Kertész
     
 

It must have been an amazing concert: imagine programming Matthew Locke's "Musick for His Majesty's Sackbutts & Cornetts" and Brahms' "Second Symphony" on the same night. Yet here is proof that on February 15, 1966, István Kertész and the London Symphony Orchestra did indeed play both the austerely magnificent work of the English BaroqueSee more details below

Overview

It must have been an amazing concert: imagine programming Matthew Locke's "Musick for His Majesty's Sackbutts & Cornetts" and Brahms' "Second Symphony" on the same night. Yet here is proof that on February 15, 1966, István Kertész and the London Symphony Orchestra did indeed play both the austerely magnificent work of the English Baroque composer and the gloriously lyrical work of the German romantic composer. And as this 2008 BBC Music release shows, they performed them both brilliantly. Played by the English orchestra's brass section, Locke's music receives a robustly rhythmic and vigorously virtuosic performance that the Hungarian conductor molds with a firm but sympathetic hand. Even better is the Brahms' "Second." Rarely has the work's colors glowed warmer, its themes soared higher, its harmonies sounded deeper, and its structures been firmer than in this performance. Listen to the way Kertész shapes the opening Allegro non troppo so it naturally unfolds or the way the London Symphony's brass blends with the strings and winds in the closing Allegro con spirito so the final triumph seems inevitable. Coupled with the 1966 Locke and Brahms concert is a recording of Schumann's "First Symphony" from a concert by Kertész and the London Symphony from three and a half months earlier on November 30, 1965. At first, the performance appears much inferior with an opening Andante un poco maestoso that's rhythmically soggy and texturally swampy. But as soon as the Allegro molto vivace starts, the performance takes off and never looks back. As in the Brahms, indeed, as in virtually all Kertész's studio recordings with the London Symphony for Decca, the tempos are alert, the colors rich, and the forms compelling. Anyone who likes these works or who admires the Hungarian conductor's work will surely enjoy this disc. Taped in stereo, the sound here is clear, deep, and detailed, not as full and round as on Kertész and the London Symphony's recordings on Decca, but still very impressive.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2008
Label:
Bbc Legends
UPC:
0684911422924
catalogNumber:
4229
Rank:
144353

Tracks

  1. Music for His Majesty's sackbutts and cornetts, suites (2) for 2 cornetts & 3 sackbuts  - Matthew Locke  - István Kertész  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick  - John Patrick
  2. Symphony No. 1 in B flat major ("Spring"), Op. 38  - Robert Schumann  - István Kertész  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick  - John Patrick
  3. Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73  - Johannes Brahms  - István Kertész  -  London Symphony Orchestra  - John Patrick  - John Patrick

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