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Reviews: Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 - Gilbert

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Site review by Adrian Cue September 28, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Site review by Castor October 24, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
The text for this review has been moved to the new site. You can read it here:

Review by hiredfox October 22, 2012 (11 of 17 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Well, time to lay a few ghosts to rest. There are no noises off to distract during these performances.

After all the nonsense early on in this thread it was with a sense of trepidation that we settled down to spin this disc for the first time. The nervous tension that accompanied the performance was entirely misplaced so I have to ask exactly to what were the critics listening?

The other ghost is the one that haunts Avery Hall at least in the minds of some of our US friends. Like the Barbican, Avery Hall stage is wood faced so one might be forgiven for expecting a rather dead sounding acoustic. You wouldn't believe it from the evidence of this recording; whilst the acoustic may not be the best we hear on disc it is also a very long way from being the worst. Here the sound is expansive and airy and quite realistic.

Alan Gilbert, like Andrew Litton and Marin Alsop is a graduate of the Julliard School and they are not of disimilar age. To me there is a marked similarity in their conducting styles perhaps best characterised as being studied even cerebral and precise. The New York Phil play with more than their usual crispness and panache under his baton and here produce two excellent taught readings of these lesser known works of Neilsen setting a decent benchmark for this series and for the challengers. Perhaps one senses a touch too much restraint here and there where maybe a slacker reign and a little more derring do might help the excitement but let's wait for the later symphonies to judge that fairly as these early symphonies tend to be less dramatic than those.

There is nothing on SACD to compete at present and promised offerings need to show their mettle to go better. Personally I wouldn't wait. Just to have the Phil on SACD disc is reward enough

Symphony No 2 is a 96/24 recording up-sampled to DXD for mixing and editing a strange philosophy that is not explained. Why not use DXD from outset? In my opinion up-sampling always rounds off the edges of upper registers without any improvements to inner dynamics and positioning. Symphony No 3 is DXD throughout.

[edited version of entry on thread with corrections]

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