Neeme Järvi

Franz von Suppé: Overtures; Marches

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The operettas of Franz von Suppé were once enormously popular in Austria and Germany in the 19th century, though nearly all of them have become obscure except for the overtures and marches that have survived in the modern pops concert repertoire. Such favorite overtures as Light Cavalry, Poet and Peasant, and Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna are still regularly programmed, and they are undoubtedly the best-known pieces on this 2013 Chandos release by Neeme Järvi and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Suppé's music is energetic and unpretentious, and everything on this album could be characterized as light music, but apart from the three pieces mentioned above, little of it is memorable or especially appealing. Järvi and the orchestra give vivacious performances and offer them in DSD sound in the hybrid SACD format, so the music has terrific sound quality going for it. But the true value of audiophile recordings is to be found in the depth and richness of orchestral sonorities and the subtlety of the playing, neither of which really pertain to Suppé's superficial and often mediocre pieces. The musicians certainly perform a generous service to his handful of greatest hits, but this disc is not essential listening.

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