Carl Schuricht

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Schumann: Symphony No. 2

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With the best will in the world, it is hard to get enthusiastic about these recordings of Beethoven's Seventh and Schumann's Second with Carl Schuricht leading the SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. There are surely fine things here -- the piano return to the main theme in the Scherzo of the Seventh -- the impetuous tempo of the recapitulation of the Finale of the Second -- but Schuricht's rhythms tend to become wayward -- the development of the opening Vivace of the Seventh -- and forms tend to become intractable -- the Adagio espressione of the Second. To make matters worse, the Stuttgart players, although clearly enthralled by Schuricht, are not quite up to the demands of the music -- the strings' unity and intonation can sometimes be dreadful, the winds' tone and blend can sometimes be awful, and color and attack of the brass can sometimes be painful. Hanssler's remastering of the 1952 and 1959 originals is a bit gray and a little distant, but still respectable enough to pass.

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