Neeme Järvi

Schmidt: Symphony No. 1; Strauss: Four Interludes from Intermezzo

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Thickly viscous with a gelatinous texture and an oleaginous tone, Neeme Järvi and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's 1995 recording of the Symphony No. 1 of Franz Schmidt coupled with Interludes (4) from Intermezzo by Richard Strauss does neither work any good. Schmidt's Symphony is the first and least of four works in the genre by a minor master of the form and Järvi pumps it up into a bloated and bombastic parody of Bruckner. Strauss' Interludes (4) are charming little pieces of orchestral candy and Järvi pumps it up into fat and sloppy caricature of Salome dancing with Der Rosenkavalier. The DSO strives mightily but it lack of familiarity with and affection for the music is manifest. Chandos' sound is hazy and humid with breakups at climaxes.

For an example of Schmidt at his best, try the recording of hisSymphony No. 4 by Zubin Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic. It'll convince you that Schmidt was the heir of Mahler and the last great composer of Austrian symphonies. Järvi's recordings do the works a disservice.

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