Thomas Dausgaard / Swedish Chamber Orchestra

Schubert: Symphony No. 6; Rosamunde (Incidental Music)

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Swedish conductor Thomas Dausgaard is something of a modern-day counterpart to Nikolaus Harnoncourt: a revisionist figure who inspires passionately differing responses. He and his handpicked Swedish Chamber Orchestra do not use historical instruments and techniques, but they are influenced by that movement; Dausgaard favors quick tempos, vibrato-free string sound, an emphasis on inner counterpoint, and a sound that's not so much affectless as invariably counter to type. The situation for the listener equipped with the means to sample recordings is ideal; you'll know fairly quickly whether you are attuned to Dausgaard's vision. That said, for those convinced that he has something new and intriguing to offer, this recording of Schubert's Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589, the so-called "Little" C major symphony, and the incidental music to Rosamunde, D. 797, may be a good place to start. The crisp, clipped gestures of the outer movements of the symphony, which somehow suggest neo-classicism, showcase Dausgaard's style and the impressive string ensemble work of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra to best advantage. Even if you were disconcerted by the Bergman-like tension of Dausgaard's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, there's little to be outraged about here, and the part-writing emerges with startling clarity. The Rosamunde music has similar virtues; Dausgaard offers a fine, precise, perhaps unemotional reading. This release is part of an "Opening Doors" series from the BIS label, which aims to present Romantic repertoire in an informal way; Dausgaard is pictured in the booklet in a casual short-sleeved top he might have bought at a super store. There's nothing informal about either the instrumental work or the fine engineering from Sweden's Orebro Concert Hall, however. Recommended to those after something new.

blue highlight denotes track pick