Related Reviews
The Times
4 Stars
Prom 40: 'Ticciati is about to start his ninth and final season with the SCO and the rapport is evident in the freedom, a cultivated kind of spontaneity, that he achieves with the group.'
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The Independent
4 Stars
Prom 40: '...glinting gold with sunlit horns, now a bubbling rush of strings.'
more >>
Seen and Heard
Prom 40: '...this was bracing Schumann, and a real tonic at that.'
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Financial Times
Prom 40: 'Everything about the symphony was pleasingly gemütlich.'
more >>
Bay Area Reporter
2015's best in classical recordings: 'Simply the best I've heard.'
more >>
Fanfare
'This is one of the best Schumann symphony cycles to come my way in a very long time, maybe even ever...'
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BBC Music Magazine
'Building A Library' Recommended Recording of Schumann's Symphony No. 2
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Classica
«On apprécie d'autant plus Ia finesse et Ia musicalité de certains pupitres (clarinette, hautbois) qui donnent véritablement un supplément d'âme à leur lecture et n'enferment pas Ia musique dans des éclairages monochromes ou bien, à l'inverse, dans une démonstration purement virtuose.»
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Sir Simon Rattle in Gramophone
'Robin makes a clear case for how the revised version can retain the radical edge of the 1841 version. Still it sounds like a fireball and I take my hat off to him.'
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BBC Music Magazine
Top Recommendation: 'I'd opt for Ticciati, whose exhilarating Rhenish has all the makings of a modern classic.'
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Herald Scotland
Pick of 2014: '...Robin Ticciati and the SCO released an astoundingly good Schumann symphony cycle...'
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Herald Scotland
'And you can hear [Schumann's playfulness] all the way through Robin Ticciati's new and widely-acclaimed recording of the symphonies with the SCO.'
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Inside Story
'No new release has given me greater pleasure in 2014 than conductor Robin Ticciati's survey of the four symphonies of Schumann with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.'
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De Volkskrant
#23 in da Volksrant's 'Best Albums of 2014' of all genres
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Audiophile Audition
'Linn has given their all to Ticciati, and it sounds splendid.'
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The Sunday Times
#9 ‘Classical Record of the Year’: ‘In a competitive year, Ticciati’s lithe, youthful accounts of the great works produced the trump card.’
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Fono Forum
5 Stars
,,Ticciati zeigt sich als Meister des fein akzentuierten Rhythmus und der subtilen Klangwirkungen, fördert interessante Nebenstimmen zutage, die man noch nie gehört zu haben meint, und differenziert herzerfrischend auf der artikulatorischen Ebene - freilich im Rahmen dessen, was die Partitur erlaubt. Brillant gespielt sind die vier Werke hier ohnehin.''
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Fanfare
'...one of the best-sounding Schumann cycles in years. No detail of these meticulously prepared, superbly executed performances escapes the attention of the Linn engineers...'
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Early Music Review
'The SCO - for decades now pioneers in modern instrument HIP - are big enough to create the presence required for such music, but also with an eye on the subtleties of the composer's orchestration.'
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The Arts Desk
'The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's playing is magnificent, and Linn's recorded sound is impeccable.'
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BBC Radio 3 'CD Review Building a Library'
'Robin Ticciati with the finely responsive Scottish Chamber Orchestra has more romantic instincts.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'Orchestral Choice': 'The Adagio of Symphony No. 2 is beautifully done, with a coda that really tugs at the heartstrings...the interpretations...will reward repeated hearing.'
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Sinfini Music
4 Stars
'Altogether an attractive, classily played collection.'
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Big Issue
'Ticciati finds wondrous detail in every bar of these scores, but the dynamism and spark that he and this orchestra create makes sure they never lose track of the overall picture. The SCO's playing is stylish, generous and brimming with life.'
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Classical CD Choice
'…these superb accounts from Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra certainly place them amongst the finest available thanks both to Ticciati’s vital conducting and the brilliantly immediate recorded sound. Altogether an impressive release.'
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The Sunday Times
Classical CD of the Week: 'Ticciati adopts near-ideal tempi, refusing to drag in the slow movements...and he is propulsive in Schumann's energetic, animated allegros.'
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Irish Times
4 Stars
'The sense of newness, of discovery, is at all times high.'
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Pizzicato
4 Stars
'...everything seems to be about motion in these particularly fine Schumann performances...'
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New York Times
'eminently respectable'
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MusicWeb International
'Recording of the Month': 'This new set from Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra elbows those two aside and takes its place towards the very top of the list of recommendations for these works, in this year or in any other.'
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Herald Scotland
'…Robin Ticciati's new recording with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra of Schumann's four symphonies hits the mark… The lightness and buoyancy that are so much a feature of these masterpieces can be heard right across the stunning, super-articulate SCO performances…'
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McAlister Matheson Music
'These are balanced, organic performances of great beauty. Unmissable!'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'a compelling set'
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The Times
4 Stars
'...performances that make you experience the symphonies' wonders afresh.'
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InfoDad.com
'Here [No. 4], though, Ticciati benefits enormously from the smaller size of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, managing to convey an impression of transparency along with solidity - and pacing the music with more care and attentiveness...The result is a very fine reading...'
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Classical Ear
'...Ticciati's expertly played excursions away from the norm [are] refreshing.'
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The Guardian
5 Stars
'...perhaps the most impressive thing that Ticciati has done on disc so far...hearing these symphonies in such superbly played, convincingly Schumannesque performances is irresistible.'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'In short, these superb accounts from Robin Ticciati and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra certainly place them amongst the finest available thanks both to Ticciati's vital conducting and the brilliantly immediate recorded sound. Altogether an impressive release.'
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Classical Source
'Robin Ticciati joins the distinguished list of today's conductors treating Schumann's Symphonies with the respect they deserve. At times he includes a few personal notions but each of them throws light on the passage in question.'
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Gramophone
'This is an extremely likeable and beautifully recorded traversal, worthy of standing alongside any of its recent competitors.'
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MusicWeb International
'Ticciati gives ajoyous an account of the Spring symphony...The finale on Linn, aided by some hearty thwacks with wooden drum-sticks, brings the house down.'
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Herald Scotland
'...revelatory survey of Schumann's four symphonies...'
more >>

Robin Ticciati & SCO - Schumann: The Symphonies - International Record Review


01 October 2014
International Record Review
Nigel Simeone

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is a wonderfully agile and energetic ensemble, capable of great expressiveness, and the playing on these discs is a constant delight. The brass includes natural horns - a legacy from the SCO's glorious years when Charles Mackerras was its Conductor Emeritus. Though Mackerras himself conducted a remarkable Schumann cycle with the SCO at the Edinburgh Festival in 1999, it was not recorded (a great cause for regret - would someone, I wonder, license the tapes from the BBC?). This orchestra is ideally scaled for Schumann's orchestral music. Textures are light and transparent - something easier to achieve in Schumann with period instruments or a chamber orchestra. And matters are greatly helped by Linn's beautifully balanced and extremely natural SACD sound.

Robin Ticciati's interpretative view of these works will doubtless evolve in the years to come. His youthful, usually intelligent, occasionally micro-managed approach is successful on the whole, apart from the odd miscalculation or affectation. There are fewer of those here than in Yannick Nezet-Seguin's recent set with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (DG), which struck me as disappointing for its shortage of musical insights and its excess of mannerisms. Ticciati indulges in a few mannerisms too (as an old-codgerish aside, do young conductors think this is a prerequisite for getting their performances noticed?).

This is apparent in his manipulation of the tempo in the finale of the ‘Rhenish' Symphony. The second theme (bar 26ff.) isn't marked to be played slower, though some easing of the tempo may feel like a natural (and stylistically appropriate) thing to do. But firmly applying the brakes, as Ticciati does, feels awkward and a little self-conscious, and it risks sacrificing the forward momentum of the music. However, in the same movement, Ticciati avoids the trap of sapping the energy from the opening theme - as Nezet-Seguin does by underlining the dolce marking, ignoring the forte marking and playing the whole thing too smoothly - though it still sounds a little too delicate at the start. Elsewhere in this Symphony, Ticciati is distinctly preferable to Nezet-Seguin, not least in the first movement, where Ticciati and the SCO have a greater sense of natural propulsiveness.

This partnership is at its best in the First and Fourth Symphonies, with fresh, direct and well-paced readings, especially the Fourth, where Ticciati seems most willing to let the music speak for itself. It makes a fine end to the cycle. The grander expanses of the Second Symphony are not quite so successful, with Ticciati sounding a little risk-averse in the Scherzo. This set contains just the four symphonies, with the Fourth in its usual (revised) version. The same is the case with Nezet-Seguin's set.

Of very recent Schumann sets, Ticciati's is the one that I have enjoyed the most, thanks in no small part to his marvellous orchestra...Ticciati and the SCO are very welcome newcomers, and they're probably recorded more sensitively than any of their rivals. The set is enhanced by lucid and informative notes by John Worthen. 

 


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