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.'
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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.'
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Bay Area Reporter
2015's best in classical recordings: 'Simply the best I've heard.'
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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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De Volkskrant
#23 in da Volksrant's 'Best Albums of 2014' of all genres
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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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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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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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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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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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International Record Review
'…the playing on these discs is a constant delight… Of very recent Schumann sets, Ticciati’s is the one I enjoyed the most…'
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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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The Times
4 Stars
'...performances that make you experience the symphonies' wonders afresh.'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
'a compelling set'
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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 - McAlister Matheson Music


22 September 2014
McAlister Matheson Music

Robin Ticciati's new recording of Schumann's four symphonies with the SCO is a real ear-opener. I doubt if there has ever been a recording that has revealed so much detail in Schumann's symphonic scores.

Several things stand out. First, the number of SCO strings used for this project is small: 32 players, when even John Eliot Gardiner's string forces in his period Schumann set number between 40 and 44. This naturally shifts more of the focus towards the wind and brass. Second, Ticciati's favouring of generally slower tempi than have recently been fashionable allows all the subtleties of Schumann's writing to be properly heard and appreciated. (Ticciati's tempi are generally slower than Gardiner and Nézet-Séguin, often more akin to those of Sawallisch in his 1972 recording with the Staatskapelle Dresden.) Third, and perhaps most striking, is the sense that the players are behaving like chamber musicians, interacting with and listening to the others in a way that, say, quartet members do.

The Adagio of the second symphony provides a good example, with expressive lines on strings and wind emerging and retreating in exquisite fashion. The preceding Scherzo demonstrates another feature of this recording - superb articulation at speed, with the staccato woodwind passages in the first Trio contrasting with the deft, silken string playing. The second Triofeatures wonderful legato lines, handled so that the inner part-writing can always be heard. The generally slower speeds do not lead to any loss of tension - in the first symphony's opening moment Ticciati generates a fantastic energy when moving from the slow introduction to the main Allegro, and the build-up of sizzling excitement in the last movement is expertly done.

The horn playing is especially notable throughout the set, resounding gloriously in the acoustic of Perth's concert hall. Punchy trumpets, sweet woodwind, some great timpani playing, focused unanimity and great delicacy among the strings: all are hallmarks of this recording. There is also plenty heft in the sound where required, as shown in the opening movement of the fourth symphony, where the playing is weighty and stirring, but also energised and full of detail.

These are balanced, organic performances of great beauty. As far as comparisons are concerned, Gardiner's set was a trail-blazer and still ranks as one of the best today. I love Yannick Nézet-Séguin's vigorous, almost driven set with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, issued in March 2014; it emphasised again what great music this is. Robin Ticciati and the SCO have taken yet another path, equally valid and perhaps ultimately more rewarding. Unmissable!


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