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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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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The Arts Desk
'The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's playing is magnificent, and Linn's recorded sound is impeccable.'
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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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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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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...'
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Robin Ticciati & SCO - Schumann: The Symphonies - The Times


20 September 2014
The Times
Geoff Brown
4 Stars

In the world's eyes, 2014 has been Robin Ticciati's Glyndebourne year: since January, this flaming young conductor has been the opera festival's music director. But north of the border they view Ticciati differently: he's the conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The music-making on this splendid album gives abundant evidence of a happy marriage: you don't get playing this focused and vigorous if everyone's in a bad mood.

The repertoire suits them, too. After two successful albums of Berlioz, they have turned to the four symphonies of Schumann - the 19th century's other leading tortured romantic composer, with a tortured personal life to suit. He also shared Berlioz's gift of writing music capable of working critics into a lather. "Disorder", "an affectation of originality", "harmonies . . . obtrusively crude": those were some of their first descriptions.

We listen now with different ears, helped in part by the orchestra's modest size in these live recordings from Perth Concert Hall. At the orchestra's fullest, in the revised version of Symphony No 4, we hear 54 musicians beavering away with clarity and bounce - the perfect complement to restless music never content with the accepted patterns of symphonic thought. Listening to this release, no one could cling to another ancient complaint about Schumann: that he orchestrated badly. Muddy textures? Difficulties of balance? Not in these lithe accounts, dancing with subtly changing colours, from the antiphonal comments of winds and strings to those horns that rise over Schumann's musings like morning sun breaking through mist.

Punchy rhythms, too: a particular legacy of the "historically aware" performing movement developed over the past 40 years. Fortunately, Ticciati never drives his players quite as hard as John Eliot Gardiner did in his period-instrument set of 1997, where the conductor seemed at times to be competing in Formula One. There is lilting flow here, too, plus delicate textures, from the winds especially: all ingredients in performances that make you experience the symphonies' wonders afresh. Onwards and upwards, I hope, both for Ticciati and the SCO.


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