Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Which is your favourite set of Martinů symphonies?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    232
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Which is your favourite set of Martinů symphonies?

    Although there does not seem to be too many sets around... Which is your favourite set of Martinů symphonies?

    Václav Neumann has always been the yardstick for me, but I also like the finesse of Jiří Bělohlávek, the muscle of Neeme Järvi, the zen of Vladimir Válek, the brilliance of Bryden Thomson, and the volatility of Cornelius Meister.

    I would also appreciate any comment on the Arthur Fagen set. I haven’t heard this set yet, but the CDs are in the post... Is there any other set available?

    Or would you prefer the individual recordings of Karel Ančerl, Jiří Kout, Charles Munch, Claus Peter Flor, Walter Weller, Klaus Tennstedt or others?

  2. Likes haydnguy, CnC Bartok liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member haydnguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    769
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post
    Although there does not seem to be too many sets around... Which is your favourite set of Martinů symphonies?

    Václav Neumann has always been the yardstick for me, but I also like the finesse of Jiří Bělohlávek, the muscle of Neeme Järvi, the zen of Vladimir Válek, the brilliance of Bryden Thomson, and the volatility of Cornelius Meister.

    I would also appreciate any comment on the Arthur Fagen set. I haven’t heard this set yet, but the CDs are in the post... Is there any other set available?

    Or would you prefer the individual recordings of Karel Ančerl, Jiří Kout, Charles Munch, Claus Peter Flor, Walter Weller, Klaus Tennstedt or others?
    Me too!-------------------------------------------------
    I've found a small batch of my CD's in the garage but I know I don't have them all because I'm still missing 2 Richter box sets. Who knows what else.

  4. Likes CnC Bartok, Kiki liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    232
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The Fragen CDs arrived today. Just ripped them and had a quick sampling of a few movements.

    The syncopated rhythm in the No. 2 Scherzo sounds clean, humourous and at ease like Bělohlávek (BBCSO), but in my memory perhaps Bělohlávek sounds more crystalline.

    The No. 4 Scherzo is interesting. The vivo scherzo section certainly sounds exciting, and the two consecutive thwacks at the climax sound prominent like Järvi's and Thomson's (everyone else's that I've heard sound soft in the background). On the other hand, the trio section is nice and gentle although I have to admit I have a soft spot for the pastoral magic of Bělohlávek (CzechPO/Chandos) instead.

    The No. 5 Larghetto sounds closer to but not quite the fluffy lightness of Flor, rather than the sometimes pressing sometimes enchanting magic spells of Ančerl (Toranto). Still it is not bad.

    So far I feel pretty positive about this set. I'm really looking forward to more attentive listening later on this week!

  6. Likes CnC Bartok liked this post
  7. #4
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north east england
    Posts
    2,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This thread gives me the opportunity to again draw attention to the magnificent 2nd Symphony, oddly enough the one from the cycle of 6 that can appear overlooked!

    Jiri Belholavek, Neeme Jarvi and Bryden Thomson have all recorded impressive interpretations.
    Last edited by jim prideaux; Mar-12-2019 at 15:13.
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

  8. Likes Kiki, Merl, CnC Bartok liked this post
  9. #5
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    686
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This thread seems a bit hidden away, only just found it! Move it to the Orchestral section???

    I have the Symphony sets you mention, and there are two cycles that for me are a bit indifferent. Fagen's and Válek's. Otherwise it's what grabs you. As a cycle the most consistent has to be Neumann's, but there's more than enough to enjoy in Jarvi, Thomson, Meister (a very worthy effort!), and of course all the Bělohlávek recordings and near-complete sets. I just don't get on with his Fifth, either of them, sorry!

    Nobody beats Ancerl, though. A shame Karel Sejna only recorded No.3 ( awful recording quality!) of the Symphonies....

  10. Likes jim prideaux, Kiki liked this post
  11. #6
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    686
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Putting together a "best" cycle, I'd probably go for a modern cycle, and insist on an historic one on top. It'd go something like this:

    No.1: Neumann, then Bělohlávek on Chandos
    No.2: Thomson, then Flor
    No.3: Jarvi, then Neumann
    No.4: Bělohlávek on Chandos, then Thomson
    No.5: Neumann, then Jarvi
    No.6: Bělohlávek on Chandos, then Bělohlávek on Supraphon

    Supplemented with the 1,3,5 on Multisonic by Karel Ancerl, No.4 by Kubelík and by Turnovský, Nos.5&6 Ancerl's later Supraphon recordings, and Munch in No.6!

    There you go, limited myself to just six recordings. Impressive AND disciplined!
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Mar-15-2019 at 04:18.

  12. Likes Kiki liked this post
  13. #7
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north east england
    Posts
    2,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Putting together a "best" cycle, I'd probably go for a modern cycle, and insist on an historic one on top. It'd go something like this:

    No.1: Neumann, then Bělohlávek on Chandos
    No.2: Thomson, then Flor
    No.3: Jarvi, then Neumann
    No.4: Bělohlávek on Chandos, then Thomson
    No.5: Neumann, then Jarvi
    No.6: Bělohlávek on Chandos, then Bělohlávek on Supraphon

    Supplemented with the 1,3,5 on Multisonic by Karel Ancerl, No.4 by Kubelík and by Turnovský, Nos.5&6 Ancerl's later Supraphon recordings, and Munch in No.6!

    There you go, limited myself to just six recordings. Impressive AND disciplined!
    you have reminded me about the incomplete Flor cycle-a shame he did not complete as the recordings he did make are impressive!
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

  14. Likes Kiki liked this post
  15. #8
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    232
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Ančerl's No. 5 (Toronto) has long been a favourite. More magical than his 1955 Czech which is more expansive. Recently found his 1960s 1,3,5 at a price that does not cost an arm and a leg and it's in the post. Can't wait to hear that!

    Munch's No. 6 (Boston) is pretty much in a class of its own. It's on fire and hotter than most other conductors'. His 1967 live Czech recording is good too but have to put up with his grunting taking centre stage.

    Also think very highly of Flor's incomplete cycle. His No. 5 especially. What he showed us in this symphony cannot be more different from Ančerl, but I really enjoy it. My only complaint is the laid-back sound quality. Have to turn up the volume on a good set-up for it to come through properly.

  16. #9
    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    WOW, I am already proud to have one Martinu cycle in my collection, Bryden Thomson. No comparisons here. Am glad that it is recognized here as a good one. Thanks for highlighting them here, I absorb your views

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •