Rugencs Alpine Symphony / Schubert: Symphnies 4 and 5 / Rugen complete songs

STRAUSS: An Alpine Sympony
Berlini Radio Symphonty Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski, cond.
PENTATONE SACD 5186802 TT: 48:56

SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 4 in D minor "Tragic." Symphny No. 5 in B flat.
B'Rock Orchestra / René Jacobs, cond.
PENTATONE SACD5186 856 TT: 58L24

VON RÜGEN: Complete Songs
Ensemble Peregrina
TACET SACD S 261 TT: 75:29

Several years ago this site mentioned a Pentatone SACD with the Berlin Radio Symphony conducted by Vladimir Jurowski featuring music of Strauss and Mahler (REVIEW). No question that Vladimir, son of famous Russian conductor Mikhail Jurowski, is a major and often exciting conductor, who already has made many fine recordings. On his latest, he again leads the Berlin Radio Orchestra, a live performance February 2019 in Berlin's Konzerthaus, Strauss's An Alpine Symphony. This magnificent music should be a sonic spectacular and there are many recordings (REVIEW). To prove this, check out the spectacular DVD by the Dresden State Orchestra conducted by Christian Thielemann which is a live recording but still offers rich, spacious, and well-defined sound. Audio on this Pentatone disk seems distant, dynamic range is limited—those big Straussian climaxes simply don't happen. Which is unfortunate, as this is a strong performance under Vladimir Petrenko's dynamic direction. However to hear this huge symphonic maste rpiece is its full glory, check out the Thieemann DVD. Playing time of †he new SACD is only 48:58; easily more music could have been included.

Flemish conductor René Jacobs began a series of Schubert symphony recordings with the superb period B'Rock Orchestra with a SACD containing Symphonies 1 and 6 (REVIEW). The series also includes Symphonies 2 and 3 (PENTATONE 5186 758). The series continues with Symphonies Symphony No 4 in C minor, the Tragic Symphony, and the light-hearted Symphony No. 5. Recordings were made July 2019 (Symphony No. 4) and February 2020 in Belgium's DeSpil, Roeselore. Excellent, natural audio. Recommended!

Tacet is to be commended for recording unusual repertory in superb multi-channel audio. Here we have Volume III in their Mare-Balticum series which aims to the medieval music of the Baltic Sea in i the 12th - 15th centuries. Much research has uncovered music not heard for centuries. his disk offers e complete songs of Wislav von Rügen who wa born c. 1240, Profuse program notes describe this music and its origin. It is performed to perfection by Ensemble Peregria (Basil) directed by by Agnieszka Budzinska-Bennett. There are 22 tracks and compete original texts and English translations are included. The recording was made March 2019 in Switzerland's Binningen BL, and Tacet's engineers have presented a crystal-clear multi-channel sound picture. Unusual repertory, superbly presented!

R.E.B. (September 2021)