SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 1 in B Flat, Op. 38 Spring. Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 97 Rhenish
Philharmonia Orch/Eliahu Inbal, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 111 TT: 69:27 (4 channel)

MOZART: Symphony No. 31 in D, K. 297 Paris. Symphony No. 38 in D, K. 504 Prague. Andante, K. 297
Royal Concertgebouw Orch/Josef Krips, cond.
PENTATONE PTC 5186 119 TT: 48:25 (4 channel)


Eliah Inbal's recording of Schumann's Symphony No. 1 was made in Brent Town Hall in London in September 1970, the Symphony No. 3 in Watford Town Hall in June of the following year. Volker Strauss was the producer and he did a fine job sonically; the four-track sound has presence and tonal beauty in spite of two different venues, there is fine stereo spread with appropriate ambient sound from the rear. It's unfortunate Inbal's Schumann is so pedestrian; this is a leisurely look at Schumann's music in contrast to the excitement many other conductors find in the scores (Dohnányi, Szell and Eschenbach to mention just a few). The generous playing time is a plus and to date these are the only multi-channel recordings available of this music.

From 1972-1973 Josef Krips recorded all of the late Mozart symphonies beginning with No. 21. All of these are distinguished by superlative orchestral playing, but Krips' leisurely approach is far removed from the excitement built into the scores. Even Allegros and Prestos just plog along, albeit beautifully played. Volker Straus' production team well captured the warmth and resonance of the famed Concertgebouw. I enjoyed these performances in spite of Krips' slow tempi. All three of these works were on one LP; I understand these are the only Krips Mozart four-channel recordings which would explain the rather short playing time.

R.E.B. (July 2003)