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Walton: Partita for Orchestra; Debussy: La Mer; Rachmaninov: Symphony No.3; etc.

Walton: Partita for Orchestra; Debussy: La Mer; Rachmaninov: Symphony No.3; etc.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Orchestra, Constantin Silvestri Conductor

CDs: 2
Tracks: 19
Length: 2:32:03

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BBC Legends
Rel. 16 Feb 2011
Recorded 1965-1967

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Walton: Partita for Orchestra; Debussy: La Mer; Rachmaninov: Symphony No.3; etc. When Romanian conductor Constantin Silvestri decided to take over the music directorship of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1961, no one—especially the citizens of that lovely English seacoast town—could really believe it. Silvestri had a thriving international career plus he'd already made recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, and the USSR State Symphony among other orchestras. So why would he choose to go to what was then a provincial English orchestra—and why did he stay until he death in 1969?

As this two-disc set of Silvestri with the Bournemouth shows, he went and he stayed because of the possibility of making great music. By the time the first of these recordings was made in 1965—Walton's Partita for Orchestra and Debussy's La Mer—Silvestri had made a wonderfully fluent, wholly responsive, and nearly virtuosic instrument out of the Bournemouth. And as the 1966 recordings of Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, and the 1967 recordings of Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 3, Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks, Delius' Paris: a Nocturne, and Strauss' Don Juan likewise show, Silvestri and the Bournemouth just kept getting better and better. As a conductor, Silvestri favored lean textures, driven rhythms, and bright colors, and the Bournemouth gave him everything he wanted. True, it is not really at the same level of technique as the London Symphony or the Philharmonia—listen to the cellos' raw tone when they take up the big theme in the opening movement of La Mer—but it plays with a passion and affection that the London orchestras don't often match—listen to the sweet woodwinds in the third movement of Beethoven's Eighth or the bold brass in the main theme of Strauss' Don Juan. While not perhaps in the same league as the best recordings of these pieces—for all its sensuality, for example, Silvestri's Paris cannot match Beecham's—these performances are well worth hearing by anyone interested in either Silvestri or the Bournemouth. BBC's live air-check sound is small, tight, and hard.

© James Leonard, Rovi
Portions of Content Provided by All Music Guide.
© 2008 All Media Guide, LLC. All Music Guide is a registered trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.
AMG
CD 1 of 2
14:41
1 1.Toccata: Brioso 4:42
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2 2.Pastorale siciliano: Andante comodo 5:08
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3 3.Giga burlesca: Allegro gioviale 4:51
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4 1.De l'aube à midi sur la mer 8:06
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5 2.Jeux de vagues. Allegro 6:09
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6 3.Dialogue du vent et de la mer 8:11
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7 1.Lento. Allegro Moderato 12:59
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8 2.Adagio ma non troppo 12:27
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9 3.Allegro. Allegro Vivace 12:45
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CD 2 of 2
1 1.Overture: Adagio. Allegro. Lentement 5:46
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2 3.La paix: Largo alla Siciliana 3:35
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3 2.Bourrée 1:13
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4 5b.Menuet 2 2:19
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22:33
5 1.Allegro vivace e con brio 7:01
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6 2.Allegretto scherzando 4:06
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7 3.Tempo di menuetto 4:14
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8 4.Allegro vivace 7:12
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9 Paris: A Nocturne (The Song of a Great City), RTvi/14 21:38
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10 Don Juan, Op.20, TrV156 19:41
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