Author Topic: Bizet's Symphony In C  (Read 2363 times)

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Mark

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Bizet's Symphony In C
« on: November 02, 2007, 05:29:03 AM »
I'll keep this short: what are your favourite recordings (assuming you have any)?

I have these:






Love both, but the Cluytens is absolutely superb (not something you'll often hear me say of an historical recording ;)). The Naxos outing suffers from a weird recorded balance that particularly affects the first movement.

So, interested in finding a new version, I cast around on Amazon today and got this for £3:



I have other recordings on the Berlin Classics label which I greatly enjoy; and I'm curious to hear the Weber, also - a work I don't know by a composer I feel I ought to know better.

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 05:53:50 AM »
There is no better way to experience this work, in my opinion, than to see the choreography George Balanchine designed for it - which goes now by the title "Symphony in C" and is in the active repertory of the New York City Ballet and many other companies. Unfortunately there is no commercial DVD of the ballet, but there are some that circulate underground among balletomanes, and if you get a chance to see a live performance, don't pass it up.

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 06:05:53 AM »
Thanks, Larry. :)

Offline dirkronk

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 07:37:23 AM »
On LP I know that I have early (Argo-era) Marriner/ASMF, Bernstein/NY, Stokowski, and surely more that I'm forgetting. None are slouches. Bernstein's interp was long my (marginal) favorite--strong interp, very exciting performance and with very good precision of playing--but the recording, while powerful in impact, is just a bit raw...especially so in comparison to Marriner, who's given an excellent recording.

On CD I have additional riches--versions by Cluytens (on his GCOC set...wonder if it's the same as the Testament?), Beecham, Rodzinski and Stokowski (same version as on my LP).

However, a couple of these I've acquired only recently and it's been years since I did a spin-off of this piece, so I can't speak to the comparative strengths and weaknesses of these additional versions.

Cheers,

Dirk

Offline Brian

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 09:42:18 AM »
Oh my goodness, that Suitner is tempting, given the miracles he worked with the "lighter" Dvorak symphonies.

mahlertitan

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 12:12:36 PM »
Are you aware of that Bizet wrote another symphony also in the key of C major many years later?

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 12:36:32 PM »
Are you aware of that Bizet wrote another symphony also in the key of C major many years later?

No, I wasn't. Thanks. :)

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2007, 03:35:35 AM »
I haven't listened to it yet, but I have it as part of a box set of his complete orchestral music (including the Roma symphony) conducted by Batiz on Brilliant:



May be worth investigating.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2007, 04:05:40 AM »
It's a generally delightfully sprightly work but with a deliciously melancholy theme on the oboe in the slow second movement.

mahlertitan

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2007, 08:39:42 AM »
I haven't listened to it yet, but I have it as part of a box set of his complete orchestral music (including the Roma symphony) conducted by Batiz on Brilliant:



May be worth investigating.

mm, that's an interesting album, where i can i get it?

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 02:48:13 PM »
mm, that's an interesting album, where i can i get it?

I got it from Amazon. It's an inexpensive 3-disc set of recordings licensed from ASV.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Brewski

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 03:01:52 PM »
The only one I have--and I like it a lot--is with Orpheus on DG.  Also includes Prokofiev's Classical Symphony and Britten's Simple Symphony, and the performances of those two are excellent, too.  Someone on Amazon described Orpheus as having the cohesion of a good string quartet, and that's pretty accurate.  (Their "gimmick" is that they don't use a conductor.)

--Bruce
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Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 03:03:57 PM »
... Britten's Simple Symphony ...

OT, but what a delightful work this is. :)

Offline Brewski

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 03:08:36 PM »
OT, but what a delightful work this is. :)

Totally agree.  I have about ten different recordings of it.  :D  Orpheus's version is terrific, although I also like Christopher Warren-Green and the London Chamber Orchestra, who play it really, really fast.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 03:11:43 PM »
Totally agree.  I have about ten different recordings of it.  :D  Orpheus's version is terrific, although I also like Christopher Warren-Green and the London Chamber Orchestra, who play it really, really fast.

--Bruce

Whereas I have the wonderful Maggini Quartet, who (for me) seem to spin into pure gold every note they play in every piece they play. 0:)

Offline Iago

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2007, 05:28:12 PM »
Once you listen to Beecham/French National Orch on GROC, you will be willing to give away all your other versions.
Such infectious joy. Beecham at his absolute best. It could have been with a better orchestra. But what they lack in virtuosity is more than made up for, by their sense of having a grand good time.
Not a moment exists in which you'll lose interest in that perfomance.
Fillers are L'Arlesienne Suites 1 and 2.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 05:47:39 PM by Iago »
"Good", is NOT good enough, when "better" is expected

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2007, 10:54:27 PM »
Once you listen to Beecham/French National Orch on GROC, you will be willing to give away all your other versions.
Such infectious joy. Beecham at his absolute best. It could have been with a better orchestra. But what they lack in virtuosity is more than made up for, by their sense of having a grand good time.
Not a moment exists in which you'll lose interest in that perfomance.
Fillers are L'Arlesienne Suites 1 and 2.

Oooh! I like Beecham. Another to add to my 'to buy' pile. ;D

Offline MichaelRabin

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2007, 05:18:41 AM »
Haitink with the RCOA on Australian Eloquence with a fantastic St Saens Sym 3 by de Waart.

Mark

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2007, 03:21:51 PM »
Forgive me for repeating this post from elsewhere in the forum, but it belongs here:



Not a patch on an old Cluytens performance of the Bizet, but vivacious and enjoyable all the same. Conducting seems a little slack and wayward in places. And I strongly doubt that it would've been possible to record EVERY instrument in the orchestra more closely and boxily, as the engineers seem to have done when this was first captured in 1973. I'm fairly certain some horrible remastering fate befell this recording before Berlin Classics reissued it. A shame. Certainly NOT a CD to hear through closed-back headphones ... unless you enjoy aural claustrophobia.

Offline val

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Re: Bizet's Symphony In C
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2010, 11:30:23 PM »
Beecham and Cluytens are my favorite.  But Marriner (DECCA) and Martinon left good versions.
I only heard once, in the radio, the version of Gardiner, and it seemed very dynamic, but not very touching in special in the Adagio. I must hear it again to have a better opinion.