[ Deutsche Grammophon / 3 CD ]
Release Date: Friday 5 February 2021
At a time when many of his contemporaries were exploring more fluid structures, Franz Schmidt while perhaps stretching tonal harmony to its limits, continued to embrace 19th-century form and achieved a highly personal synthesis of the diverse traditions of the Austro-German symphony. His language, rather than being wedded to a narrative of dissolution and tragedy is radiant and belligerently optimistic and reveals this scion of largely Hungarian forebears as the last great exponent of the style hongrois after Schubert, Liszt and Brahms.
His work having fallen from prominence, Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony's dazzling live performances of all four of his symphonies, and the famous Notre Dame Intermezzo, shine a new light on this fascinating oeuvre and also on an affable and genial soul, and reminds us of the constant need to reappraise and enrich our account of music during the first half of the 20th century.
GRAMOPHONE Award WINNER 2021 - Orchestral
BBC Music Magazine Award Finalist 2021 - Orchestral
"Järvi is an almost ideal interpreter of this composer, not only managing to bring transparency and luminosity to Schmidt's often thickly textured orchestration, but also keeping a tight rein on the structural direction of works that in lesser hands can seem to meander…Best of all is his deeply committed account of the Fourth...it proves to be a gripping musical experience from first bar to last" BBC Music
"At its best this is music of great power and harmonious adventurousness, beautifully crafted and patiently built up. At other times, admittedly, it can seem to lose its way…The achievement of Järvi and his orchestra, though, is in making it all seem necessary and inevitable: these are compelling, supremely persuasive performances that constantly underline the music's great qualities" Gramophone Magazine Critics' Choice 2020
BBC Music Award Nomination 2021 - Orchestral
Symphony No. 1 in E major
Symphony No. 2 in E flat major
Symphony No. 3 in A major
Symphony No. 4 in C major