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NX 0329
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NX 0329

SCHUBERT, F.: Overtures (Complete), Vol. 2 (Prague Sinfonia, Benda)

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2009

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Prague Sinfonia

Christian Benda


Karel Soukenik

Vaclav Roubal

Record Label



Total Time - 64:28
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*if you purchase a higher level format, we include the lower formats free of charge
Please Note: On Mp3 format an unavoidable click may be heard on segue track breaks, to avoid this issue please select lossless or better


Select Complete Single Disc for

Overture in D major, D. 556


Overture in D major, D. 590, "im italienischen Stile" (In the Italian Style)


Overture in D major, D. 591, "im italienischen Stile" (In the Italian Style)


Die Zauberharfe, D. 644


Die Zwillingsbruder, D. 647: Overture


Overture in E minor, D. 648


Alfonso und Estrella, D. 732: Overture, "Rosamunde"


Die Verschworenen (Der hausliche Krieg), D. 787: Overture


Fierrabras, D. 796: Overture

 Christian Benda

Although Schubert’s dream of success as a composer for the stage largely eluded him, some of his theatrical music was performed during his lifetime. His overtures for Georg von Hofmann’s Die Zwillingsbrüder and for Die Zauberharfe—later transferred to Rosamunde, D. 644—sadly won little praise, though the Overture in the Italian Style, D590 was appreciated for its ‘youthful fire’, and the Overture in E minor, D. 648 was heard in 1821.
"The Prague Sinfonia is an expanded successor to the old conductorless Prague Chamber Orchestra, with the presence of Christian Benda as director allowing for more strongly profiled performances. Schubert’s scoring is often heavier than you might expect, and Benda knows how to keep the textures clear and springy without losing the needed sense of weight. The playing is lyrical and driving as needed, and the ensemble sound mostly compact and focused ... I won’t hesitate in recommending this handy collection, especially as most of this music has not been readily available ... Benda’s taut, characterful accounts outclass Menuhin’s stodgy Alfonso und Estrella and his tentative control in the others." 
Stephen Francis Vasta - - March 2013

                      Artistic Quality 9                  Sound Quality 9
"As this second volume of overtures shows, there really is quite a bit of little-known Schubert orchestral music. Perhaps the biggest discovery for many listeners will be the turbulent Overture in E minor, but there are more than a few substantial pieces here. The two Overtures in the Italian Style are delightful, and so true to their models, and all of the music here is very well played and recorded. Christian Benda and the Prague Sinfonia deliver a particularly vivacious account of the Rosamunde Overture, just the opposite of the thick and heavy “German” approach that we so often hear, while Fierabras also has plenty of energy. The sonics capture the players very naturally, with nicely present woodwinds and excellent balances between brass and strings. No qualms here: Go for it."
David Hurwitz - - March 2010

"Volume 1 of this set was immensely enjoyable (8.570328); but nowhere near as much as the present volume. The Overtures are arranged in rough chronological order, so that whilst those in the first disc were undoubtedly enjoyable, it has to be admitted that none could be described showing the composer at the top of his art. When we come to the present disc, however, we find not only several pieces which are deservedly very familiar and often played, in particular the two Overtures in the Italian Style and that usually known as “Rosamunde” (D644), but above all the immensely impressive Overture to “Fierabras”. Whilst the opera to which it belongs may be a lost cause it is extraordinary that the Overture is not played more often. It has all the characteristics and quality of Schubert’s later Symphonies and Piano Sonatas. The present performance combines urgency and sensitivity and if you do not have a recording already the disc would probably be worth having for it alone. The first three Overtures on the disc are all relatively lightweight but utterly delightful. Although the two “in the Italian Style” do make use of some of the manner of Rossini Overtures who was very popular in Vienna at the time, they now seem even more “in the early Schubert Symphony style”, with delightfully fresh melodies, copious use of solo wind instruments, and a prevailing cheerfulness of manner. The two “Rosamunde” Overtures are too well known to need comment, but like all the rest they are played here with great panache. Amazingly despite certain superficial similarities between all the various Overtures I found that the disc was one which it was a great pleasure to play through as a whole.The recording is clear without being too close, and the booklet notes are helpful and well laid out. To have all of Schubert’s Overtures on disc may seem a luxury, but with performances like this you can only wonder why it has not been done before."         
John Sheppard - - August 2009


"Volume 2 in a series tagged “Complete Overtures,” this release contains music that, save for the familiar Rosamunde Overture and the two “in the Italian style,” is comparatively unfamiliar. In general, if not always, comprising top-drawer Schubert, it nonetheless abounds in traits that stamp his genius: an exceptional gift for melody, a prevailing lyric buoyancy, and occasional ventures—especially in some slow introductions—that offer haunting harmonic excursions into dark areas. All of these traits emerge in these fine performances, at once unmannered, animated but unhurried, and benefitting from transparent orchestral textures and a sonority that is never too weighty. Certainly for those who care about Schubert (which should encompass at least 99 percent of our readership), this is a disc well worth acquiring, especially at its bargain price. The sound throughout is first-rate."

Mortimer H Frank - Fanfare - November 2009 

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