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Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944, "Great"
I. Andante - Allegro ma non troppo
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro vivace
“Nott…works hard to secure a hugely detailed, texturally alert reading… The slow movement's second subject has an almost seraphic Brucknerian sweetness to counterpoint some incisive truculence, and the Finale captures the energy and excitement Schubert must have experienced composing it...”
“…Nott offers a performance that hews close to the text… yet is replete with the touches of a thoughtfully considered interpretation. What cannot actually be described is Nott's malleable control of rhythm, the subtle distensions and contractions of phrases, and a feel for orchestral colour and balance that is particularly noticeable in the second movement.”
“Relatively unfamiliar conductor, very familiar symphony. But don't let the unfamiliarity of Jonathan Nott allow you to believe that this is yet another version of a much-recorded work. It isn't. On the contrary, Nott offers a performance that hews close to the text (all repeats are also observed) yet is replete with the touches of a thoughtfully considered interpretation. And consideration begins at the beginning: the solo horn theme broadly stated, hairpin accents strong, the tempo picking up almost imperceptibly afterwards but no speeding up to the main Allegro manon troppo, no slowing down for the second subject and no dissipation of tension in the coda. Nott keeps the momentum going to the end. This literal account may suggest rigidity – which isn't the case. What cannot actually be described is Nott's malleable control of rhythm, the subtle distensions and contractions of phrases, and a feel for orchestral colour and balance that is particularly noticeable in the second movement. The bass here is firmly delineated, wind writing is finely clarified, fortissimos don't degenerate into noise. The texture remains clean. Sound and perspective are natural. Though SACD playback could offer improvements in audio quality, it couldn't sharpen Nott's subjective immersion in the many facets of the music, one of which is a lilting impulse that he senses in the finale. Yet the line doesn't go slack. Nott, as always, keeps a tight hold on the reins while expressing his convictions with a conviction that is sure to win you over.”
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