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Artista poco noto, a lungo osteggiato dagli accademici per le sue armonie un po' naif. Anche sprazzi di genialità, che - come tali, appunto - non necessariamente si devono accompagnare a perfezione stilistica. Si inizia con l'incredibile effetto eco dei corni nel I° mov della terza sinfonia, ottenuto ripetendo a volume progressivamente minore la stessa frase ribaltandola su due corni diversi (siamo nel 1845! altro che studio di registrazione!). Ottima sia l'esecuzione che la resa sonora. Unico neo: perché mettere i lavori in modo cronologicamente disordinato?
Hats off to Maestro Goodman! Setting the right tempo is the first key to success in music performance, and Goodman has done superbly well here.
Berwald is kind of a precursor to Nielsen. His symphonies feature airy orchestration, prominent trombone lines, haunting slow movements, piquant harmonies (for his time: his symphonies were written in 1842/45, compared to 1841/46/50/51 of Schumann's, 1892-1925 of Nielsen's), concise musical argument and sure endings.
Despite the euphoria expressed in Goodman's program notes for these recordings, made on the bicentenary of the composer's birth, we haven't exactly been flooded by a deluge of Berwald recordings. Among the handful of Berwald recordings I've heard (Sergiu Celibidache conducting the Swedish Radio SO, Ulf Björlin conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Thomas Dausgaard conducting the Danish National SO), Goodman stands out in these respects: 1. Well-judged tempo: fast passages sound sprightly but never rushed; e.g. at the right tempo the triplets in mm.65-70 of 3-Singulière:I sound like triplets rather than semiquavers as in most other performances 2. Tight ensemble & rhythmic precision; e.g. Goodman plays the syncopated violin figures in 1-Sérieuse:I comfortably & purposefully (as Georg Tintner does in Bruckner's Die Nullte) 3. Antiphonal first & second violins (i.e. second violins placed to the right of the conductor, an orchestral seating plan now taken up by more and more conductors/orchestras), which makes for enhanced clarity in polyphonic interplay (e.g. 1-Sérieuse:IV, 3-Singulière:II, 4-Naïve:IV)