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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2013

Playing and recording are both topnotch, and if you’re not acquainted with d’Albert’s music, this disc, at Naxos’s budget price, is an excellent way to gain some familiarity with it…recommended. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

John Terauds
Musical Toronto, March 2013

Thanks to the Naxos record label’s desire to record everything possible, we have the opportunity to experience a very fine performance of a symphony by once-famous early-20th century pianist Eugen D’Albert.

D’Albert’s cause is nicely served by German conductor Jun Märkl, who has a wonderful way with music from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

He leads the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra in an excellent studio recording that impressively displays the composer’s deft hand at careful thematic development wrapped in a keen sense of musical narrative.

Having an orchestra and conductor so wonderfully committed to the music helps—a lot. © 2013 Musical Toronto Read complete review

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, March 2013

The MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under Jun Märkl have…an ideal rich and burnished tone for this music. All departments of the orchestra give a good account but I must mention an excellent principal horn and clarinet. They are given support in this by Tim Handley’s detailed but warm and resonant recording…I am pleased to say that I have found this wholly convincing.

There is competition in the main work from CPO…However, for those coming to this work for the first time I would prefer the Naxos disc to the CPO. Idiomatic playing of an impressive interpretation backed up by good engineering seals the deal. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2013

Lasting fame is an illusive commodity, though by his death Eugen d’Albert must have thought his twenty operas would have provided him with that status. But it was not to be, the Scottish-born composer’s music soon falling from popularity, with only Tiefland, dating from 1902, managing to hold a tenuous place in the repertoire. Living most of his adult life in Germany, he became a Liszt protege in his later student days, and was included among the great touring pianist’s entourage in the latter part of the 19th century. Yet he longed to settle down and become a composer, and as this excellently played disc will evince, he was highly gifted in that career. Yet, like so many others of his generation, he was unable to respond to the speed of change that took place at the beginning of the 20th century, his style wedded to the influences of Brahms, while there was Wagner just hovering in the background. After the pastoral opening, the long Symphonic Prelude to Tiefland speaks of the high drama and sadness of the story that is to follow, two men sharing a desire for the same woman that has murder as its outcome. By contrast the symphony was a student score completed in 1886 when he was twenty-two, and represents his the only extended orchestral score. In four movements of similar length, the warmth and lyric quality of the opening sets the scene for the whole work, a grey coloured slow movement giving way to the bubbling vitality of the scherzo. Unlike so many symphonies that fail for the lack of a good and decisive finale, this ends in a mood of gladdened triumph. Well worth hearing, particularly at the Naxos price. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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