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Christopher Abbot
Fanfare, November 2007

The performance of the Fifth Symphony heard here is in many ways similar to that of the Sixth: there is an admirable sense of rightness to the tempos and notable precision from the orchestra; Schwarz finds a balance between emotion and intellect, which can seem somewhat cool when compared to Rostropovich or Bernstein, particularly in his ferocious 1959 version with its furious finale.

Elsewhere, the first movement starts in a deliberate, rather than an impulsive, fashion; the first theme establishes the mood of quiet desperation. The finale is the best of all, beginning in an exaggerated slow pace, then accelerating and playing up the sardonic, empty celebratory music. Schwarz doesn’t stint on the pathos here, either, but there is still the occasional glimmer of hope. © 2007 Fanfare Read complete review





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