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Steven Krugger
Fanfare, January 2017

A sigh of relief! Some nice big Schumann for a change—and beautifully played at that. Antonio Pappano’s Santa Cecilia Orchestra is a finely honed instrument these days, more international-sounding by far than Italian orchestras used to be. It’s reached the stage of excellence where it can easily lose itself in the nationality of any music “without accent”… But when it wants to, the orchestra still knows how to put on that accent! The slow movement of the Schumann Second, impassioned here, is played like an aria, the accompaniment moving ever so subtly underneath in bel canto syncopated footsteps. It’s a lovely effect.

These are warm, flowing readings, string dominated, no quirks, modestly normal in tempo and slightly less brassy and aggressive than Schumann frequently is. They reveal none of the ankle-biting small-dog snarls common in today’s early music orchestras. A large complement is onstage to supply lots of rounded corners. And Pappano shines at going around those corners—indeed, he seems to have a sort of built-in Bruno Walterish sense of phrasing. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob W McKenzie
MusicWeb International, December 2016

…this performance is unquestionably authoritative…

While it seems warm enough when the orchestra is playing relatively softly, it develops an unwelcome ‘edge’ during louder passages. …these Pappano performances would probably be the top choice for modern recordings of these symphonies. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, October 2016

Two Symphonies of Robert Schumann are played using redefined tempo proportions. The sound of the slow movement of the Fourth Symphony is enchanting, …Pappano and his Santa Cecilia Orchestra are a couple worth to listen to. © 2016 Pizzicato

Antony Hodgson, August 2016

Antonio Pappano’s approach resembles the Sawallisch school of thought. The Santa Cecilia Orchestra provides a big, bold sound and is at-one with Pappano in his powerful view of these grand works of the Romantic period. © 2016 Read complete review

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