Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Antony Hodgson, February 2020

Wagner’s Faust Overture starts promisingly; clear, quiet and with hardly any background noise; and at climaxes the orchestral detail is surprisingly good. Walter deals confidently with the uncertain moments, and the sporadic Liszt-like outbursts which are features of this episodic piece.

…This is a stirring performance verging on greatness. © 2020 Read complete review

James A. Altena
Fanfare, March 2019

Walter’s approach to this work [“Miracle” Symphony] changed very little over the years, with all his versions radiating gentle, relaxed charm. The live 1954 performance suffers from poor sound and is a last choice; the studio 1954 performance predictably has the best sound; the 1937 Vienna version (in excellent sound for its era) has a special Viennese lilt, while the 1955 Paris broadcast imparts a unique Gallic elegance. But, in a compromise balance between sound quality and interpretive points, this new version might very well be the choice in the Walter discography…

While none of these performances is indispensable, all are desirable, with the sum being a delightful concert that is greater than its considerable parts. This is cordially recommended, then, to fellow Walter devotees and to collectors of historic recordings more generally. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, March 2019

Walter’s solid, exciting, and well played performance of Wagner’s Faust Overture is a great help to a piece that does not always come off well. The conductor was fond enough of Brahms’s Schicksalslied for there to be two surviving concert performances and two from the studio (1941 and 1960 in stereo for Columbia, the day after his last public concert). This one is strong, warm, and better played than the Mahler. Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 was a Walter favorite. The performance is Viennese and weighty, but it dances, too, proving that Haydn can be on the heavy side and still be lively. Mahler’s ‘Wo Die Schönen Trompeten Blasen’ (Where the Fair Trumpets Sound) from Des Knaben Wunderhorn sung by the great soprano Irmgard Seefried, is a stunner. Her commanding, slightly dark soprano, combined with her sense of drama create the best performance on this disc by far. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Rob Cowan
Gramophone, December 2018

The work in question is Wagner’s A Faust Overture, Walter’s performance in marked contrast with the pin-sharp readings of, say, Toscanini and Szell, stormier, elemental even, a perfect portrayal of Faust’s character. You can sense that the man at the helm knows his Goethe as well as he knows his Wagner. The remainder of the set includes one of many Mahler Firsts that we now have from Walter, this one fairly typical in shape and expression (though the finale is more dynamic than most), a gorgeous account of Mahler’s ‘Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen’ with Irmgard Seefried, a spirited Haydn Miracle and another Walter speciality, Brahms’s Song of Destiny, beautifully performed by the BBC Chorus. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Robert Benson, November 2018

It always is important to find live performances by major conductors of the past, and here we have some from BBC sources The venerable conductor Bruno Walter recorded profusely—check his discography on-line and you will find multiple live and commercial recordings of all of the music in this set. Still, these are important for the collector. It does seem odd that the limited program notes are available only in French and German! © 2018

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, October 2018

Never released before, this concert recordings under the baton of Bruno Walter show the great conductor in mastery performances. An invaluable album! © 2018 Pizzicato

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group