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Schumann: The Four Symphonies, Manfred Overture - Szell, Cleveland Orchestra (2 CDs)

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This is a "heads up" review. Sony has laudably decided to repackage some of its Masterworks Heritage Series in jewel cases, a less expensive and more sensible alternative to the original paper sleeves, which may have looked snazzy but which as often as not scratched up the surface of the discs pretty badly. This reissue, one of the two or three greatest sets of Schumann symphonies ever made and a cornerstone of Szell's art as a conductor, is particularly important. The performances remain as great as ever, and the remastering is a source of wonder: for example, the sound vastly improves on the recent Thielemann/Philharmonia performance of the Third Symphony on Deutsche Grammophon. If you don't own these recordings, here's a rare second chance to correct the oversight. Take advantage of it while you can. --David Hurwitz,

Symphony No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 38 'Spring'
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 97 'Rhenish'
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Manfred Overture, Op. 115

The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell

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