CLASSICAL

Schubert, Franz: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 ("Unfinished"). With Mendelssohn, Felix: Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 ("Italian"). Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan. DG 2531 291 -- Just as "Cavalleria Rusticana" is almost never performed without "I Pagliacci," so Schubert's "Unfinished" is almost never paired with anything but Mendelssohn's "Italian" on records. These performances are not new --the Schubert goes back to 1965, The Mendelssohn to 1973. But the latter was never issued alongside the integral set , and both performances are marvels of control, sophistication, and undercurrent. The Berlin, as always, played superbly.Karajan ferrets out the last detain while maintaining a smooth, elegant surface. The somberness of the Schubert first movement is not too gloomy, the cheer and sun of the first movement of the Mendelssohn not too enforcedly good-natured.The details along the way that Karajan subtly points to makes this one of the best available recordings of this pair of favorite works.

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