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St Christopher Chamber Orchestra
conducted by Arie Lipsky

CD Review

Although not Schubert at his best, this charming collection of overtures portrays the composer in a dramatic and always melodic vein. Some rather rare pieces are unearthed here, indeed one of the overtures is designated as D12. Lipsky and his Lithuanian orchestra are captured in what is extremely boxy sound that deters enjoyment from the characterful and brightly-lit performances.

There is much to enjoy in the Italian Style overtures that are brimful with orchestral magic and typically Viennese ritornellos. 'Des Teufels Lustschloss' is also quite vivid here although Charles Groves' now-unavailable IMP recording is in a different league. I warmed to the romanticized imagery of 'Claudine von Villa Bella', a neglected work that deserves wider currency, as does the hilarious incident present in 'Der Vierjahrige Posten'.

The shorter works are a touch Mozartian, although some early symphonic mannerisms creep into the dash and style of the Overture in D, D. 556, and this receives a genial performance by Lipsky and his Baltic players. Liner notes are adequate. This is an alternative to more illustrious counterparts, with some rarer works that need better sound quality.

Copyright © Gerald Fenech, April 19th 1999


Fleur De Son FDS57923
The St Christopher Chamber Orchestra, Lithuania
conducted by Arie Lipsky

Schubert overtures:
'In the Italian Style', D. 590/591
'Des Teufels Lustschloss', D. 84
'Claudine von Villa Bella', D. 239
'Der Vierjahrige Posten', D. 190, Overtures in B, D and D.
'Fierrabras' D. 796.

DDD                                                Duration: 69m

Reviewer's ratings:     Performance: 70%         Sound: 60%


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