Josef Krips conducts SCHUBERT = Rosamunde Overture; Symphony No. 6; MOZART: Sym. No. 39; J. STRAUSS II: Acceleration Waltz; Roses from the South – London Symphony Orch./ The New Symphony Orch./ Josef Krips – Dutton

by | Dec 21, 2011 | Classical Reissue Reviews

Josef Krips conducts SCHUBERT = Rosamunde: Overture, D. 797; Symphony No. 6 in C Major, D. 589; MOZART: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543; J. STRAUSS II: Acceleration Waltz, Op. 234; Roses from the South, Op. 388 – London Symphony Orchestra (Schubert)/ The New Symphony Orchestra/ Josef Krips – Dutton CDBP 9810, 76:17 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] **** :
Increasingly, the work of Austrian conductor Josef Krips (1902-1974) gains recognition for the consistency and beauty of his music-making, a natural and gracious legacy that stands in contrast to the “metaphysical” school of conducting of his German neighbors of the period. Dutton assembles a series of Krips inscriptions made of mainstream Austrian repertory inscribed 1947-1948 that exemplifies his command of the Central European tradition.
After a deliberately slow introduction (rec. 8 April 1948), the familiar Overture to Rosamunde (orig. “The Magic Harp”) spins and warbles its lovely song, the woodwinds and strings of the LSO in top form. The ensuing allegro section moves briskly and lightly, a perfect sound for both Schubert and Mendelssohn, were the latter scheduled. “All music is singing,” remarked Krips, and that philosophy does not deny the music’s dancing. Note the deft adjustments in the diviso strings, the tip of the bow applied to increase the aerial pungency of articulation. The brass section of the LSO, called upon by Schubert to employ four horns and three trombones, achieves a lovely Viennese  resonance in Kingsway Hall.
Krips recorded Schubert’s 1817-1818 Symphony in C Major in Kingsway Hall on two dates, 4 and 8 April 1948. While aware that Schubert had fallen under the spell of the Beethoven titanic ethos, Krips keeps this vivacious music within the Haydn tradition, light, lithe, transparent. The LSO woodwind complement receives loving treatment in the recording process and sound separation; and Krips likes to take the repeats, omitting only that indicated in the Trio section of the Scherzo. Thus, even the relatively fleet ephemeral charm of the music receives a girth and breadth of expression it loses in more streamlined interpretations. Both the Andante second movement and Allegro moderato finale enjoy a pseudo-militant swagger in their rendering that bestows a decided charm on their essentially lyrical character. Both the Scherzo (and its pomposo Trio) and finale move energetically, the individual tone colors vivid and alluring, a happy blend of ensemble that speaks volumes about the conductor’s comfort with the Viennese style.
No less idiomatic, the Mozart E-flat Major Symphony (rec. Kingsway Hall, 14 October 1947) under Krips comes from the Felix Weingarten “school,” and therefore imbibes the soul of Classical structure. A combination of grandeur and labile flexibility, the Krips Adagio–Allegro conveys a pregnant sense of occasion, solemn but without menace. Grace and proportion mark every bar, and the LSO’s capacity for clean articulation of Mozart’s rocket figures makes for grandly eloquent listening. The Andante enjoys a calm leisure that allows the LSO wind complement their day in the sun. The joyous singing line of the Menuetto refuses to cloy, and so it expands in breadth and fluency without drag or exaggeration. The finale romps through Mozart’s metric knots with agile flair, the felicitous bassoon or woodwind ornament a natural extension of a spirited musical line.
Krips concludes with two delightful Strauss waltzes, recorded at the Decca studios in West Hampstead, 7 April 1948 (Accelerations) and 10 March 1948 (Roses). Krips has his British band infused with the Viennese lilted spirit, the balances and inner voices particularly present. Lithe, delicious, and enthusiastic, these two waltzes provide a richly luxuriant topping to a musical feast that proves “just desserts” to a gifted conductor.
—Gary Lemco

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