“In conversations about Franz Schmidt the recurring theme emerging for many is that listening to a performance of his music at a young age became the turning point in their lives the realization of how powerful music can be,” says Jonathan Berman, whose longtime love of Franz Schmidt’s work has its origins in a performance preparation for his Fourth Symphony.
Berman’s passion for Schmidt’s work and the composer’s upcoming 150th birthday in 2024 were key reasons for the conductor to approach the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to record all four symphonies together – a major project that also marks Jonathan Berman’s CD debut.
The recordings were realized between 2020 and 2022 at BBC Hoddinott Hall, the home of the BBC NOW in Cardiff. In November 2023, Accentus Music releases all four symphonies in a high-quality box set that will also be made available across all digital platforms. BBC Music Magazine wrote about the digital pre-release of the first symphony in March 2021: “Jonathan Berman and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales deliver a terrific performance which provides a fine alternative to the excellent version from Paavo Järvi. […] [W]hat really makes this new recording so enticing is the sheer energy and enthusiasm with which conductor and orchestra communicate the vigour and optimism of the opening movement.”
Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and BBC National Orchestra of Wales