Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Sir Simon Rattle, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra|
Beethoven: Symphonies #7 & 8; Sir Simon Rattle/Vienna Philharmonic
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Competent performances but a good pairing
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One would expect that placing Simon Rattle before the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra would result in some fresh insights into Beethoven performing concepts. But oddly enough this recording, though thoughtfully pairing the Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 with the neighboring (yet later premiered) Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93, offers few insights not explored before. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra plays well if not without some inelegant phrasing in the strings and Rattle seems bent on 'recreating' Beethoven of Vienna durability. The performances are solid but remain earthbound.
Perhaps returning to this 2003 recording after experiencing these two symphonies which served as bookends to a world premiere of Anders Hillborg's 'Eleven Gates' as envisioned by Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic is an unfair disadvantage to Rattle's recording. But it should be made publicly known that Salonen and the LA Phil produced the most exquisitely delineated, airborne, thrilling performances of these works that demand recording! Everything that is missing in the Rattle performances - subtle give and take phrasing, the softest of pianissimo passages coupled with outbursts of joyous exhilaration, arching architectural commitment - all literally sing forth under Salonen.
But since these two Beethoven symphonies are so rarely placed on the same CD, except when taken out of the multitude of boxed sets, this CD certainly gives solid and acceptable performances.
Grady Harp, May 06