Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Claudio Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra|
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6; Fantasia
A great performance of the Choral Fantasy is, unfortunately, shackled to a tepid version of the Sixth Symphony. Claudio Abbado's Beethoven is highly variable, and this performance more or less sets the tone for most of t... more »
A great performance of the Choral Fantasy is, unfortunately, shackled to a tepid version of the Sixth Symphony. Claudio Abbado's Beethoven is highly variable, and this performance more or less sets the tone for most of the performances in his symphony cycle: some beautiful playing, a dull slow movement and finale, and a general sense of routine despite fine moments. Abbado seems to have gone to sleep with his interpretations, but there's no reason that you should too. --David Hurwitz
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David Hurwitz - wrong again
Joey Joe Joe Jr. Shabadoo | Boston, MA USA | 12/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Does this guy ever offer any real insight? It seems like he is a pretty closed-minded evaluator of music. He consistently lauds Bernstein's good-but-not-great Vienna cycle, and yet he bashes Karajan's interpretations as well as Abbado's. First of all, Karajan had made numerous well-regarded performances of Beethoven, and after scanning Mr. Hurwitz' reviews, I've noticed he is just plain biased against him. Likewise, Abbado's set from the 1980's is the closest in sound and performance to that of the old guard and as a result quite rewarding; but because Hurwitz doesn't like it, he dismisses it completely. This is a fine disc, with a beautifully conceived Sixth and an outstanding rendition of the Choral Fantasy, played masterfully by Maurizio Pollini (at least Hurwitz got that right). In the Fantasy, Pollini plays with a consummate understanding of the work's architecture, and his sheer coordination, dexterity and technical superiority is apparent throughout. Abbado's accompaniment is very fine and in tune with his soloist, and the vocal soloists are excellent in their own right. This is an incredibly difficult work to execute effectively, in some ways worse than the finale of the Ninth as a piano must also be considered; and yet, in spite of these stumbling blocks, everything just "works". As for the Pastorale, Abbado takes things along slowly, but it's properly paced for such a soothing, unconflicted work as this. Proceedings unfold naturally and with great dignity as the music transitions from scene to scene. The storm, however, is fierce and visceral, as it should be. It's all wonderfully executed by the VPO, whose gorgeous string tones start the proceedings off in grand form during the strident introductory statement and are apparent throughout. This performance is really wonderful and like any excellent performance, it gets better with repeat listening. Abbado's Beethoven cycle with the VPO harkens back to the big-boned, dependable, middle of the road Beethoven of days gone by. As a result it may not be as initially eye-catching as some of the flashier, more famous readings, but afficionados know the potential for how wonderful these interpretations can be. A strong recommendation to say the least. As an alternative for the Sixth: I also enjoyed Bohm/VPO and the neglected and out-of-print Schmidt-Isserstedt/LSO; but with those discs, you don't get the Choral Fantasy, and you would be hard-pressed to find a better one elsewhere. Recommended if you like old-school Beethoven or Abbado's other entries from this cycle, which differ greatly with those from his 1999 cycle."
A WONDERFULLY FINE DISC...
Sébastien Melmoth | Hôtel d'Alsace, PARIS | 12/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Regarding Beethoven's symphonies, of course the 5th and the 3rd are exceptional; the 7th, 8th, and 4th all have their charms; needless to say, the 9th is certainly one of the greatest works of human civilization; and ultimately, I urge that the 6th immediately follows the 9th in aesthetic excellence: idea and expression have rarely been more finely synthesized.
Abbado's leisurely reading of the 6th is delightfully bucolic; more akin to Bohm's noble stride than to Karajan's brisk romp--and after all, nobody could exceed Gould's 20 min. ecstasis at the "Scene by the Brook."
This is an immensely pleasing disc with the Choral Fantasy and Beethoven's late choral piece "Becalmed Sea and Prosperous Arrival." Moreover, the frisson of aesthetic pleasure is intensified by the stunning visuals from Klimt's Beethoven Frieze: damn!--that's fine art: extraordinary art nouveau from fin de siecle Wien: what taste!: what style!: what an illustration of the best of which humankind is capable."
The ultimate interpetation of the Pastoral Symphony
Sébastien Melmoth | 02/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most precious cd in my extensive collection. The music is utterly astounding and beautiful. The performance impeccable. The recording sharp and clear. Listening is a moving experience from start to finish! "Becalmed Sea" and the Choral Fantasy add an unexpected, and equally beautiful start and finsh to the Sixth."