Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, La Scala Theater Orchestra, Carlo-Maria Giulini|
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral"; Coriolan & Egmont Overtures
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Not the best, but still a fine rendition of Beethoven's 6th
W. Hill | Newark, DE USA | 10/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to take exception with the previous review of this CD. I own many different versions of this symphony, and while Giulini's is not at the very top of my list (Karl Bohm & Bruno Walter are superb in this music, IMHO), this is certainly not elevator-worthy. The tempos here are broad and measured by current standards, much more in line with Bohm or Klemperer than with the speedy period-instrument crowd (or Karajan for that matter). However, Giulini is good at bringing out aspects of the score that other conductors miss, and the La Scala orchestra, while not achieving the finesse of Vienna or Berlin, is a fine ensemble and quite up to the task. The digital recording is excellent, and the overtures on the CD are also nicely done.In summary, this would not be my first choice for Beethoven's 6th, but it makes a fine supplement, and those with an affinity for this conductor should not hesitate. It's not as enlightenning as Giulini's justly famous version of the Eroicawith the LAPO (a truly great disc, which led me to try out this one), but I still feel that this was a worthy purchase."
Boult's Brilliant Beethoven
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 03/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sir Adrian Boult is best known for his recordings of the British repertoire, and his performances, particularly of Holst's "The Planets" and Elgar's Symphonies and Orchestral Works, are legendary. But Boult was also an excellent conductor of Beethoven, Brahms and Wagner, and this 2-CD set collects the 6th and 7th Symphonies, and Fidelio and Egmont Overtures of the former German titan. These vintage stereo recordings with the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra of London are truly first rate. The 6th is well-paced and thoroughly enjoyable, and the 7th is even better, with boisterous brass perfectly placed in the opening movement. I have to say Boult's performances, while aimed at connoisseurs, will certainly appeal to any and all who come across it. These discs could have been longer (they both log it at around 45 minutes), but the fact that the Vanguard Classics "Masterpiece" series basically sells at budget-line makes them all the more enjoyable. A brilliant buy!"
Giulini in his autmumnal style
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 02/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Because he was so beloved, Giulini was given much leeway later in his career when he drastically lost energy and musical insight, filtering almost every work through the same rather sluggish "noble" style. Sony recorded some of his least apapealing performances, but the Beethoven cycle from La Scala (Giulini made it his mission to organize a symphony orchestra from the pit musicians) has some flashes of his old mastery.
The opening work, the Coriolan Over., gives us an idea of what to expect: it's sonorous, slow, steady, and unvaried in mood. Dynamic contrast and dramatic struggle play no part here. Luckily for Giulini, the Pastorle Sym. is a largely placid work that suits his approach. The opening two movements are sunny, if a bit measured, and only the Scherzo seems too polite and underpowered. Given his well-known spiritual bent, I'm sure that Giulini lavished extra love on the hymn-like finale, which indeed moves gently and reverently to its climax. The CD ends with an Egmot Over. that longs for much more dramatic contrast.
In all, one of the high points in Giulini's slow latter decline, reminding us often of his better days."