£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827)
Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36 (1807)
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (1802)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado
Directed by Bob Cole.
recorded in February 2001 live at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome (DVD).
TDK DV BPAB 25 [75 minutes]



BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Abbado has recorded all of the Beethoven Symphonies on CD for Deutsche Grammophon. This series of DVDs is now being released and records a series of concerts given in Rome in 2001. They are using the same editions of the Symphonies (Jonathon Del Mar) as they did in the CD versions. These gave Abbado a chance to review his approach. The new edition goes back to the original manuscripts and subsequent corrections by the composer as well as to other published editions. Without comparing the new edition with the old, the changes appear to be of a relatively minor nature and an average listener will be unable to tell which edition is being used.

A far more important effect is that of the conductor’s approach to the music. Here we have interpretations so far removed from that of his Berlin predecessor, Herbert von Karajan, that there is no continuity of interpretation from the earlier era. There is none of the lushness beloved of Karajan and his army of fans. It is amazing that after a few years this approach is now sneered at as an anachronism. Listening to these earlier performances, I find that their strong points are still there. Abbado however supplies something which is more contemporary.

Abbado recorded a series of these symphonies in the late 1980s with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, also released on DG. At the time these older performances were not rated as great, but merely as a good run-through. If any of you are basing your response to this DVD upon these earlier recordings, you are in for a shock.

Abbado, evincing a wonderful rapport with his orchestra, is clearly thoroughly enjoying himself and this despite looking distinctly unwell as a result of his recent serious illness. The orchestra shares the pleasure with "on the edge of the seat" playing and complete commitment to their conductor.

With the new editions, Abbado has elected for a much reduced size of orchestra for the Second Symphony, using only three double basses and four cellos. This sparer sound produces a lightness in phrasing almost, dare I say it, like a period performance. It clearly is not a period performance but nowadays, many conductors are absorbing what has been learned without going the whole hog. Here we have modern instruments, steel strings and modern brass and woodwind driven superbly by their conductor.

The recording quality is extremely fine, capturing the tonal splendour of this very great orchestra to perfection. The closing in on individual instruments in good BBC fashion enhances the listening experience considerably.

Anyone choosing this release is in for a very rewarding experience. It gives one the chance to see a world class (if not the world class) orchestra thoroughly at ease with their Music Director, playing favourite Beethoven symphonies with maximum style and enjoyment. Its audience is both quiet and attentive and voracious in their reaction to them at the close, and this is well deserved.


John Phillips



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.