MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F major Pastoral Op. 68 [43:10]
Symphony No. 4 in B flat major Op. 60 [34:40]
Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer
rec. live, Vienna. 2 June 2 (No. 6) & 31 May (No. 4) 1960
IDIS 6619 [77:54]

Experience Classicsonline

I have referred in reviews of earlier volumes in this series (Vols 1 & 2; Vol. 3) to the low recording quality of this series, and should do so again. This is emphatically not an issue for anyone unable to tolerate sound which clearly shows its age. Creative listening is required and the balance appears unrealistic at times. An example of the latter is the occasional virtual inaudibility of the second violins, especially in Symphony No. 4 and odd moments where individual instruments become unexpectedly prominent. Klemperer’s studio recordings give a much better idea of the kind of balance he actually achieved in the concert hall as well as offering an infinitely better sound overall. Despite all the usual criticisms of their generally slow speeds I would not wish for one moment to denigrate them. The rhythmic life and wonderfully careful balance, especially in respect of the woodwind, means that the full intricacy and imagination of these scores is displayed to the listener. I have had many hours of instructive pleasure listening to them and hope to be able to continue to do so.

Nonetheless for much of the time something can be missing. The sense of danger in the music - the sense that the composer himself is reaching out into unknown territory – is sometimes missing. That was not the case in those of Klemperer’s live concerts that I was fortunate to attend, and it is not the case here. Through the at best indifferent recording and occasional performance errors the sympathetic listener will sense the conductor’s clear understanding of the works as a whole. One is also aware of his detailed attention to phrasing and balance as well as the almost physical excitement which is an integral part of the music. That applies especially to the Pastoral where the usual complaints about Klemperer’s slow speed for the third movement seem to miss the point when the result is so invigorating. The well chosen flowing speed for the second movement avoids the sensation I sometimes get with other conductors that like Tennyson’s brook this too will go on for ever.

As with the earlier volumes, IDIS provide the listener with nothing but a bare list of movements and a couple of pictures of the conductor. Notes about the circumstances of the recordings and photographs from them would have been welcome. Despite this what really matters is that this disc gives a good impression of Klemperer in the concert hall. If you are wholly hostile to his approach even this will be unlikely to convert you. However if you use imagination for what is not there due to the recording - and of course may not have been there in reality - listening to these performances is a very exhilarating experience.

John Sheppard









Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.


> 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.