One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience



Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid world-wide.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 8 in F major Op. 93 [27:23]
Egmont Overture, Op. 84 [9:10]
Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 [9:06]
Ruins of Athens Overture, Op. 113 [5:21]
Leonore Overture no. 3, Op. 72 [15:06]
London Symphony Orchestra/Yondani Butt
rec. Air Studios, London, 13-14 October 2013

When I came to write this piece, a glance at the review of the first issue in this series of the “Eroica” by Byzantion to my surprise confirmed that it had already been written, as every word he says here equally applies to this recording:
“A comparison with other recordings would take a year, and ultimately prove pointless: some, perhaps many, will not take to this version mainly because it does not sound how they expect it to sound on the strength of familiar, favourite recordings or live performances. For those without preconceptions, newcomers …in particular, there is certainly nothing here to dislike. Whilst there is no great personality in Butt's reading, neither is the result bland. He guides the LSO through an intelligent, relaxed, neutral account, even if the LSO at times sound more professional than passionate. The same can be said of the four overtures that follow…”
I have little to add. These are restrained, civilised readings, generally treated to a light touch. The LSO strings are at times quite zingy, especially as they quite often play with little or no vibrato in a concession to modern performance practice. Butt makes no idiosyncratic departures from the norm unless you count the fact that in common with Cluytens and Knappertsbusch he favours a leisurely tempo in the opening movement and sides more with the likes of Karajan by taking the Menuetto quite slowly and thus his overall timings is quite slow, but that chimes with his generally sensible approach.
Nonetheless, I could observe that in this “Little” symphony, Casals flows, Karajan insists and Kubelik dances, whereas Butt just … is.
The overtures are decidedly uninspiring in comparison with favourite versions by Furtwängler or Masur with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester. My pulse is not set racing as it should in the Egmont and the Coriolan but all four overtures are equally decidedly well played. After all, this is the LSO, a great orchestra, faithfully recorded in a clear ambience.
That said, is there any reason to recommend this over a dozen or more other accounts?  

Ralph Moore

Masterwork Index: Symphony 8