One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 2 [33:21]
Overtures:
Die Ruinen von Athen [4:34]
Zur Namensfeier [6:29]
Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus [5:10]
Coriolan [8:35]
Egmont [8:17]
Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Stefan Blunier
rec. Beethovenhalle, Bonn, January & March 2016
MDG 937 1977-6 SACD [66:29]

I haven’t been following the unfolding Bonn Beethoven cycle, but I enjoyed this CD a lot, and I’ll be looking out for future instalments. Theirs is a four-square, solid approach to Beethoven, one that feels big-boned without being heavy. They have clearly learnt lessons from the period brigade, but they’re not a slave to them and they still see this music as symphonic rather than inflated chamber music.

It’s certainly exciting! The first movement of Symphony No. 2 rips along with a cracking pace once you get through the introduction (which is a proper Adagio). The cellos’ main theme is set against a violin accompaniment that flickers excitingly, and the brass and timps make a wonderfully beefy contribution. The slow movement is, then, really lovely with an old-school approach to the tempo but, nevertheless, something of an edge to the string sound that makes it more interesting to listen to. The Scherzo is exciting, with a pleasingly rustic sounding trio, and the scampering, quicksilver finale rounds off the performance very satisfyingly. It’s refreshing to see that some orchestras still embrace the 20th century tradition of Beethoven playing, and these players claim it boldly for themselves, to which I say: well done!

The overtures that make up the couplings all sound very good, too. A beautifully judged oboe solo leads into a scurrying yet serious Ruins of Athens overture. Zur Namensfeier has the most arresting beginning of anything on the disc, and there is fantastic energy to the main allegro section. Prometheus has an opening pregnant with expectation, and you get the pay-off in a main section of impressive precision.

After this, however, Coriolan is surprisingly (and disappointingly) lumpen and lacking in energy. Egmont makes a satisfying conclusion, however, with crackling fortissimos in the main section and a daringly fast coda which delivers the hymn of victory with all guns firing.

So I’d put this disc into the “pleasant surprise” category. Any Beethoven disc is competing in a very crowded market, of course, and there’s an argument that they’re insufficiently distinctive from the competition. That didn’t stop me enjoying it, though.

Simon Thompson

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



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

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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