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Beethoven: Sym Nos 5-8, Egmont Overture / Ansermet, et al

Notes & Reviews:

In The Latest Instalment Of The Decca Ansermet Legacy, Decca Eloquence Introduces The Swiss Conductors Recordings Of Beethoven His Symphony Cycle, Overtures And The Rare Weingartner Arrangement Of The Grosse Fuge. They Are Issued As Three 2cd Sets. Beethovens Fifth Symphony, So Familiar Today That One Risks Taking It For Granted, Sounds Almost As If It Were Composed In One Sitting. The Composer Is Supposed To Have Described The Famous Four Notes That Open The Symphony As Fate Knocking At The Door. Even Though They Have Been Endlessly Appropriated And Parodied By Popular Culture, Their Power And Fascination Remain Undiminished After More Than Two Centuries. Even Twenty Years After Its Premiere, When The Symphony Was Performed In Paris, French Composer Jean-Franois Le Sueur Claimed To Be So Disoriented That He Could Not Find His Head, When He Tried To Put On His Hat! Ansermets Pastoral Seems To Depict The Feelings Of A Sympathetic Visitor To The Country, Not The Experiences Of An Actual Country-Dweller. Warm, Hazy Textures And An Unerring Sense Of Line Are Its Hallmarks And In The Finale He Lets The Melody Soar, Freely And Lightly, Into The Evening Sky. His Seventh Is Less Of An Orgiastic Romp Than In Other Hands And Ansermet Conducts It As If It Were An Extension Of The Pastoral. The Orchestral Sonorities Are Given Mass, But Inner Voices Are Not Obscured. Ansermets Reading Of The Eighth Is As Monumental As That Of The Bigger Trio Of Symphonies Preceding It In No Way Is It To Be Treated As A Lesser Work Than Its Bedfellows. Artists Lorchestre De La Suisse Romande, Ernest Ansermet


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