Notes & Reviews:
Following closely on the heels of their seven GRAMMY® Award winning Mahler cycle, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony turn to Beethoven with a new recording of two of his most popular works. Emanuel Ax, a frequent collaborator with the orchestra, is featured soloist in the fourth piano concerto. In concert, Ax’s performance of the slow movement was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as, “dark and eloquent.” The program also features Beethoven’s heroic fifth symphony, played here with all the fire and gusto one could hope for.
“The San Francisco Symphony could well be currently operating at a level higher than any other American orchestra.” — FANFARE
BBC Music Magazine
Tilson Thomas's interpretation is free of any mannerism, but it is alive in every bar, full of passion, and marvellously played and recorded. A work which can lead to feelings of having been listened to, or anyway heard, too often, blazes from the speakers and defies one to feel familiar with it. To achieve that at this stage is an astonishing achievement.
International Record Review
This pairing is a sure-fire winner - two of Beethoven's most venerated works, performed by musicians of acute sensibility and enviable faculties of interpretation...We expect the impossible from fresh recordings of the Fifth Symphony nowadays...but if you're simply after a crisply attacked, consistently stirring performance of the work, unfettered by spurious gimmickry, look no further. The orchestra is electric in this performance.
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