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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-8; "Coriolan" & "Egmont" Overtures / Filarmonica della Scala, Carlo Maria Giulini

Notes & Reviews:

As a young orchestral violist in Rome Carlo Maria Giulini played Beethoven under the likes of Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter and Otto Klemperer. In his late maturity, Giulini, by then a conducting icon and revered Beethoven interpreter himself, turned once again to the symphonies, recording the complete cycle in Milan with the La Scala Philharmonic in the 1990s. Reviewers were unstinting in their praise. BBC Music Magazine wrote: "This is a throwback to an older style of Beethoven playing ... The sound is massive, full, and beautifully blended ... [The performances] have a wonderfully spacious quality, and the slowish tempi allow the inner parts to sound with unusual clarity." Of Giulini's Scala Eroica, that journal's reviewer declared that "every minute is worth savouring". The Penguin Guide wrote that Giulini's newest version of the Pastoral, measured, essentially warm and relaxed, speaks very much of the sunny Italian scene where it was recorded. The La Scala players are on their finest form throughout and play with great radiance in the finale." Gramophone called this "by some distance, the finest" of Giulini's three recordings of the Sixth, called the finale of No. 4 "a miracle of unforced motion", and described the coupling of Nos. 2 and 8 as "a personal statement from a master who remains one of music's great visionaries."


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