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Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique / Herbert Kegel, Dresdner Philharmonie

Notes & Reviews:

The conductor Herbert Kegel had an instinctive flair for unravelling sound to fill space and thus made full use of the exceptional acoustics of the Lukaskirche in Dresden, which became his regular recording studio (for the Eterna label). The challenge there was to achieve a finely balanced fusion of sound and complete audibility in the tutti sections - after all, Herbert Kegel never aspired to the opulence associated with Karajan. One might say that the composition has been put under an acoustic magnifying glass to bring out details that are little appreciated (e.g. secondary parts that are often overlooked). Although Kegel's finely nuanced style aims to develop contrasts of both sound and dynamics, his agogics never appear arbitrary but always in line with the formal progression of the music. It is clear from the track list that this re-released recording is one of the slowest in his discography, not that this is at all noticeable at any stage of the listening experience: one might say that the composition has been put under an acoustic magnifying glass to bring out details that are little appreciated (e.g. secondary parts that are often overlooked). Although Kegel's finely nuanced style aims to develop contrasts of both sound and dynamics, his agogics never appear arbitrary but always in line with the formal progression of the music.



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