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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 / Sir John Eliot Gardiner (recorded live at Carnegie Hall)

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Nearly 20 years after their acclaimed Beethoven Symphonies recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique returned to this repertoire for the first time last year, in a tour that took them to London, Philadelphia, Washington and New York. The concert in Carnegie Hall was broadcast live by WQXR, who kindly agreed to make the recording available on our label. Performing on period instruments, the ORR brings brisk energy, as well as a genuinely thrilling sound.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
No. 7 is fast and acceptable. I therefore find this performance is all right.

The Observer, 14th October 2012
The electricity in the air is almost tangible. Gardiner is merciless in his demands...The tempo is often exhilarating, the playing always vital, edgy and thrillingly fluent. This is the most exciting Beethoven release you are likely to hear this year.

The Arts Desk, 20th October 2012
The pace still feels driven, the tension high, but there's a greater sense of fun and a touch more colour now. You sense that Gardiner's Orchestre RTvolutionnaire et Romantique now have these difficult pieces under their collective skin, and can now project them with a little more spontaneity and freedom. This Fifth seethes, bubbles and spits in places...Symphony no 7 is better still, its rapt introduction leading to an astonishing, punchy Vivace.

Sunday Times, 28th October 2012
Even if Weber didn't make the famous remark attributed to him - "Beethoven is ripe for the madhouse" - you can understand his reaction. Played as the ORR play it, it can still make your hair stand on end.

Financial Times, 24th November 2012
The execution is fabulous, the (superlative) stylistic foundation always at the service of the music's rhythm, energy and inner logic...With every performance of these symphonies, the listener ought to be taken aback at the revolutionary force of Beethoven's language. Where many fail, Gardiner succeeds.

Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
So palpable is the excitement of these live performances that it almost comes as a shock that the applause has been excised...Gardiner and his resplendent Orchestre RTvolutionnaire et Romantique rejoice here in the sheer physicality of the music...These are the kind of performances that remind us of what a revolution of reassessment period-instrument bands provoke.

BBC Music Magazine, January 2013
After hearing these explosive, invigorating and electrifying performances, we are reminded once again of the ferocious intensity that must have shell-shocked 19th-century Viennese audiences...Gardiner brings tremendous rhythmic drive and irresistable forward momentum to both Symphonies and revels in the sheer audacity of Beethoven's orchestration.

MusicWeb International, November 2012
These are thrusting, dynamic performances...though the music is played very speedily there's no skating over Beethoven's drama and argument.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: David Watkin (cello); Michael Niesemann (oboe).

Recording information: Stern Auditorium/Perleman Stage, Carnegie Hall, New Yor (11/16/2011).


Reasonable recording, but the sound is a little thin…
On this CD are performances of Beethoven’s 7th and 5th Symphonies, in that order. Given that the conductor is John Eliot Gardiner, I sat down, ears primed, ready to be overwhelmed by the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique under Mr. Gardiner’s baton. Instead, I found myself a bit disappointed. The opening movement of the 7th seemed to lag ever so slightly in places at first, but picked up nicely when the flute begins its familiar positive tune around 1/3rd of the way through. But the 2nd movement (my favorite) seemed all to thin, the result being that the dynamic tension I was looking for was lacking. The pace of the 3rd movement also seemed just a touch fast which again left me a bit put-off, but the 4th movement was lovely.

The 5th Symphony also seemed too “smooth” in places, and a bit too drawn out in others. I also felt that the pace was somewhat uneven, and again the thinness of the sound left me wanting.

As to the recording quality, I attribute some of the thinness of the sound to Carnegie Hall itself, as these works were recorded recently. I can’t speak to the caliber of the orchestra itself, as this is the only recording I have of them in aggregate.

With respect to this particular CD, if you find Karajan recordings of these pieces to be too thick and heavy then this performance might just be what you are looking for. On the other hand if, like me, you are very satisfied with Karajan-esque performances, then this CD is probably better off being skipped.

Submitted on 01/02/13 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Ensemble: Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique
  • Running Time: 38 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1812
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Running Time: 32 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1808
  • Studio/Live: Live