Live at Carnegie Hall: Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
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Nearly 20 years after their acclaimed Beethoven Symphonies recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre R+ªvolutionnaire 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.
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Conductor John Gardiner shows fantastic musicianship and keeps a vital, brisk pace, much faster than any recording I am familiar with (though now I'm going to seek out the earlier recordings of Gardiner with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique) and much less varnished so the pieces can breath. The instruments seem to be talking much more to each other, strings and brass are less isolated. I think what really comes out in these recordings is the punctuation that percussion provides while not being any more forward in the mix, and an earthier tone overall. It is like Beethoven is coming up to you and saying "THIS is what I MEANT!"
I've got a few recordings of these symphonies on vinyl, but even the tonal warmth of that medium doesn't quite match this release. I feel like I got a new set of ears for Christmas.