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Beethoven: Symphonies No 4 & 7 / Herreweghe, Royal Flemish Philharmonic

Beethoven / Rfp / Herreweghe
Release Date: 04/26/2011 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186315   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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BEETHOVEN Symphonies: Nos. 4, 7 Philippe Herreweghe, cond; Royal Flemish PO PENTATONE PTC 5186 315 (SACD: 75:40)


This program was originally released on the Talent label and was reviewed quite favorably by Colin Anderson in Read more style="font-style:italic">Fanfare 29:2: “With superb recording, it is a pleasure to recommend Philippe Herreweghe’s incisive, dynamic, imaginative, and flexible Beethoven.” That recording was not available on SACD, and this current release doesn’t indicate whether the SACD mastering is new; the four subsequent volumes, all released by PentaTone, are hybrid SACDs (three of the earlier CDs were reviewed in 31:5 and 32:1 by me, and in 33:2 by the reviewer known as Ilya Oblomov).


As far as these performances are concerned, I share Anderson’s enthusiasm: They are moderately paced interpretations that adhere to the internal logic of Beethoven’s tempo markings, the most telling example being Herreweghe’s regard for the actual tempos in the last two movements of the Seventh. This cycle was released at roughly the same time as that on RCA conducted by Paavo Järvi, and I tended to favor Järvi’s generally faster tempos and dry, immediate acoustic perspective. Over time, though, my initial enthusiasm has cooled; Järvi can seem relentlessly driven, and the more balanced approach of the Herreweghe variety—or more recently, in the ongoing cycle conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend on Challenge Classics—is often a welcome corrective. All of these cycles have their strengths and weaknesses, but this particular recording is an easy recommendation, containing as it does two of the strongest performances in the Herreweghe cycle.


FANFARE: Christopher Abbot
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Period: Classical 
Written: 1806; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60: I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60: II. Adagio
Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60: III. Menuetto: Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: III. Presto, assai meno presto
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio

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