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Gemini - Beethoven: Symphonies No 2 & 7, Mass In C / Beecham


Release Date: 05/24/2005 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 86504   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jennifer VyvyanMonica SinclairRichard LewisMarian Nowakowski
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic OrchestraBeecham Choral Society
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 13 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Beecham's Beethoven Seventh has generally had rather a bad press over the years, but I find it a most impressive affair. It was always said that Beecham didn't like Beethoven, but he chose to conduct his works more often than that remark would suggest, and the results were usually highly impressive, and if he made disparaging remarks about the composer there were few others who escaped his mock scorn at some point. It's true that in the first movement Beecham doesn't probe as deeply as, say, Toscanini or Klemperer, but it's a serious, thoroughly purposeful piece of conducting, with rhythms clearly articulated, and a good deal of strength and vigour. The slow movement is massively, broodingly played and has a magnificent sense of Read more architectural span; there is high seriousness here with Beecham quite belying his usual image. One can imagine the blaze in those expressive eyes, with the bearded jaw set firm—''Can't conduct Beethoven eh? I'll show 'em''. The scherzo is serious too, with superbly sprung rhythms, and the finale has extraordinary thrust, determination and explosive energy for a man who celebrated his eightieth birthday before the sessions were completed. The performance as a whole is adorned by magnificent playing from the RPO and a first-class 1958–9 recording which has both body and clarity.

The Ruins of Athens music has a 1957 recording which is not quite so vivid, but is still pretty good. Beecham shapes this less than first-rate score with great skill, and his performance makes an attractive pendant to the main work.

-- Gramophone [8/1989, reviewing an earlier reissue of the 7th Symphony and Ruins of Athens, EMI 69871]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Ruins of Athens, Op. 113 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/29/1957 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: The Turkish March was recorded in Salle Wagram, Paris on October 9, 1957. 
4.
Mass in C major, Op. 86 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Jennifer Vyvyan (Soprano), Monica Sinclair (Alto), Richard Lewis (Tenor),
Marian Nowakowski (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 04/21/1958 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London, England 
Length: 42 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Greek and Latin. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1958 Digital Remaster): I. Adagio - Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1958 Digital Remaster): II. Larghetto
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1958 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro)
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1958 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro molto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1959 Digital Remaster): I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1959 Digital Remaster): II. Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1959 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Presto)
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1959 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro con brio
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): I. Kyrie
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): II. Gloria
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): III. Credo
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): IV. Sanctus
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): V. Benedictus
Mass in C major Op. 86 (1992 Digital Remaster): VI. Agnus Dei
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): Overture (Andante con moto - Allegro, ma non troppo)
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): Chorus: Daughters of high-throned Zeus
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): Chorus of Dervishes
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): Turkish March
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): Chorus: Where freedom hath triumphed
The Ruins of Athens - Incidental Music Op. 113 (1989 Digital Remaster): March & Chorus: Twine ye garlands

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