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Beethoven: Symphony 5, Coriolan & Egmont Overtures / Brüggen


Release Date: 12/10/2007 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 434087   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 47 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Three of Beethoven's most revolutionary works receive here performances that suggest something of the eclat terrible of war. The ardour is the ardour of revolutionary zealots, like the gesturing victim at the centre of Goya's great painting of the Spanish firing-squad entitled 3rd May, 1808. Rarely have I heard Beethoven's textures sound sparer or more brazen than they are here, the string colours complementing the wind colours with a rigour that distinguishes these readings even from those of Norrington on EMI. Equally, Bruggen's are very 'driven' performances. Which is not to say they are merely fast. (In the Fifth Symphony, Bruggen is often closer to Kleiber pere et fils on Decca and DG than he is to the generally speedier Norrington.) Read more Rather, all three performances have a terrific incisiveness and sense of urgent forward propulsion.

The Fifth Symphony gets a grammatically faultless reading from Bruggen and his players. Rarely have I heard the syncopated three-note motto more clearly or more consistently articulated than it is here. (In Carlos Kleiber's famous VPO performance the opening comes perilously close to a triplet rhythm.) The Andante con moto is suitably stern, a striking interlude, no egregious ramble. Bruggen does not observe the repeat of the Scherzo, much disputed but usually de rigeur for period performers. The tempo here is steady, suggesting that Bruggen might be contemplating Klemperer's wonderful idea (EMI) of matching one bar of the Scherzo to half a bar of the concluding march. But, no: come the finale, Bruggen drives fiercely on, every gun in Beethoven's armoury pooping and blazing away for dear life. The concluding Presto becomes a rout in C major.

The recording is first-rate, painting to the life the eerie trenchancy of the playing.

-- Richard Osborne, Gramophone [12/1992]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1991 
Venue:  Live  Vredenburg, Utrecht 
2.
Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Live  Vredenburg, Utrecht 
3.
Egmont, Op. 84: Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Frans Brüggen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the 18th Century
Period: Classical 
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1991 
Venue:  Live  Vredenburg, Utrecht 

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