There are few modern Beethoven recordings so satisfying or more alive than this.
This follows very much the same pattern as Ashkenazy's previous Decca Beethoven symphony recordings with the Philharmonia, a warmly spontaneous, generally direct reading taken steadily at sensible unexaggerated speeds. If that sounds dull, then I can only insist that there are few modern Beethoven recordings so satisfying or more alive than this with sound—recorded in Kingsway Hall—which sets new standards against any rival version, full and spacious yet warmly co-ordinated.
The slow introduction to the first movement is taken gravely and simply, leading to an opening of the Allegro which is deceptively relaxed, pastoralRead more sounding in its 6/8 lilt, until the dramatic urgency of the movement takes over, with the dotted rhythms never forced, always lifting in obedience to the needs of the dance. (Though the coupling is generous, the exposition repeat is observed.) The Allegretto is a shade more measured than usual, but moulded naturally with few exaggerations so that the easy lyricism is paramount. The scherzo brings a strong contrast between the speeds for scherzo and trio, but Ashkenazy's balance of tempo remains convincing, and rightly I think, he does not in this instance observe all the repeats. The finale is aptly hectic but excitingly so, not breathless, with the violins articulating well.
Coriolan brings an unusually slow speed, but Ashkenazy justifies it in giving extra grandeur and weight to the piece. Egmont by contrast is on the fast side, but just as dramatic and natural-sounding. The freshness and spontaneity of Ashkenazy are compelling and the sound even finer.
-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [11/1984] Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Period: Classical Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria
Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Period: Classical Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria
Egmont, Op. 84: Overtureby Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Period: Classical Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
unsurpassedFebruary 6, 2013By JoAnn Huston Niemela (Reston, VA)See All My Reviews"I am a fan of Beethoven's 7th, in particular the allegretto movement. This rendition is the best I have ever heard and I have several bookmarked on my computer. Bravo. JoAnn"Report Abuse