Let's be open to the possibility that the world needs another Beethoven symphony cycle, and that the performers have uncovered previously unglimpsed virtues in the music. Well, to their credit, Thomas Dausgaard and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra make use of the new Bärenreiter Urtexts, which received premiere recordings by David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich (and "inspired" Mackerras as well, prior to their publication). Dausgaard goes one better by coming up with convincing and compelling performances where Zinman's were merely interesting. Yes, we get the expected clarity, and leaner, more transparent sonorities that go with using smaller orchestral forces--but there's more. Dausgaard's clear-headed and carefullyRead more sculpted phrasing and the orchestra's virtuoso performances penetrate to the music's core, as in the terse and tight-muscled first movement of Symphony No. 4 (whose kinship to the No. 5's finale is made newly clear).
Bärenreiter mandates the use of the bassoon in the Fifth Symphony's first movement recapitulation, but it is so well balanced against the smaller orchestral forces that it sounds perfectly fine. My only caveat is the under-balancing of the trumpets, which should ring out in the finale, but here are far too blended in the mix. Nikolaus Harnoncourt's use of period trumpets in his performances with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe on Teldec make the thrilling sounds this movement requires. Dausgaard leads a deliciously stern performance of the Coriolan overture, a fine bonus on this beautifully recorded disc. Even if you have other "downsized" Beethoven recordings, you should hear this one.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1807
Coriolan Overture in C minor, Op. 62by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1807; Vienna, Austria
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A new way to play the FifthJune 6, 2012By Gail M. (Goleta, CA)See All My Reviews"All 3 works on this disk were recorded in excellent sound, in a place with virtually no reverberation. The Swedish Chamber Orchestra led by Thomas Dausgaard play with amazing precision, beautifully balanced, with plenty of weight where needed. They play without vibrato, using the new Baerenreiter editions. The Fourth Symphony and Coriolan Overture are simply excellent conventional performances, as fine as I've ever heard. But the Fifth comes out as a new work, different from earlier fine versions such as Karajan's from the 1960s. The 4-note motiv that opens the work has lost most of its power, but the development gains so much drama and is played with such enthusiasm that the first movement performance succeeds wonderfully. In the andante a similar thing occurs; the big theme has lost nobility but the movement gains in interest and vigor. The finale has some spots in which momentum begins to taper off, but the performance again quickly regains life. The notes contain historical facts about the music as well as comments about the new editions. A very interesting and enjoyable CD! "Report Abuse