Notes and Editorial Reviews
George Szell brings classical lightness and drive to Beethoven's early symphony, all the while pointing up the composer's daring formal and harmonic inventiveness. In the first-movement introduction Szell achieves authentic-performance-style clarity yet maintains a welcome solidity of orchestral tone (without becoming weighty) before springing zestfully into the allegro proper. Only the finale, although done with much finesse and polish, sounds a bit restrained compared to the quicksilver renditions of Harnoncourt and Gardiner.
Szell's Pastorale is one of the great recordings, full of feeling and sinuous beauty. The first movement glides on one sustained breath, the Scene by the Brook soars gently, the storm surges
powerfully (with ideally balanced timpani), and the finale shines brightly due to the ringing playing of the Cleveland strings. Like Bernstein, Szell milks the great final climax for all its emotional worth. But there's still more: a positively gripping--and ferociously played--account of the Egmont overture follows. Szell heightens the drama right from the terse opening bars on through to the passionate and triumphant close. The remastered 1960s recordings capture the full bloom of the Severance Hall acoustic. This one's a classic, and you should have it.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria
Length: 25 Minutes 37 Secs.
Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria
Length: 41 Minutes 24 Secs.
Egmont, Op. 84: Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs.
I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
II. Andante cantabile con moto
III. Menuetto. Allegro molto e vivace
IV. Finale. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
I. Allegro ma non troppo (Erwachen heiterer Emfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande)
II. Andante molto moto (Szene am Bach)
III. Allegro (Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute)
IV. Allegro (Gewitter Sturm)
V. Allegretto (Hirtengesang: Frohe un dankbare Gefuhle nach dem sturm)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Superb rendering of Beethoven's 6th September 10, 2012
By Christian B. (Price, UT) See All My Reviews
"Is Beethoven's 6th Symphony the most joyous piece of music ever written? I know it's my favorite, and this recording is fantastic. Szell doesn't let the exuberance of the piece get out of hand; he doesn't take liberties with the rhthyms, doesn't rush things, and thus the restraint enhances the explosive moments. He really knows how to build the music to a climax while making every note along the way a thing of beauty. When the horns blast they really blast and it's just how it should be. I am especially impressed with the quality of this recording. It is excellent. Every time I return to this recording I find something new and wonderful. I think Szell's 6th should get the same attention we give Kleiber's 5th!"