Notes and Editorial Reviews
While recording Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, producer Walter Legge took issue with Otto Klemperer's slow tempos, to which the conductor retorted "Walter, you will get used to it." One wonders how Karl Böhm might have responded had his producer questioned the leisurely gait for this classic 1971 "Pastoral". Within its expansive parameters, though, a lean, bracing sound world emerges as Böhm wields an iron hand in an animated glove. What's more, Deutsche Grammophon's full-bodied, cyrstal-clear sonics make the Vienna Philharmonic's rapturous, nuanced playing all the more irresistible. Close, impactive miking, however, transforms the rounded Dresden Staatskapelle sonority into something more astringent.
Without a scorecard, I would have attributed the taut contours and slashing tuttis of Böhm's Third Leonore and Fidelio Overtures to George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra! If you missed Böhm's "Pastoral" in earlier full-priced CD incarnations, isn't it worth the price of a tuna sandwich to grab it now, while you can? [Editor's Note: This performance of Beethoven's Sixth is also available in DG's "Originals" series, excellently remastered.]--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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