This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Finely judged performances conveying the composer’s thoughts with unforced eloquence.
This is a Pastoral of an altogether special pedigree and temper, easy of movement, gracious of gesture, exquisitely finished. It neither indulges the music nor exhausts it. It is happy merely to let it be. Not everyone will warm to the fine craftsmanship and disinterested beauty of the reading; some will regret that more is not made of what Furtwangler once referred to as Beethoven’s ‘natural piety, a quality of absorption in the work which is related to the religious sphere’. There is not the slightest hint of religion or – thank Heaven – religiosity in Ozawa’s reading, just as there is nothing remotely anthropomorphic about the
players’ rendering of the birdsong at the end of the ‘Scene by the Brook’.
Proportion is all, even at points of climax. There is no hint of triumphalism in Ozawa’s reading of the Leonore Overture No 3, nor does he allow us to forget in the Pastoral Symphony’s ‘Storm’ that it is art with which we are dealing – a superbly crafted essay in the romantic picturesque – not some sonic approximation of real weather.
It would be tempting to think that this is a characteristically oriental reading of the Pastoral, more Ando Hiroshige than Caspar David Friedrich. But that would be to draw on the knowledge of the artists’ identity which the documentation (the bane of all truly disinterested reviewing) provides. The recordings are appropriately clear and limpid.
-- Richard Osborne, Gramophone 
Works on This Recording
Leonore Overture no 3 in C major, Op. 72a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Saito Kinen Orchestra
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 1998
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