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Beethoven: Symphonies no 7 & 8 / Norrington, Stuttgart Radio SO


Release Date: 08/01/2004 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93087   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Roger Norrington's rapidly evolving second Beethoven cycle continues to reveal that in most respects the conductor has finally learned how to perform this music, at least when compared to his first run-through. This Seventh sounds pretty terrific in its first, third, and fourth movements, partly a result of judiciously chosen tempos and largely due to the superior playing of the Stuttgart orchestra (especially when measured against the bloodless and desiccated London Classical Players). The one single fly in this particular ointment lies in the ludicrously fast tempo for the famous Allegretto, which at a record-breaking 6:39 sounds simply stupid (even Norrington's first attempt was noticeably slower). Most performances, even by zippy Read more period-style interpreters average around eight minutes, and this version amply demonstrates exactly why.

The Eighth Symphony also has its eccentricities, including some strangely lumpy phrasing in the first movement and a finale that begins at an unsustainably fleet tempo but generates plenty of excitement nonetheless. The perky inner movements come off best, as here Norrington isn't so concerned with forcing the music to sound "interesting" beyond its modest aims. Once again the intensity and commitment of the playing speaks volumes regarding Norrington's growing stature as an interpreter, not to mention the quality of the fine orchestra he has at his disposal. Excellent sonics round out a disc not quite as superb as his recent Ninth Symphony, but nevertheless a vast improvement over Norrington's first thoughts on this music.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/05/2002 
Venue:  Live  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 37 Minutes 53 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/05/2002 
Venue:  Live  Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 35 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: III. Presto
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93: I. Allegro vivace e con brio
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93: II. Allegretto scherzando
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93: III. Tempo di menuetto
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivace

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