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Beethoven: Symphony No. 2; Brahms: Rinaldo / De Billy, Botha

Brahms / Beethoven / Konzertvereinigung Wiener
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Oehms   Catalog #: 673   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenJohannes Brahms
Performer:  Johan Botha
Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony OrchestraVienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Frankly, I haven’t been following Bertrand de Billy’s Beethoven symphony cycle, though Christopher Abbot’s review of the “Eroica” in 31:3 was very positive; his review of the Seventh and Eighth in 33:6 less so. Since then, de Billy has added to his survey the Fifth and Sixth and, with this release, the Second. So far, though, this is the only one to complete the disc with something other than another work by Beethoven. Solely on the evidence of the recording at hand, I’d call the conductor’s approach to the score big band Beethoven but not old-school Beethoven. The orchestra is of considerable size, but the symphony’s fast movements are taken quite briskly, the Larghetto moves along at a good pace, articulation is clean and lucid, Read more textures are kept transparent, and execution is meticulous.

Beethoven’s Second Symphony has long been regarded as the weakest of the lot, an opinion reflected by the fact that it has amassed fewer recordings than any of the others, if you consider close to 200 as “few.” But actually, it’s quite a wonderful work, still beholden in certain ways to Haydn, but more rambunctious and rough-hewn in its humor and musical jokes than Haydn’s 18th-century manners would have allowed. If you’re in the market for a new Beethoven Second superbly played and recorded, I can think of none better than the current de Billy offering."

-- Jerry Dubins, Fanfare 3/2013
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
Rinaldo, Op. 50 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Johan Botha (Tenor)
Conductor:  Bertrand De Billy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863-1868; Austria 

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