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Westminster - Beethoven: Symphonies No 3 & 6 / Scherchen


Release Date: 09/18/2001 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 471241   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Scherchen's "Eroica" rocks. Adopting what at the time (1958) seemed absurdly fast speeds in the outer movements, a funeral march bereft of excessive sentiment, top-to-bottom ensemble clarity, and a comparatively cavalier approach to ensemble discipline, it turns out that the old maestro actually beat many of today's period instrument folks at their own game. The whole performance whizzes by with boundless energy, and it's great fun. Yes, the coda of the finale blurs everything together incoherently (Szell/Cleveland, recorded at roughly the same period, keeps everything--horns included--miraculously clear at virtually the same sizzling tempo), but it's so exhilarating that you're unlikely to care terribly much. Here's one Read more "historical" performance that truly wears its years lightly.

In the "Pastoral" Symphony, the unusually speedy bits come in the first two movements. But once again, there's so much vertical clarity (listen to the stacked duple and triplet rhythms in those long, first-movement development section crescendos), such perfectly touched in detail from the horns and lower strings, that the music never sounds too fast--merely invigorating. The rest of the symphony proceeds more normally tempo-wise (though I wish the scherzo's repeats had survived intact), with soggy timpani weakening an otherwise excellent storm, and some general scruffiness from the strings (the lead-in to the first movement recapitulation, for example) and horns (the scherzo particularly). Still, like the "Eroica", this is vintage Scherchen, and damn good Beethoven too. Both performances have been well restored in this latest of several CD incarnations, though if you own the earlier MCA or Japanese Westminster releases you probably won't find the sonic improvement worth another go-round.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/1958 
Venue:  Mozart Hall, Concert House, Vienna 
Length: 43 Minutes 50 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 07/1958 
Venue:  Mozart Hall, Concert House, Vienna 
Length: 34 Minutes 22 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 1. Allegro con brio
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 2. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
Symphony No.3 In E Flat, Op.55 -"Eroica": 4. Finale (Allegro molto)
Symphony No.6 In F, Op.68 -"Pastoral": 1. Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande: Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No.6 In F, Op.68 -"Pastoral": 2. Szene am Bach: (Andante molto mosso)
Symphony No.6 In F, Op.68 -"Pastoral": 3. Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute (Allegro)
Symphony No.6 In F, Op.68 -"Pastoral": 4. Gewitter, Sturm (Allegro)
Symphony No.6 In F, Op.68 -"Pastoral": 5. Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm: Allegretto

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