Notes and Editorial Reviews
Of comparable length and similar in their Classical form, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36, and his Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93, make a fine pair for this Royal Philharmonic Orchestra disc, even though they were separated by 10 years of astonishing artistic growth and mark significant periods in the composer's career. Between these two works, Beethoven had taken great strides in symphonic development by significantly expanding the form in his Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," giving it increased dramatic power in the Symphony No. 5, inventing an extra-musical program for the Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral," and refining his expression in the Symphony No. 7. Even though the Second and the Eighth are among
the relatively overlooked symphonies, for lack of any outward innovation or obvious influence on other composers, they are robust works that show Beethoven at his jovial best, full of humor and vitality, and they deserve more attention than they usually receive. James Lockhart directs the RPO in these recordings in the orchestra's audiophile collection, and the performances are presented with great clarity of line and transparent tone colors. While Beethoven's symphonies might not be obvious showpieces for the orchestra, the excellent recordings highlight the scores with a focused sound that's as impressive as anything the label has ever offered.
-- Blair Sanderson, AllMusic.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig v. Beethoven
Written: 1801-1802; Austria
Length: 34 Minutes 3 Secs.
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93 by Ludwig v. Beethoven
Written: 1812; Austria
Length: 26 Minutes 35 Secs.
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