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  Oehms Classics -
  OC 605
  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 - Antonini
  Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major Op. 21, Symphony No. 2 in D major Op. 36

Kammerorchester Basel
Giovanni Antonini (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 1

Review by miguelito54 September 21, 2008 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I have had this CD for several months now and listened to it repeatedly, but hesitated to write a review - there is something I do not like about this recording, but I couldn't pin it down. Today it dawned on me: It's not the sound, neither the technical/recording aspect (although I prefer a somewhat drier, less spacy sound), nor the mix of instruments from different eras (gut strings on modern scaled stringed instruments, natural horns and trumpets but modern woodwinds) - it's simply that this recording doesn't move me emotionally. The other (historically informed - Hogwood, Norrington, Hanover Band) recordings I own of these works do move me, in some way or another, but this one leaves me unimpressed.
The fast tempos Antonini chooses are a part of it - I'm not principally against them, and the orchestra executes them flawlessly, but they seem to leave little room for really leaning into every single phrase and chord. Take, e.g., the alternating chords between strings and brass/timpani in the 1st symphony instroduction, played here as simple chords, where Hogwood asks the strings for an upward slide into the main note (the proper Italian term escapes me at the moment), lending it a languishing touch that is very moving at this point.
This approach simply fails to grab me emotionally - and I would have expexcted more transparency from the high resolution recording - this is probably due to the combination of instruments and concert hall. Hogwood's recordings with this orchestra on red book standard CD sound somewhat more lucid to these ears.
Just a matter of taste, of course.

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Works: 2  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36