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  BIS -
  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6 - Vänskä
  Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major Op. 21, Symphony No. 6 in F major Op. 68 "Pastoral"

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä (Vanska) (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 5

Reviews: 1

Review by JJ April 2, 2008 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is certainly one of the most accomplished volumes in the complete Beethoven symphonies being undertaken by Osmo Vanska. The first symphony by the Bonn master was first performed in Vienna at the National Hoftheater in 1800, and the critics were divided: “More like military music than music for a full orchestra”, or “Alas! One’s ear is assaulted from the noise without ever one’s heart being touched.” Symphony N°6 in F major Op. 68, the “Pastoral”, is a bird of a different feather in comparison to Op. 21. It was first played in Vienna eight years later in 1808. Here too, the critics were divided, and the big names in music had their word to say. Thus, Hector Berlioz in 1838: “This surprising landscape seems to have been painted by Poussin and sketched by Michelangelo. The author no doubt created this admirable adagio [sic! Alongside the River] lying in the field, eyes on the sky, ears to the wind, fascinated by thousands and thousands of reflections of sound and light, both looking at and listening to the small sparkling white waves of the river breaking lightly onto the shore pebbles; it is deightful.” Or Claude Debussy in 1903: “The popularity of the Pastoral Symphony is due to the misunderstanding that generally exists between nature and man. Look at the scene alongside the river! A river where the cows apparently come to drink (the voice of the bassoons, if I am not mistaken). In this symphony, Beethoven is responsible for an era in which one only saw nature through books… This is verified in the Storm which, as part of the same symphony, evokes a terror — our own and our’s of other things — that is draped in the pleats of the romantic cloak while the not-very-serious thunder thunders.” Leading the Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vanska here offers a clear, light and unexaggerated vision of these scores. Under his direction, the Pastoral gets back to a classical tradition rather than one that is romantic. For sure, this “lightness” might disturb some, but the musical discourse is infallible for thought-out from beginning to end, like an impeccable painting whose beauty comes from its colors and not from it subject. An admirable disc.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Works: 2  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"