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Discussion: Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6 - Haitink

Posts: 48
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Post by terence June 7, 2006 (1 of 48)
only heard this in stereo so far, but just a quick note on performance - this is a SUPERB pastoral, almost miraculously natural-sounding, with no sense of straining for effect nor, on the other hand, undue somnolence. it really is beautiful, and i find it hard to imagine better.

despite my aversion to LSO Live SACDs in general, i'm sorely tempted to have another go with this one.

unless somebody out there tells me the barbican MC mix really is no different from usual....

Post by Edvin June 7, 2006 (2 of 48)
terence, I had the fortune to hear the Haitink Eroica today, and it is pure magic.

Post by terence June 7, 2006 (3 of 48)
thanks edvin, this really is building into some series by the sound of it.

i think the thing that impresses me most is how NATURAL the interpretations seem to be - there's no undue sense of strain or point-making, and yet so many points ARE made, clearly and forcefully. i'm not sure i've ever had more enjoyment from these symphonies, ever.

Post by Edvin June 7, 2006 (4 of 48)
I couldn´t agree more.

Post by Windsurfer June 7, 2006 (5 of 48)
You guys are making me turn green. This won't be available in the States until mid July

Post by terence June 7, 2006 (6 of 48)
order it through a UK dealer windsurfer - treat yourself!

Post by Jonty June 8, 2006 (7 of 48)
terence said:

order it through a UK dealer windsurfer - treat yourself!

Or LSO directly.

Post by Chris June 8, 2006 (8 of 48)
Jonty said:

Or LSO directly.

Music and sound obviously very good .But this series must surely have THE MOST HIDEOUS COVERS EVER!?
They remind me of far too many modern opera productions these days,no connection with the music or composer whatsoever!
Beethoven wrote as an introduction to the first movement of the 6th.Angenehme,heitere Empfindungen,welche bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande im Menschen erwachen...
Who is responsible for the obviously, depressed fellow, on this cover?
The LSO themselves?
ps I'll post this directly to them as well.

Post by terence June 8, 2006 (9 of 48)
hi chris, not sure he's necessarily depressed. not sure it's a bloke. not even sure it's his/her own hand running through his/her own hair. it could be somebody else's.

relevance to the music? mmmm....

perhaps he/she is tidying up his/her hair after the violent thunderstorm in the fourth movement? am i on to something here?

Post by LSO Live June 8, 2006 (10 of 48)
Time to defend the covers! Every person is going to have their own individual opinion on a CD cover, probably to a greater degree than a recording itself. Our Beethoven covers seem to be attracting some negative comments here whereas we’re getting positive feedback in many other places.

When we looked at the covers for other Beethoven symphonies we found a lot with pictures of Beethoven or the countryside (as well as the usual conductor shots and abstract images). An old portrait of a composer invariably looks dated, showing someone who lived a long time ago. But the music is still alive and is fresh every time it is performed. We always want to get that sense of ‘living music’ across to new audiences. And we didn’t feel that the countryside says much about Beethoven’s music – even the Pastoral is about a human response to the countryside rather than the countryside itself (Oh no! I’m going to get an avalanche of criticism for these comments!)

I remember reading a quote about Beethoven’s symphonies – “Beethoven was the first composer to put blood flowing through the veins of music”. It’s a quote that can be interpreted several ways. He wrote music about ‘man’, not in a spiritual sense as could be said about Bach among others, but in the sense that man’s emotions and aspirations are central. Plus, his music has a physicality and vitality that was rarely present before him.

Doubtless there a numerous other themes that we could have pursued but we liked this one, close-ups of human beings, trying to ‘look within’.

Very many apologies if this all sounds pretentious!

Chaz Jenkins
Head of LSO Live

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