- Composer: Beethoven
- Audio CD (June 6 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Nh
- ASIN: B00007FKQ1
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #278,826 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Allegro Con Brio|
|2. Marcia Funebre: Adagio Assai|
|3. Scherzo: Allegro Vivace|
|4. Finale: Allegro Molto|
|5. Adagio - Allegro Vivace|
|7. Menuetto: Allegro Vivace|
|8. Allegro Ma Non Troppo|
In this emotional climate, and in the superb Vienna Musikvereinsaal, a great recording of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony was made in May 1936. To listen to just a few minutes of the first movement is enough to demonstrate that every score marking, every matter of balance, and every relation between detail and complete structure has been correctly judged. Nowhere is Weingartner's reputation as a tasteful, scholarly and cultured Beethoven interpreter better displayed.
His recording of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony was made in London three years earlier with the newly-formed London Philharmonic Orchestra. This is also a classic performance, with some especially fine playing from the orchestra's wind section.
Restoration producer Mark Obert-Thorn comments in the notes included with this CD that the "Eroica" is one of Weingartner's best sounding recordings, and explains that he has added a little reverberation to offset the close miking and "boxy" acoustic that originally characterized the recording of the Fourth.
I continue to marvel at how much variety of expressive nuance Weingartner achieves here within a single, rather uptempo pulse. Of the other "classical" conceptions of this work on CD, only Fritz Busch and Carl Schuricht are in the same league. Perhaps the closest to Weingartner in over-all approach - lean, direct, and rhythmically supple - was the Lovro von Matacic account with the Czech Philharmonic. That was once available on a stereo Parliament LP - I don't believe it has yet had a CD transfer from Supraphon.
Of course, there are also several superb "personalized" readings of the Eroica that deserve a hearing - among my favorites are those by Furtwangler, Abendroth, Kabasta, Knappertsbusch, Scherchen and Mengelberg.
This transfer of the 4th Symphony is also superb - it's a big improvement over the old Columbia Entre LP (coupled with the 2nd) that has served me well all these years. It's also a wonderful performance: along with the Schuricht, I would say it's the benchmark for the "straight and true" approach to this work. Again, there are also some remarkable, more "romantic" interpretations that merit a hearing: most notably, Furtwangler, Abendroth, Mengelberg and Georgescu.
Very highly recommended!