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|1. Sym No.3 in E flat Op.55 'Eroica': 1. Allegro Con Brio|
|2. Sym No.3 in E flat Op.55 'Eroica': 2. Marcia Funebre. Adagio Assai|
|3. Sym No.3 in E flat Op.55 'Eroica': 3. Scherzo. Allegro Vivace|
|4. Sym No.3 in E flat Op.55 'Eroica': 4. Finale. Allegro Molto|
|5. Sym No.6 in F Op.68 'Pastorale': 1. Awakening Of Cheerful Feelings Upon Arrival In The Country:..|
|6. Sym No.6 in F Op.68 'Pastorale': 2. Scene By The Brook|
|7. Sym No.6 in F Op.68 'Pastorale': 3. Merry Gathering Of Country Folk: Allegro|
|8. Sym No.6 in F Op.68 'Pastorale': 4. Thunderstorm: Allegro|
|9. Sym No.6 in F Op.68 'Pastorale': 5. Shepherd's Song: Happy And Thankful Feelings After The Storm...|
Scherchen's Beethoven was one of the glories of the old Westminster LP catalogue, and it's wonderful to have them back, if only to vindicate memories of a bracing Pastorale and one of the most exciting Eroicas ever made. For all of today's obsession with following Beethoven's metronome markings, Scherchen got there first. In 1958, he sets a torrid pace and does it with more expression and feeling than most of today's groups can muster. By the end of the first movement, he leaves you limp. The famous "funeral march" flows nicely, never plodding. Scherchen doesn't have to milk sentiment to convey the emotional content. The Scherzo's a real roller-coaster ride, and the Finale bristles with power. This great Eroica is coupled with an excellent Pastorale. The opening "arrival in the country" is bursting with fresh expectancy. In the second movement, the brook bubbles merrily, flowing even faster than Toscanini's. The rest of the work is full of original touches. The early stereo sound holds up well. Even if you know these symphonies well, you need to hear Scherchen. --Dan Davis
Top Customer Reviews
The "Eroica" and the "Pastorale" recordings featured on this well-transferred CD are pretty erratic. I recall with amusement a Fanfare critic's assessment that "this 3rd is the most insane reading of a Beethoven symphony ever recorded." Well, I wouldn't go THAT far - but it is highly eccentric to be sure. The concept is fascinating - apparently Constantin Silvestri did something similar with the Bournemouth Symphony (hopefully, a radio tape of that might turn up someday - Silvestri surely achieved a higher level of ensemble playing than what is heard here under Scherchen). But I sure wouldn't want this Scherchen as my only recording of the work.
In the case of the "Pastorale," I simply get the feeling that Scherchen may have lost his interest in the music. There sure isn't much about it that you could call pastoral - it's all rather hard-bitten and unsympathetic. But at least the orchestra doesn't get caught as unawares (or napping) as in the 3rd, where some of the ensemble work verges on the comical. Scherchen's earlier 6th (once on Westminster LP 5108) was far more sympathetic - it was also 5 minutes slower.
I would suggest that, if you want to hear what Scherchen was capable of in the 3rd, then you should seek out a copy of "Hermann Scherchen: The Ultraphon Recordings" on Tahra 283/286.Read more ›
I listen to this only for the third because I am completely biased in favor of Bohm's rendition of the 6th. The tempi here may be "correct" but Bohm's got it in terms of all the beauty of the 6th.