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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 / NDR Radiophilharmonie

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 / NDR Radiophilharmonie

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After their prize-winning Mendelssohn symphonies cycle and acclaimed Mozart symphonies album, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and its chief conductor Andrew Manze now present Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh symphonies. While Beethoven’s Fifth is arguably the most famous symphony in the history of music, the Seventh counts as one of the most rhythmically-advanced pieces of nineteenth-century music; an “apotheosis of dance”, to quote Richard Wagner. Both works display Beethoven’s mastery of and audacious approach to musical form as well as the richness of his melodic invention, and are generally praised as paragons of symphonic composition. Andrew Manze brings his experience in the field of historically informed performance to the polished symphonic sound of the NDR Radiophilharmonie, providing an ambience that fits these early nineteenth-century works like a glove.



The finale of the Seventh goes faster even than the already zippy metronome mark, and is tremendously exciting. It’s also quite graceful in its way, thanks in large part to Manze’s scrupulous attention to dynamic indications and articulation. Indeed, there’s an exceptional lightness of touch in much of this Symphony – sample the spring and sparkle of the dotted rhythms in the first movement’s Vivace or the nimbleness and unexpected delicacy of the third-movement Presto.

The Fifth has similar attributes in terms of clarity, balance and rhythmic verve but is in no way ‘Beethoven light’, as some historically informed performances have been labelled.

– Gramophone

A consummate interpreter, Manze never plays fast and loose with tempos, nor with radically over-emphasised dynamics. The rigour of his period performance practice and expressive consideration brings clarity and freshness, the sound finely judged, full of breadth, never ploughing through the symphony’s vulnerable moments.

– BBC Music Magazine
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    • UPC/Barcode: 827949081460
    • Item Number: PTC5186814