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Beethoven: Lan Shui and Copenhagen Philharmonic
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Ricardo Jimenez
2018-07-24 14:19:28 UTC
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All three volumes of this set of the symphonies are now on Spotify. I
found them outstanding for energy and clarity of the sound. I could
hear all sorts of things I missed before, even in other HIP based
performances. However, Richard Osborne is not so enthusiastic:
https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphonies-nos-5-8
Mark Zimmer
2018-07-25 14:18:28 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
All three volumes of this set of the symphonies are now on Spotify. I
found them outstanding for energy and clarity of the sound. I could
hear all sorts of things I missed before, even in other HIP based
https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/beethoven-symphonies-nos-5-8
Yes, they're definitely interesting. The tempi are insanely fast, and in a couple places the Copenhagen Phil can't quite keep up. Shui seems to have taken the approach that any indications in the score that Beethoven put down are particularly noteworthy, so everything feels a tad exaggerated. The staccati are very very short and hit hard, dynamic changes are greatly emphasized, etc. The result is quite dramatic and an interesting perspective, and it does indeed point up things in the score that often get missed completely. My favorites of the set are the 4th and the 8th. The outer movements of the 4th in particular are delightful.The 9th feels rushed--have you ever heard a 9th that runs only 62 minutes, but still takes all of the repeats in the Scherzo? Can't say I much care for the speed of the first movement. I also prefer my Eroica with a bit more gravitas, but I can see that this is a valid reading; it grows on the listener. Sound is indeed excellent.

Osborne is correct that the strings sound thin at times; on occasion it almost sounded like a string quartet was playing rather than full sections.
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