Friday, October 26, 2007

CD REVIEW: Beethoven Symphonies 3 & 8


October 25, 2007 - October 31, 2007
Time Out Chicago / Issue 139 : Album review

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 8. Paavo Järvi, conductor (RCA)

From the first notes of Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”), this cutthroat band of Germans schooled in the period practice of Beethoven’s day proves that they aren’t out to give a lofty portrait of that composer. Järvi whips the energy up to a fever pitch, and this is—no exaggeration—one of the most exciting orchestral discs to come around in several years.
The ensemble’s chamber proportions give it a sinewy, athletic presence, one that Järvi exploits to its fullest potential (with fast tempos). The development section of the first movement hurtles between emotional extremes, and when we finally arrive at the brutally discordant, repeated chords, that discomfort exacts a great toll.
The second-movement funeral march proceeds with almost unbearable mournfulness, with the raw-toned, grainy strings sounding as if they’re returning from some brutal European land war. The gutsy horns have fun romping through the Scherzo, and the finale leaps to its joyful end.
The buzzing strings in the final movement of the Eighth Symphony make easy work of the tricky ensemble Beethoven creates, and, as in the Third Symphony, the timpanist works closely with Järvi to ratchet up the energy.
This disc is their first collaboration, and more Beethoven symphonies are on the way. We can’t wait.— Marc Geelhoed

1 comment:

Marc Geelhoed said...

Please place a link directly to the Time Out review somewhere in your post. Thank you, and thanks for referring to the review.