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John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, March 2013

It is refreshing to have a complete Beethoven symphony cycle from a conductor of immense experience and skill but one who is not generally known as a specialist in this repertoire.

These recordings of the Beethoven Symphonies…are in every way worth hearing. Whilst there is nothing flashy or of novelty for its own sake about these performances they are imaginative, coherent and well considered. Internal balance is superbly well controlled so that the listener is constantly amazed at just how much they have missed in other performances. At the same time the sheer physical excitement of the contributions of the trumpets and timpani is well conveyed without being allowed excessively to dominate the proceedings. Throughout there is a contradictory but very satisfactory impression that Michael Gielen knows every note of the scores and at the same time is discovering more in them. He has a real feeling for their overall structure as well as for their detail, in particular in respect of dynamics. The orchestra play superbly throughout, with the woodwind principals phrasing with real imagination.

All in all this is a set impressive for its understanding, honesty and conviction which most certainly deserves a place in the catalogues. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Benson, February 2013

Gielen’s Beethoven is direct and adheres to the composer’s brisk tempi, and he uses a rather small orchestra. His direct approach provides clarity… © 2013 Read complete review

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