Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Scott Cantrell
Dallas Morning News &, March 2004

"This DVD of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, recorded in concert at the Philharmonic, is a stunner. The "Eroica," captured in concert at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, is less electric but still very fine.

Abbado stays close to Beethoven's oft-ignored metronome markings, which gives a nervous edge to the Ninth's first movement - and elegant dovetailing of tempos in the choral finale. He wisely "corrects" what are almost certainly wrong note values on markings for the trio of the scherzo and the marchlike tenor solo in the finale; both move along quite briskly. The Andante has a gracious flow.

Abbado really gets it all right. The music's tensile strength is balanced by natural "give" when needed, brazen climaxes by delicate introspections, rhetorical flair by eloquent shaping (especially by the winds). An understanding of historic performance practices forms the basis for a splendidly "operatic" modern interpretation.

It's also blessed with top-notch soloists - Karita Mattila, Violeta Urmana, Thomas Moser and Eike Wilm Schulte - and the Swedish choruses sing with uncanny focus and refinement.

The shock of the "Eroica" is how gaunt Abbado looks less than a year after the Ninth - after surgery for stomach cancer. Maybe that gives an added poignancy to the Funeral March, which seems viscerally to go through every stage of grief. But, again, sticking to the metronome markings makes for quite a vital performance. In both symphonies one notices how physically the musicians - a strikingly young bunch - are involved in the music, and you can hear it in their playing.

In both performances the video editor certainly likes switching cameras a lot. But both video and audio are amazingly high-resolution, with plenty of hall sound in the mix. EuroArts has also issued the rest of the Abbado-Berlin Beethoven cycle on DVDs. Grade: A"

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
11:45:49 AM, 25 May 2015
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2015 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.