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William Hedley
MusicWeb International, April 2007
"The sixth of Beethoven's symphonies is, of course, hugely popular, and many would cite it as their favourite amongst the nine. Bruno Walter's reputation leads one to suspect he would be particularly suited to the work, and so it turns out to be. This is the earliest of three commercial recordings he made of it, and I have not heard either of the others, which date respectively from the ’forties and ’sixties. He is on superb form here, as is the illustrious orchestra, and the performance is captured in sound which, whilst inevitably limited, is nonetheless perfectly acceptable."

"The orchestra plays wonderfully well, with certain of the wind soloists earning particular praise.... Overall a fine, enlightening performance which it is a privilege to have on the shelves. The present disc is superb value though and anyone remotely interested in Beethoven, Walter and the history of recording will want to acquire it.

"The performance of the symphony is completed with four superb overtures. Fidelio is wonderfully dramatic and outstandingly well played by Adrian Boult's BBC Symphony Orchestra. Walter pushes on irresistibly in The Creatures of Prometheus but the players of the British Symphony Orchestra are more than willing participants. The warmth and richness of the sound in the slow introduction merits a special mention. Coriolan is again dark and dramatic where required, but in the more lyrical passages Walter's control of tempo is masterly, knowing just when and how far to relax without losing the feeling of a basic, underlying pulse. The London Symphony Orchestra are on magnificent form, as are the incomparable Vienna Philharmonic once again, in a thrilling Leonora No. 3, with wonderfully atmospheric offstage trumpet, recorded earlier in the same year as the Pastoral."







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