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Penguin Guide, January 2009

…Mark Obert-Thorn’s Naxos transfers (using the mono masters for both works) all but upstage the EMI versions, the sound vividly bold and fresh, certainly not sounding dated. The performances are among Klemperer’s very finest.



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2007

Before I reached my teenage years I must have been a strange youngster who could only understand and enjoy 20th century music. In despair my teenage friends bought me Klemperer's recording of Beethoven Third Symphony and at last the great composer clicked into place, and I waited anxiously for each new volume in the cycle to appear. So devoted to his view I could not yield for many years to any other account, and even today I return to these performances more often than any other. There have been recordings that find more dance in the Seventh, and more vehemence in the Fifth, Klemperer carving his performances from granite with tempos that are never hurried to generate false impact. The Philharmonia were in superb form, the horns riding superbly over the texture in the Seventh's finale and the woodwind so supple in phrasing. But in both performances expect lasting satisfaction rather than the transitional excitement from the likes of Carlos Kleiber, Klemperer sailing majestically through each symphony, phrases shaped in long statements, the overall result more important than the details. As the restoration engineer reminds us, the Seventh was at the same time recorded in experimental stereo, and though subsequently published in that format, critics regarded the mono sound as superior. Here both symphonies appear in mono, and far better than we dare hope to find from the 1955 origin. They will still be around when most others have long been forgotten.





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