Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

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

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2017

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Triple Concerto, Op. 56 / Symphony No. 5 (I. Faust, Queyras, Helmchen, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (NTSC) ACC-20411
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (NTSC) ACC-20413

The soloists are superb, and longtime chamber music partners Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras display a unanimity of purpose, not to mention truly beautiful tone, that alone would make this an outstanding reading. The orchestra is reduced to chamber size, giving the triple soloists the opportunity to phrase expressively when they don’t have to compete with a large ensemble.

Blomstedt himself takes full advantage of the opportunity, and every movement emerges with extra imagination and feeling. …Blomstedt stands as straight as a cadet, slicing the air with a cupped hand to mark strong beats. There’s not much more to his technique except eye contact, yet with minimal means he gets all the energy needed for Beethoven, along with natural balances and fine playing. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, October 2017

Blomstedt knew the score of both symphonies cold! Small wonder: At age 90, he has conducted this music dozens of times.

I particularly enjoyed his facial expressions. This man clearly loves this music, and you can see so in his gestures and in his eyes.

He conducted without a stick, yet his gestures were totally clear. Virtually every solo was queued with a finger or a slight arm movement.

His eyes were open, ready to exchange a look with the first flute, the bassoon, or the horn player.

Terrific leadership, and total readiness to assist his musicians to achieve outstanding results. © 2017 My Classical Notes Read complete review



Peter Quantrill
Gramophone, October 2017

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Šaturová, Mihoko Fujimura, Elsner, Gerhaher, Leipzig Gewandhaus Choir and Orchestra, Blomstedt) ACC-80322
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Triple Concerto, Op. 56 / Symphony No. 5 (I. Faust, Queyras, Helmchen, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (NTSC) ACC-20411
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Triple Concerto, Op. 56 / Symphony No. 5 (I. Faust, Queyras, Helmchen, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10411
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (NTSC) ACC-20413
BEETHOVEN, L. van: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Blomstedt) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10413

Under Blomstedt, the musicians sound at ease yet always on their mettle.

Blomstedt has gauged the weight of each climax in the First—as much as is necessary and no more—so that the symphony stands poised on the threshold between Classical and Romantic expression. …The Second is occasionally prone to a species of constrained literalism encountered again in a stiff transition from Adagio to Allegro in the Fourth’s opening movement…

Where possible—for the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth—these are performances to be watched… There is the occasional frown and raised eyebrow from Blomstedt as he comes again to a private understanding with the music, not in gestures of censure. More often he is wreathed in beatific smiles, and his musicians appear uncommonly happy with their lot. The Pastoral breathes contentment, with a spring in the step of the first movement that admits all the necessary space for anticipation, excitement and the passing joy of moments such as the chuckling clarinet and bassoon figures.

The concert-film of the Fifth is preceded by a Triple Concerto in which Blomstedt thins out the ensemble to offer lively support to his soloists; in turn, Isabelle Faust sweetens her tone in graceful complement to the Leipzig sound. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, August 2017

Here we have two exemplary Beethoven performances. I derived equal pleasure from the conductor’s very sound, unflashy musicality and from the Gewandhausorchester’s magnificent playing. Blomstedt divides the violins left and right while the double basses are placed at the rear of the orchestra, to his left, behind the first violins. Blomstedt conducts from memory and eschews a baton. I noticed that his facial expressions frequently indicate his enjoyment in the performances.

He sets a nice, sprightly pace for the first movement of the ‘Pastoral’. This sounds at every turn to be a good-humoured account of the movement and one can only admire the cultivated playing. In the second movement, the brook flows by at a beautifully balanced pace—the current is neither too swift nor too slow. In fact, the brook’s progress is genial. Blomstedt’s conducting seems effortless; the performance is relaxed—but it’s anything but somnolent.

These are rewarding, very musical performances which I enjoyed very much indeed. The DVD is a suitable tribute to a justly respected conductor. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2017

There is much joyous music-making in Beethoven’s Pastorale: Blomstedt obviously infects the orchestra his own good mood. The Seventh, alas, is much less captivating if not very commonplace. © 2017 Pizzicato





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group