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Giv Cornfield
The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics, October 2008

This recording is a reconstruction of a Beethoven "Akademie" concert of May 7, 1824. There are so very many recordings of these works in the catalogues, it is hard to get excited over yet another version. Still, I liked it for Christoph Spering's forthright and honest interpretation. He does not seek to impose anything that is not time-honoured or traditional. The build-up of tension in the symphony's final movement is almost palpable, when the 'Ode to Joy' comes as an exalted relief. The orchestra is as good as they come, and the proceedings (for a live concert recording) are captured in excellent audio.

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