Abbado/VPO: Beethoven "Pastorale" + Choral Fantasy (with Pollini) - DG 419 779-2 (sealed)

$15.00 USD

DG (CD)

MINT (sealed) / made in the E.U.

This wonderfully vital Sixth hails from Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra's outstanding Beethoven Symphony cycle, made 'live' in the rich acoustics of the Musikvereinssaal during the years 1985 to 1988. In addition, 3 'bonus' works are also included, not least the remarkable Choral Fantasy Op. 80, with Maurizio Pollini giving the most commanding performance of the opening piano flourish on record, absolutely unsurpassed, both here and in the finale. The Choral work Op. 112 and the Coriolan Overture Op. 62 are also brilliantly done, with DG providing rich, warm sound.

Though Abbado's more recent Berlin Philharmonic Beethoven Symphony cycle has rightly won widespread acclaim and garnered numerous awards, his earlier VPO traversal, more expansive and interpretatively daring, remains under-rated and only grows in stature with repeated hearing. Abbado's VPO Beethoven Op. 92 is one of the great Seventh's on disc, well within the ranks of Furtwangler (BPO), Toscanini (NYPO), and, for this listener, Munch (RCA, 1949). The Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth are also wonderfully brought off, and if ensemble playing isn't always as secure as it would be in Berlin, there is nonetheless a tremendous sense of occasion, as befitting 'live' performance – this is a great Beethoven cycle – period.

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