Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven Symphony No 3 'Eroica'; Leonore Overture No 2

Academic journal article The Beethoven Journal

Beethoven Symphony No 3 'Eroica'; Leonore Overture No 2

Article excerpt

"Beethoven Symphony No 3 'Eroica'; Leonore Overture no 2." Bernard Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra. Eroica Symphony (49: 11); Leonore Overture (15:00). Notes by Lindsay Kemp and Andrew Stewart in English, French, and German. Recorded live at the Barbican, London, in November 2005 using the Bärenreiter edition by Jonathan del Mar. London Symphony Orchestra LSO Live LSO -0080. ©2006. $12.99. Rating: **

This recording strikingly demonstrates the profound affect that the original instrument movement has exercised on "modern" orchestras and their conductors. Although Haitink has always had an admirable classic bent, here his tempos are noticeably quick, local tempo fluctuations take quite a while to appear, sonata-form repeats are observed, orchestral textures are transparent as the clearest day in June, and the pacing is much more classical than romantic. The "hands-off" approach gives way, finally, in the development section of the first movement as Haitink noticeably slows and quickens entire sections for expressive purposes. To which I say: none too late, before all the symphony's built-in drama is foresworn. Stewart's smart liner notes point right to Beethoven's auda- cious inspiration: "Beethoven uses the symphony to express nothing less than his abiding faith in mankind's capacity for greatness. The figure with whom he most associated greatness when he wrote the work in 1803 was Napoleon. …

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