Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: Symphonies-No 6, 'Pastoral'

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven: Symphonies-No 6, 'Pastoral'

Article excerpt

Beethoven

Symphonies--No 6, 'Pastoral', Op 68; No 8, Op 93

Beethoven Orchestra, Bonn / Stefan Blunier

Dabringhaus und Grimm (F) [SACD (Super Audio CD] MDG9371883-6 (69' * DDD/DSD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It takes a mere four seconds to fathom the gist of Stefan Blunier's Beethoven Eighth. A forceful opening, followed by a marked diminuendo, leads to mellifluous woodwinds and a strongly accented account of the exposition. The development is taut and propulsive, a muscular traversal (note the hammering timps and trumpets at 5 '06") where the strings hold their focus even as the tumult is raging elsewhere. The Allegretto scherzandlo has the air of an elegant 'cock-o'-the-walk' about it, with not a hint of metronomic inflexibility. And the Minuet is swift, light and admirably transparent, the Trio section taken at a markedly broader tempo than the outer sections, and with excellent horns. Blunier's approach to the finale mirrors his way with the first movement in that the central episodes find the projection toughened, with accents again making quite an impact. …

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