Otto Klemperer – Stockholm Eroica & Munich Mozart

0 of 5 stars

Beethoven
Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.55 (Eroica)
Mozart
Symphony No.29 in A, K201

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra [Beethoven]
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Otto Klemperer

Beethoven recorded 17 April 1958 in Konserthuset, Stockholm; Mozart on 15 April 1956 in Herkulessaal, Munich


Reviewed by: Antony Hodgson

Reviewed: July 2009
CD No: MEDICI MASTERS
MM037-2
Duration: 79 minutes

appoggiaturas and Klemperer was always notably correct in this matter, playing them with relaxed elegance – a refreshing change from the clipped effect of the ‘short’ grace-note school of thought. Although the sound is less well-balanced than that afforded the ‘Eroica’ (and in mono), this is a gracious reading with beautifully hushed playing from the muted strings in the Andante. The Minuet is ideally sturdy and the finale weighty yet fiery. Sometimes, oboe melodies are overpowered by the strings (I recall that Klemperer used only ten first violins when conducting Mozart but maybe there were more here) and the background is a little noisy but this is still a most gratifying portrayal of the music.

I preferred the first Klemperer Columbia ‘Eroica’ to the later stereo studio version and this live Swedish version provides an interpretation closer to the earlier reading but with the additional advantage of decent stereo sound. I have heard other Klemperer performances of the work in the concert hall but I suggest that this excellent Medici Arts version gives the best recorded representation of what Klemperer felt about the music.

I would have preferred applause to have been removed, but I recommend this careful refurbishment by Tony Faulkner, which provides excellent quality.

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