Symphony No.8 in F, Op.93
Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67
London Symphony Orchestra
Reviewed by: Andrew Toovey
Reviewed: 24 April, 2006
Venue: Barbican Hall, London
The Overture to “Fidelio” was a majestic start, with particularly beautiful horn-playing and a taut grip on the work’s dramatic dynamic range. The Eighth Symphony (not often enough performed!) has a rich palette within its relatively slender dimensions and allowed the LSO the impression of a chamber group, the sound wonderfully balanced.
The Fifth Symphony was a tour de force from hammering start to jubilant finish. There was no let-up in the tension of the first movement. The Andante con moto (faster than is usual) ebbed and flowed eloquently with many fine details: one such being a long-held clarinet note that seemed to suspend time itself; and, just after that, a series of quiet chords seemed to dislocate time – the essence of beauty had somehow been captured. The pizzicatos linking the scherzo and last movement sounded as if the effect had just been invented, the finale being joy itself – given with a momentum and tumult that sent spirits soaring.