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View Diary: Thursday Classical Music OPUS 58: Beethoven Symphony #7 (part 2) (57 comments)

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  •  This is a fairly important question (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo, x, ozsea1, barbwires

    especially germane to Beethoven and even more so to the Seventh symphony and yet even more so with regard to the final movement.  This is of course because of the bass violins which underpin the final movement's crescendo and then become the crescendo itself.  The balance of sound when the bass, strings, and horns come into synch is critical to truly hearing and experiencing the utter perfection of this movement and symphony.

    Historically, the number of bass violins to violas, violins, and horns was different in Beethoven's time to the modern orchestral compliment.  How this affected both the actual composition and actual playing of the music is a good question.  For an answer I've looked to the various conductors and their interpretations.  

    Depending on the composer, the relationship of the bass to the climax can get lost.  As it so happens, Christian Thielemann's interpretation linked above is excellent.  Personally, I was a longtime fan of Josef Krips' London Symphony Orchestra recordings (Everest label). Both maintain a fast, aggressive tempo, which I feel really helps deliver the punch in the final movement.  For all their fame, I've found the Klemperers and Karajans too slow and ponderous in their renditions to truly bring out a sound that I find completely satisfying.

    But the exact historical compliment of each instrument in the orchestra is a very good question to explore.

    •  Check out John Eliot Gardiner's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, ozsea1, barbwires

      period orchestra performance of the 7th.  The second movement in particular is quite amazing, it's like hearing it for the first time again.  Positively psychedelic.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 10:07:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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