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CD Review

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Symphony #3, 'Eroica', Op. 55
  • Overture "Leonora" #1, Op. 138
  • Overture "Leonora" #2, Op. 72a
Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer
EMI Great Recordings of the Century 567740-2 71m ADD
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Thankfully, EMI has reissued these seminal Beethoven recordings in their latest batch of GROC releases after having deleted them some years ago. Klemperer's first forays into the symphonies and overtures for EMI were always considered as being far better than his later stereo remakes.

This 'Eroica' fairly bubbles with life and the clarity of the mono sound is also pretty impressive in EMI's new transfer. Klemperer conducts with a granite-like understanding of the score and the Philharmonia players are no doubt, deeply inspired by the occasion. I have always valued this 'Eroica' very highly and in its new incarnation it definitely lives up to its reputation. Just listen to that famous 'Funeral March' for further evidence to this statement.

The overtures are also pretty thrilling especially the Leonora #2 which has a whirlwind coda of brilliance and magnificence. I'm eagerly awaiting the 5th and 7th from the same batch of recordings now!

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech