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CD Review

Ludwig van Beethoven

Pristine 67

Symphony #6 in F Major "Pastoral", Op. 68

Philadelphia Orchestra/Bruno Walter
Pristine Audio PASC067 37:48

In covering Opus Kura's Japanese reissue of Bruno Walter's pre-war Vienna "Pastoral", I noted that his beautiful Philadelphia account could be sourced from France, either with Sony or Pristine Audio. Considering that the Sony issue is very hard to find, I suggest the Pristine issue. There's no coupling (there's an overture on the Sony disc), but consumers can either order a physical disc or choose from a variety of download options. Per our guidelines here at Classical Net, I have a disc, but this is an essential purchase any way you choose to acquire it.

Longtime collectors already know of Walter's excellence in Beethoven, and especially in this work. His late Columbia version might just be his last indisputably great record of his career. But there's something special about hearing Ormandy's band under a truly idiomatic Beethoven conductor. There's a beauty here, especially in the strings and woodwinds, that is perhaps unmatched in the era. Certainly there would be buckets of great Beethoven Sixths to come, but few to this point had such grace and glow.

Copyright © 2017, Brian Wigman