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Reviews: Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Triple Concerto - Haitink

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Site review by Polly Nomial October 2, 2006
Performance:   Sonics:  
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Review by Edvin March 13, 2006 (8 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Judging from this new 7th Haitink has done some serious re-thinking on how to perform Beethoven. This is far from his previous efforts with LPO and RCO and shows a new Haitink.
Tempi are fast, they are even quicker than Kleiber on DG. But nothing is sacrificed, on the contrary. It is all gain. The introduction is paced quite fast with heavy accents, maybe Haitink is inluenced by the "period lobby"? The movement proper bounces along with some lovely punctuations from the vey clear timpany and Haitink manages to find a perfect balance between the dance and the song. It is a very dynamic performance.

The allegretto is rather swift and has some absolutely marvellous dynamic shades, or gradings rather. The playing is incredibly lovely.

Follows a presto of both speed and power, as well as a myriad of delicate dynamics. The trio section(s) is fast and sort of phrased with a cut off..hope you get it.

The finale is furious and absolutely marvellous in it´s ability to build up tension. The last pages are tremendous and Haitink brings the symphony to a triumphant close.
This is surely one of the most exciting sevenths ever and if the rest of the cycle continues in the same vein we have a classic.

The Triple Concerto is not so dependable on interpretation to convey it´s message. This performance is, as you might gather by the names, really something special. All I can say is that I have never enjoyed this piece as much before.

The sound is perfectly acceptable on it´s own. But as soon as you start to compare you miss the space and room for some of the more dynamic instruments to expand in. The basses near the end doesn´t sound as sinister as they should because the accoustics dont allow the sound to expand.
Don´t let this put you off, this is high powered Beethoven and you are unlikely to find better played or conducted performances.

I have always admired Haitink, but never really thought he had this in him. His interpretations where often safe and very good, but they seldom stood out. This is something different alltogether, and I applaud the LSO for giving him the opportunity to realize these volatile ideas. I am not sure the RCO would have done this.

Hideous cover, and worse is to come.

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Review by terence April 14, 2006 (3 of 8 found this review helpful)
i've only heard RBCD stereo, unfortunately, so just a quick line to report that artistically these are outstanding performances, very clear textured and bubbling with energy. i enjoyed them a great deal.

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Review by Amfibius July 2, 2007 (7 of 15 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
OK, this is going to be the LAST time I buy a CD based on reviews on Of the Beethoven 7's, I have the Kleiber, Klemperer, Abbado, Karajan, Bohm, Harnoncourt, and Walter. This performance scrapes the bottom of this list. I place it even lower than the Harnoncourt, which until now was the king of my "massively disappointing but well reviewed discs".

I don't know how anyone can compare this disc to the Kleiber 7th and place it on top. Just listen to the emasculated orchestral sound (drums sound like toy drums, violin sections sound thin, the whole orchestra lacks "oomph") and the uncoordinated playing. Kleiber takes the finale of the 7th in a maelstrom of sounds rapidly escalating in tempo and volume. In comparison the Haitink/LSO clumsily saunters to the end with occasional passages of disconnected playing.

I am sorry to come out so negative, but so far nobody has posted a contrary viewpoint. And these reviews have already misled one person (me).

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