Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra: NDR Radiophilharmonie
Conductor: Andrew Manze
Number of Discs: 1 CD
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Bit Depth: 24bit / 48kHz
Number of channels: 2.0
Size: 733.1 MB
Scan: yes (booklet PDF)
NDR Radiophilharmonie, Andrew Manze / Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 (2020)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 34:00
01. I. Allegro con brio 7:34
02. II. Andante con moto 9:53
03. III. Scherzo. Allegro 5:07
04. IV. Allegro 11:26
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 40:06
05. I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace 14:03
06. II. Allegretto 8:41
07. III. Presto – Assai meno presto 9:01
08. IV. Allegro con brio 8:21
After their prize-winning Mendelssohn symphonies cycle and acclaimed Mozart symphonies album, the NDR Radiophilharmonie and its chief conductor Andrew Manze now present Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh symphonies. While Beethoven’s Fifth is arguably the most famous symphony in the history of music, the Seventh counts as one of the most rhythmically-advanced pieces of nineteenth-century music; an “apotheosis of dance”, to quote Richard Wagner. Both works display Beethoven’s mastery of and audacious approach to musical form as well as the richness of his melodic invention, and are generally praised as paragons of symphonic composition. Andrew Manze brings his experience in the field of historically informed performance to the polished symphonic sound of the NDR Radiophilharmonie, providing an ambience that fits these early nineteenth-century works like a glove.
Sensuously Mediterranean sounds and Northern solemnity shake hands on this recording of Mendelssohn’s Italian and Reformation symphonies (Nos. 4 and 5). This is the second release in a series of recordings in multi-channel surround sound for PENTATONE by the conductor Andrew Manze and the NDR Radiophilharmonie. Expectations are high after the first album of this series, a recording of Mendelssohn’s first and third symphonies, was crowned with a 2017 Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
It’s no wonder that Robert Schumann dubbed Mendelssohn the “Mozart of the nineteenth century”; with his felicitous gift for melody and meticulous craftsmanship, his music positively brims with youthful spontaneity and exuberance, blending dreamy poetic flights with moments of affecting tenderness and serenity. All this comes together in his Italian symphony, that is so full of joie de vivre, so sparkling with energy and esprit, so full of Mediterranean gaiety. Far beyond the picturesque, the piece offers Mendelssohn’s profoundly personal reflection, transformed into music, on the impressions made on his senses by the landscape, architecture, lifestyle, and people of Italy.
Equally personal is Mendelssohn’s Reformation symphony, in which the devoutly Christian composer aimed to combine elements and traditions of sacred instrumental music with those of an autonomous symphony. The result is highly original: a so-called finale symphony, in which the programmatic destination of the entire work is oriented towards the finale, based on the Lutheran chorale “A mighty fortress is our God”.
Renowned for his boundless energy and scholarly knowledge and with many critically acclaimed recordings in a broad repertoire, Manze is celebrated as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors of his generation.
“Manze’s take is wholly individual,” wrote the Guardian. “[Brahms’ symphonies] burst with life, by turns wistful, yearning, sharp-edged and blisteringly incisive … this is the composer reinvented for the 21st century.”
In September 2014 Andrew Manze became the Principal Conductor of the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hannover and immediately made headlines.
BBC Music Magazine
A consummate interpreter, Manze never plays fast and loose with tempos, nor with radically over-emphasised dynamics. The rigour of his period performance practice and expressive consideration brings clarity and freshness, the sound finely judged, full of breadth, never ploughing through the symphony’s vulnerable moments…Highly recommended.
Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve heard interpretations where everything seems to be in its right place. The NDR Radiophilharmonie play superbly for Manze, with characterful woodwind solos, welcome hints of period bite from brass and timpani, and a string tone of substantial body and lustre. The engineering, too, is beyond reproach. Enthusiastically recommended.
The conductor’s period-instrument background manifests itself in swift, no-nonsense tempi…with cogent feeling for structure and pulsing rhythmic momentum that never sound hard-driven…And the strings never sound too plush or saturated, giving these performances a feeling of contemporary freshness and interpretative zest.