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ALLA BREVE

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 And 8; Overture To "die...

May 03, 1987|ALLAN ULRICH

BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONIES NOS. 1 AND 8; OVERTURE TO "DIE GESCHOEPPE DES PROMETHEUS." Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerard Schwarz. Delos CD-3013 (compact disc). Schwarz reaches a happy compromise here with Beethoven's two most compact symphonies, conjuring a 19th-Century aura with modestly proportioned 18th-Century forces. He introduces elastic tempos while sustaining a compelling pulse and he imbues both scores with a refreshing wit--try the buildup to the finale of the First Symphony. The LACO responds with vigorous attacks and superior balances, far better than the LSO's lackluster performance in the accompanying Overture to the "Prometheus" ballet music.

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