Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C; String Quartet No. 2 in D; String Quartet No. 4 in B flat; String Quartet No. 5 in C minor

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: DG Double
WORKS: Symphony No. 1 in C; String Quartet No. 2 in D; String Quartet No. 4 in B flat; String Quartet No. 5 in C minor
PERFORMER: Vienna PO/Karl Böhm
CATALOGUE NO: 439 681-2 ADD (1972/70)
Whilst never scaling Olympian heights, these performances offer considerable musical virtues. Böhm’s approach is mellow and refined in the youthful First Symphony, which receives an unusually expansive performance, and the Second has some beautiful moments. Perhaps some of the tempi are unduly stolid, and the Fifth is certainly understated in comparison with Carlos Kleiber’s dynamic reading of the same work. But the Vienna Philharmonic provides unfailingly excellent playing throughout and the transfers are most acceptable. Erik Levi

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