Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Decca Headline
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5
PERFORMER: VPO/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt
CATALOGUE NO: 433 600-2 ADD
Schmidt-Isserstedt’s approach to Beethoven was always controversial, many critics feeling that his interpretations, though meticulously planned, were low-key and lacked the final ounce of drama. These two symphonies, part of the complete set he recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic towards the end of his life, are sound but unexciting. They smoulder without ever quite bursting into flames. Aficionados will welcome this release – seekers after greater intensity will find it uncompetitive. Wadham Sutton

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