Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral); Symphony No. 8

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Beethoven
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral); Symphony No. 8
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/ Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: 438 301-2 DDD
‘Awakening of pleasant feelings behind the double-glazing,’ I thought. The countryside, yes – but from too safe a distance. This is a brisk, soft-centred, beautifully played but ultimately uninteresting Pastoral, which, in the ‘Shepherd’s Hymn’, drips from passable routine to downright dreariness. Things perk up somewhat for the Eighth, but you’d be betteroff going for broke with Toscanini, Szell or Klemperer – all of whom are out (variously coupled) at mid-price.Robert Cowan

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