Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5

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COMPOSERS: Beethoven
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 5
PERFORMER: Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood
CATALOGUE NO: 444 164-2 DDD (1987)
Invigorating period-instrument performances. Hogwood, like Gardiner, offers an authoritative view of Beethoven that’s large-scaled, ruggedly tense, rhythmically ecstatic and ebulliently brisk. Ideally conveying the spirit of the music and its time (from Elysian calm, the Fourth’s Adagio, to rallying victory, the Fifth’s finale), he observes all repeats and restores the original five-part form of the Fifth’s Scherzo. Gritty playing from the AAM, highlighted by brazen natural horns/trumpets and hard-sticked kettle drums. Great sound (Walthamstow Assembly Hall). Ates Orga