The Beethoven Symphony Series 2: Two Fifth Symphonies - Vanska and Herreweghe
Herreweghe takes allegro con brio seriously, opening at a fast pace. Sonically this is three dimensional Beethoven the listener can walk around in. Where Vanska's Fifth is a beautiful painting, Herreweghe's is an interactive landscape where tones fly around the listener as he or she is walking through. Herreweghe's approach and attack are fresh and clean with little of the romantic excess usually reserved for this piece in the 20th century. The engineering ensures discreet separation between insturments and instrument groups.
This is Beethoven at a trot. While thoughtfully considered, Herreweghe throws this masterpiece off with a fearlessness that never breaks down. The symphony makes sense. While not a high wire act, Herreweghe's Fifth is nevertheless a bracing experience for the listener, who will hear the piece and wonder when it will fall apart, but it never does and in fact is executed perfectly. The 5.1.1 Surround Sound is stunning. One might expect Herreweghe's Ninth to require a new Holy Day of Obligation.
Tracks and Personnel
Vanska: Beethoven Symphonies 4 and 5
Tracks: Symphony No. 4, Opus 60: 1. Adagio - Allegro vivace, 2. Adagio, 3. Allegro - Vivace, 4. Allegro ma non troppo; Symphony No. 5, Opus 67: 1. Allegro con brio; 2. Andante con moto; 3. Scherzo. Allegro; 4. Allegro.
Personnel: Minnesota Orchestra, conductor Osmo Vanska.
Herreweghe: Beethoven Symphonies 5 and 8
Tracks: Symphony No. 5, Opus 67: 1. Allegro con brio; 2. Andante con moto; 3. Scherzo. Allegro; 4. Allegro; Symphony No. 8, Opus 93: 1. Allegro vivace e con brio; 2. Scherzando: Allegretto; 3. Tempo di Menuetto; 4. Allegro vivace.
Personnel: Royal Flemish Philharmonic, conductor Philippe Herreweghe.