Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 4 & 7, Coriolan Overture
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Theatre des Champs-Elysees
EuroArts Blu-ray Disc
In my opinion, this disc illustrates once again why Maestro Jurowski is earning a reputation as one of the premier orchestra and opera conductors of today. The three Beethoven works performed here are examples of classical music-making at its very best, with tempos and dynamic shadings that are spot on. In addition, the use of period instruments and a small-scaled orchestra afford listeners a clarity of detail, textures, colors, and harmonies that are remarkable.
Noteworthy also are those occasional passages featuring the tympani and/or horns. In such instances these accent instruments are heard to distinct advantage; and, with impressive results.
Finally, it should be noted that the playings of the major theme of 7th symphony's final movement are striking. This is due, I believe, to the style of bowing employed by the violins here that's known as (I think) "spiccato." Spiccato is a bowing technique that gives the music a bit more "bite" and definition than the legato bowing customarily heard in performances of this work. Hearing the theme played this way has convinced this writer that this is exactly the way it should be heard.
Both the picture and sound quality of this Blu-ray disc are excellent.