23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Fresh sound, appropriate performances,
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This review is from: Beethoven: Symphonies; Overtures /Anima Eterna ∑ van Immerseel (Audio CD)
Rip-snorting performances here, fast but not too much so, with lots of oomph and attention to detail. Of course with sets like this, listeners will like some better than others, as I did. Overall though these performances sound as they likely would have in Beethoven's time and that is the mark of a good period performance. Emphases on particular sections within the orchestra are often different than modern performances which makes the listening experience fresh. My favourites, the Eroica, the Seventh and Coriolan overture are exhilarating. A pity not all the overtures were included (e.g. the Leonoras) - some, perhaps not all, of those missing could have fitted without creating an extra CD. Recording quality is full and warm, the cellos and basses are especially rich and the brass is bright and clear (if occasionally a little too forward). This is passionate and exciting playing. I do recommend the similarly-exuberant and well-recorded Harnoncourt overtures CD. Likewise the Gardiner set is arguably still a rival, and there are many individual modern performances, like some of Masur's (on PHILIPS not the disastrously remixed dried-out Pentatone SACDs) and Paita's glorious Eroica, that still stand up well, but I feel as a set this one pretty well wipes the opposition off the board, both period and modern. I'll keep my other ones, but I would be happy with this set alone.