6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great "Eroica" recording by any standards.,
This review is from: Beethoven - Symphonies Nos 3 and 4 (Audio CD)In his autobiography, EMI producer Fred Gaisberg recalled that conductor Felix Weingartner and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra were not on good terms at the time this recording of the "Eroica" was made. Factions and intrigues, typical of Vienna, were making it difficult for Weingartner to retain his five year contract at the Opera. Few members of the orchestra were in sympathy with his decision not to resign. Accordingly he treated the orchestra with "frigid detachment and they responded with grudging correctness".
In this emotional climate, and in the superb Vienna Musikvereinsaal, a great recording of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony was made in May 1936. To listen to just a few minutes of the first movement is enough to demonstrate that every score marking, every matter of balance, and every relation between detail and complete structure has been correctly judged. Nowhere is Weingartner's reputation as a tasteful, scholarly and cultured Beethoven interpreter better displayed.
His recording of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony was made in London three years earlier with the newly-formed London Philharmonic Orchestra. This is also a classic performance, with some especially fine playing from the orchestra's wind section.
Restoration producer Mark Obert-Thorn comments in the notes included with this CD that the "Eroica" is one of Weingartner's best sounding recordings, and explains that he has added a little reverberation to offset the close miking and "boxy" acoustic that originally characterized the recording of the Fourth.