Hooray! No " authentic" instruments and leaden tempi, no f*rting Ophecleids to annoy the listener, no cornets interfering with the waltz, no repeats in the march to the execution-Berlioz as it used to be! Hair-raising swift tempi in the last 2 movements,thank goodness, brilliant playing from the Philharmonia for whom no supelatives are excessive, superb recording in the new RFH acoustics-WOW-I was really surprised-, WONDERFULLY expressive conducting from Salonen-this will really upset the "authentic" thought-police I'm delighted to say. For anyone else, this recording and performance will prove to be a real joy! Superb big-band Beethoven Leonora 2 fill up. I loved it-8 stars! Great price on amazon too. This took me back to the 60's and early 70's when there were still great individual conductors performing who were more concerned with delivering great exciting performances than trying to convince us that it sounded better played on a hurdy gurdy, 2 washboards and a crumhorn at half the tempo because this was "awfentick." If I'm being a bit facetious, it's to emphasise a serious point-you don't need to add whistles and bells to a stalwart of the repertoire like the Symphonie-great conducting from an inspired conductor, and brilliant playing are all that's needed to make the work new and exciting again-and that's what we get here!
Welcome back to great music making!!! Totally and utterly recommended except to pedants! Stewart Crowe.