Top critical review
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A dissenting voice
on 9 September 2013
One of the great things about being alive is that you get to hold opinions which are different from all the other people ... like ...
"Mozart is rubbish, Haydn wrote much better tunes"
or ... about the present recording of the Beethoven Fifth Symphony ...
"This is the most over-rated and over-hyped recording of any piece ... ever"
Firstly Kleiber does not seem to understand which parts of Beethoven's textures give the music its forward momentum and, in his obsessive desire to clarify every strand of the rhythmic texture, he keeps on emphasising things which actually drag the music down. This is especially true in the finale.
BUT WHAT REALLY WON'T DO IS... at the great transition from Scherzo to Finale, where the piece moves from darkness into blazing light in the space of a few bars, the very moment which everyone has always raved about in this recording as being so "overwhelming", Kleiber and his recording engineers simply cheat. Listened to closely it is obvious that the first chords of the finale are recorded in a different take from the preceding build up, and then spliced in so closely that the music seems to BURST FORTH. BUT in order to achieve this effect the attack of the first chord of the Finale is actually cut into - it actually jerks and blurts at you. (Go on - I dare you - put on some headphones and listen really carefully). No other recording sounds like this, because it is impossible to do in real life. IT IS CHEATING AND BELONGS IN THE BIN.
Good - I feel much better now!