Klaus Tennstedt / London Philharmonic Orchestra

Beethoven: Egmont Overture; Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral"

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Between 1978 and 1994, Klaus Tennstedt made most of his recordings, including a number of highly regarded live radio broadcasts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and many of these are available on the LPO label. This 2015 CD of Ludwig van Beethoven's Egmont Overture and the Symphony No. 6 in F major, "Pastoral," offers performances from 1991 and 1992, respectively, when Tennstedt was making few appearances with the orchestra due to his increasing health problems. Yet the interpretations and the playing are exceptionally controlled and polished, and Tennstedt's feeling for both works is comparable to his earlier recordings, when he was in full command of the music and his musicians. Regrettably, these performances were recorded in analog, and despite digital remastering, the sound of the Egmont Overture is rather flat and slightly distorted through compression, so the orchestra seems a little distant and not fully vibrant. The reproduction is much clearer in the "Pastoral," and there is a better sense of depth and instrumental color. While Egmont may not be the best choice for first-time listeners, the "Pastoral" is a fine performance that can be recommended to all listeners.

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