Enoch zu Guttenberg

Beethoven: Sinfonie Nr. 3 "Eroica" & Nr. 8

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A fine alternative to conventional renditions on modern instruments, this Farao release of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, "Eroica," and his Symphony No. 8 in F major presents both works in vivid, historically informed performances by the German chamber orchestra KlangVerwaltung, scrupulously conducted by Enoch zu Guttenberg. These readings are a bit reminiscent of the Beethoven performances on Archiv by John Eliot Gardiner with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, or those by Roy Goodman and Monica Huggett with the Hanover Band on Nimbus, insofar as the tempos are quite brisk and lively, the instrumentation is authentic and the orchestra is quite small and lean. But one feature of this recording that might be annoying to some listeners and a potential turn off is the unusually heavy sound of the timpani, which is disproportionate to the lighter tone of the rest of the ensemble. This booming quality was no doubt exaggerated by the resonant acoustics and was insufficiently controlled in the mixing, so it tends to be distracting at higher volumes. However, the playing in all other aspects is exceptional, thanks to Guttenberg's meticulous direction and the specialized skills of these top-notch musicians. The reproduction is clean and crisp, with realistic presence and color.

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