Yondani Butt / London Symphony Orchestra

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 7

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Adding to his already extensive and successful discography of both standard repertoire and modern works, conductor Yondani Butt joins the London Symphony Orchestra on this Nimbus Alliance recording of Beethoven's Sixth and Seventh symphonies. Neither performance is especially groundbreaking or incredibly innovative, but that is not likely the point here. Instead, the LSO and Butt deliver solid, reliable performances of both symphonies. The relaxed, natural pacing in the Sixth Symphony captures the profuse pastoral qualities of Beethoven's score while the effervescent, joyous spontaneity of the Seventh delivers on its pervasive dance-like qualities. Butt controls the balance and dynamics of the LSO brilliantly throughout, highlighting the various textures and instrumental combinations while allowing the active inner voices to be heard. The only instrument that seems to lose out is the horn, whose presence could be much greater throughout both symphonies. Nimbus' sound is detailed, clean, and simple, allowing the same characteristics of the LSO's playing to shine through. While not a must-have addition to a larger collection, this disc is certainly a good choice for listeners seeking their first recording of these symphonies.

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