Catalogue No: BISSACD1816
Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä
• Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 7 make up the fifth and final instalment of the Symphony Cycle with conductor Osmo Vänskä and Minnesota Orchestra; a cycle which has received universal praise.
• The first instalment in Osmo Vänskä’s and Minnesota Orchestra’s Beethoven cycle was released in December 2004 and was immediately praised for the performances as well as for the state-of-the-art sound. The following discs have if anything strengthened the case for this cycle. With such forerunners it is not surprising that the present disc, closing the cycle, has been eagerly awaited.
• The disc opens with Symphony No. 2, completed in 1802 during one of the darkest periods of the composer’s life, as he was struggling to reconcile himself with his encroaching deafness. Under the circumstances, as Beethoven specialist Barry Cooper points out in his liner notes, a striking feature of the work is ‘its thoroughly optimistic character throughout – it is almost as if he was using the symphony as a means of escape.’ Following it is the Seventh Symphony in which the strong rhythmic drive that pervades all four movements has made it a favourite in the concert hall – among its admirers is found Richard Wagner who famously dubbed it ‘the apotheosis of the dance’.
Contents and Reviews
ContentsSymphony No.2 in D major, Op.36;
Symphony No.7 in A major, Op.92
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