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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies Vol. 2 - Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5 ()

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There are certain works in the classical canon that are so frequently performed that they are almost clichés. So when yet another recording of Beethoven's First and Fifth symphonies is issued, the question arises: what distinguishes this album from the others? In the case of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, the answer is a youthful, brisk energy that pervades both symphonies and attentive phrasing that ensures each instrument is heard. Under the baton of Jan Willem de Vriend, the NSO begins the First Symphony elegantly, and then gives way to the Allegro with rapid, clean strings, powerful percussion, and lower voices that are well balanced and distinct. It is the punchy percussion that distinguishes this recording from others, as it is often aggressive (such as in the Menuetto), but not unmusically so.The NSO can play cantabile when necessary, such as in the second movement, which is graceful like a courtly dance, but not weak. This movement ends with an enjoyably violent explosion. The First... Hide synopsis

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