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Beethoven: Symphonie No. 6 "Pastorale"; Valente: Six to Midnight ()

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The idea of reducing a Beethoven symphony, the very essence of an expanding sonic universe of the Romantic era, to chamber dimensions seems unthinkable, yet the version of Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 ("Pastoral"), for string sextet, heard here, was written by a near contemporary of Beethoven's. Michael Gotthardt Fischer's reduction (or "recension") was published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Vienna in 1810, and it wasn't the only chamber version of a Beethoven symphony. Prior to the era of recordings, those wanting to reproduce orchestral music at home depended on versions such as this. The string sextet medium, however, is unusual; more common were the piano trio or piano four-hands. It gives Fischer room to fill out the string parts (reproduced close to intact) with details of the winds that convey the originals not only with pitch but with texture details. Sample the storm movement of the symphony to see just how well it works. Of course this is really a sort of study version rather... Hide synopsis

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