Album: John Eliot Gardiner/ORR, Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7 Live at Carnegie Hall (Soli Deo Gloria)


Two decades ago, John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique recorded a milestone series of Beethoven symphonies that challenged accepted notions of Beethoven performance.

Last November, they reassembled at Carnegie Hall for this concert, in which the use of period instruments makes for an energetic celebration of the heterogeneity of the instrumental voices, rather than the smoothed-out treatments favoured today. The 7th is particularly fine, a beguiling mix of lightness and ebullient spirit whose pacy vivacity rivals Riccardo Chailly's notoriously fast interpretation from last year. But for all the ORR's gusto, the wistful second movement is treated as tenderly as one could wish for.

Download: Symphony No 7 in A major; Symphony No 5 in C minor