Classical: Vienna Philharmonic with Simon Rattle

Beethoven Symphony No.5, Brahms Violin Concerto, EMI
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The Independent Culture

There is much to recommend this disc: the artists' pedigree, the quality of the music, plus the fact that it is live. The result is exciting. So much so that despite disliking Rattle's peremptory establishment of the opening argument, I turned quite pink listening to the Fifth. This a recording that cuts through to the grain of the music, leaving you dazzled by its force. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don't want to hear Brahms after Beethoven. But set alone, Rattle's Brahms has a Haydn-like intelligence, with just enough syrup and blush from Kyung Wha Chung to pull it into Romanticism.