BEETHOVEN Symphonie No. 5 + 7 / Kleiber 4791106
. . . these two Beethoven symphonies . . . are among the very finest performances of these works that have ever been captured in the studio. If there is a Beethoven Top 40 chart topper, Symphony No. 5 would certainly be the people's choice . . . Even those who know next to nothing about classical music would immediately recognize the "fate knocking at the door" theme that opens this work . . . The Vienna Musikvereinsaal is a concert venue with decent acoustics and this remastering gives us a good account of both symphonies with excellent spread across the stage . . . [the release offers] to newcomers an unprecedented opportunity to hear some extraordinary Beethoven symphonic performances by an interpreter who, for the most part, seemed to have a direct connection to its creator. For the best example that I can think of, the Allegretto second movement of the Seventh Symphony, often a formulaic afterthought in most recordings, gets a straight-to-the-core rendition that will stay with listeners long after this work is over.