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Beethoven and Franck/Faure CD reviews

NORMAN STINMCHOMBE REVIEWS A COMPLETE SET OF BEETHOVEN SYMPHONIES AND PIANO QUINTETS BY FRANCK AND FAURE


BEETHOVEN NINE SYMPHONIES: Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Trevino (Ondine 5 SACDs ODE 1348-5Q) ★★★

Robert Trevino cites his Beethoven influences as Daniel Barenboim and David Zinman while favouring a mid-way position. Trevino studied under Zinman, and his fellow American's influence is obvious in the slimmed-down sonorities, near-the-metronome tempi and clipped phrasing. This approach works best in the first two Haydn-influenced symphonies which are full of zip, sparkle and all the vivacity one could want. After that, despite an impressive Eroica funeral march, doubts set in. There's little unsettling or mysterious about the fourth's crepuscular adagio opening, nor does the ensuing allegro blaze into life. I don't hear Barenboim's old-school grandeur, and Beethoven's deistic mysticism, in the Pastoral finale and while the ninth's finale, with excellent chora…

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