BBC Music Magazine - - Orchestral Reviews -

Sym­phonies Nos 40 & 41

Bavar­ian Ra­dio Sym­phony Or­ches­tra/her­bert Blom­st­edt

BR Klas­sik 900164 72:39 mins

★er­bert Blom­st­edt and the Bavar­ian Ra­dio Sym­phony Or­ches­tra of­fer at­trac­tive, if un­spec­tac­u­lar, per­for­mances of the two most fa­mous of all 18th-cen­tury sym­phonies. Blom­st­edt makes large ed­i­fices out of them by ob­serv­ing ev­ery sin­gle re­peat, even in the da capo of the min­uets. The Jupiter runs just shy of 40 min­utes this way, and the fi­nale’s long se­cond-half re­peat brings with it the ad­van­tage of throw­ing the spot­light onto the coda, with its fa­mous coun­ter­point com­bin­ing all five themes. It was this work that be­gan the no­tion of shift­ing the weight of the sym­phonic de­sign firmly onto the fi­nale – a process Beethoven car­ried fur­ther in his last two sym­phonies.

Else­where, it’s some­times harder to jus­tify Blom­st­edt’s plethora of re­peats since he seems to have lit­tle new to of­fer the se­cond (or in the case of the min­uets, third or fourth) time through. ★e gives a lively ac­count of the Jupiter Sym­phony’s first move­ment, and he’s no slouch in the An­dante of No. 40, ei­ther, which emerges as some­thing closer to an Al­le­gretto. So gen­er­ally stylish per­for­mances – it’s just a pity they lack that ex­tra de­gree of per­son­al­ity and imag­i­na­tion that could have lifted them onto a higher plane. Misha Donat



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