The Fourth Symphony is probably Beethoven’s least well-known, a situation which no doubt owes much to its position sandwiched between the Third (the ’Eroica’) – at that time the largest and most complex symphony ever composed – and the viscerally powerful and uplifting Fifth. Beside these two great forward steps in symphonic thinking, the brusque Fourth can seem dwarfed, its relatively lightweight frame and predominantly cheerful nature apparently offering no equivalent to either their massive presences or their mighty extra-musical messages. But it is a thoroughly Beethovenian work nevertheless, taut with muscular strength, propelled with unstoppable momentum, and shot through with its composer’s unmistakable stylistic fingerprints. Produced in the same year as the Violin Concerto, the Fourth Piano Concerto and the three ’Razumovsky’ string quartets, it purrs with the mature assurance of Beethoven’s so-called ’middle-period’ compositions, and, like several of those, is among his most lovable and appealing creations.
Total time: 00:57:36
|Original Recording Format|
Jonathan Stokes,Ian Watson, Jenni Whiteside
Barbican, London England
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|Release Date||July 24, 2015|
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