Monday, July 29, 2013

Otto Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
"Beethoven: Symphony no. 7" (Vinyl)

Angel packaged some beautiful, resilient vinyl back in the day.  This cycle of Beethoven's symphonies, which dates from the late 50's enjoyed protection inside thick cardboard sleeves which are the sturdiest I've seen (next to older Everest recordings.)

Klemperer was personal friends with Mahler and probably only three handshakes away from Beethoven himself.  Regarded as one of the best conductors of the 20th century, he did not enjoy a particular notoriety in the United States (overshadowed by the superstar status of Bernstein, Ormandy and Szell.)

His tempos in this recording of Beethoven's 7th are deliberate, bordering on slow compared to the sometimes frantic tempos I hear today.  There is a control and sublime wisdom that comes through in this performance.

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