Beethoven - Symphonies & Overtures: Anima Eterna

A strong performance that lifts this up from the pile marked 'Same old Beethoven'.

Composer: Beethoven
Repertoire: Symphonies Nos 1-9; Overtures
Artists: Soloists, Anima Eterna/ Jos van Immerseel
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Orchestral
Label: ZigZag Territoires ZZT080402.6

Yet another set of Beethoven symphonies – meaning yet another set of contentious theories about performance style in general and Beethoven’s metronome markings in particular? Fortunately, the level of musicianship here lifts these interpretations far above academic nit-picking. Jos van Immerseel favours much stronger bass lines than usual, and this transforms the all-too-usual period-instrument dryness into a meaty and satisfying orchestral sound that meanwhile loses none of its punch. Highlights include a vividly beautiful ‘Pastoral’ and a thrilling and dramatic Ninth; an equally exciting Egmont is the pick of the overtures. State-of-the-art recorded sound, too – comfortable, brilliantly clear and with lovely perspective depth.