John Eliot Gardiner/ORR, Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7 Live at Carnegie Hall

5 November 2012, 15:04 | Updated: 6 November 2012, 12:19

An electric performance of two symphonic masterpieces, on period instruments. Drive Featured Album, 5 November 2012.

John Eliot Gardiner's interpretation of the stately second movement of Symphony No. 7 is beautifully majestic, with the period instruments adding a sense of historic grandeur. The performance attempts to recapture the magic of the early performances in the 1800s, playing the music as if it has never been heard before, and the sprightly chords in the finale spring off the page with a pregnant sense of anticipation - who knows what will happen in the next bar?

Symphony No. 5 gallops off at a pretty flighty pace, with the period instruments adding a refreshing novelty to the iconic opening chords. The 'Andante con moto' is a particular treat, with a majestic sweetness only made possible with period instruments.

This album from John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique offers a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the best moments of these symphonies, reinterpreted by a world-class period orchestra.