Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano & Trento/Gustav Kuhn: Beethoven - Symphonies Nos 1 & 5

This is more than just another re-run of a firm favourite.

Composer: Beethoven
Repertoire: Beethoven Symphonies Nos 1 & 5
Artists: Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano & Trento/Gustav Kuhn
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Orchestral
Label: Col legno WWE 60002

The punchy, attention-grabbing attack of the surprise opening to Symphony No.1 marks the disc out. Kuhn captures the stern joy of this crisp Allegro with a commanding baton and allows no sluggish play thereafter. Each subsequent movement has its own character: the second is gentle, the third pants with excitement and the Finale fanfares greater things to come. The Symphony No.5 takes a measured, reasonable approach in the dry acoustic; the quavers never rush, the Andante is gently phrased and the Scherzo treads stealthily in repsonse to the ominous horn calls. The Finale summarises mightily with fierce crescendos and a most delicate pizzicato section. Not just another Beethoven’s Fifth.