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200 years ago on 8 December 1813, Beethoven's Symphony No.7 was premiered. Both dramatic and dance-like, the Symphony was put to stirring use in The King's Speech. Here are 10 very different recordings of this great work.
German-born Austrian conductor Klieber made fewer than 20 recordings. His version of Beethoven’s Seventh is often cited as the outstanding recording of the work – dramatic and urgent.
From a number of recordings the mighty Karajan made of the Beethoven symphonies, the 1961-1962 set stands out. For a work described by Wagner as the ‘apotheosis of the dance’, Karajan’s rendition of Symphony No. 7 is suitably rich and rhythmic.
Performed at his final ever concert, Bernstein’s interpretation of Beethoven’s Seventh is sweeter and more passionate than many others.
The brilliant Venezuelan marshals his enthusiastic young orchestra to deliver a performance of extraordinary energy, technical brilliance and maturity.
This version is among the finest, with the great Finnish conductor finding something new and interesting to explore, with his characteristic precision and warmth.
A live recording on the LSO’s own label sees Haitink approaching the work’s lyrical sections with tenderness and the dance rhythms with an easy swagger.
Using period instruments, the Academy of Ancient Music pull off an authentic sounding version with Hogwood coordinating the players - rather than conducting - as might have been done in the past.
Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, this recording stands out for its extraordinary energy and rhythmic force.
In 2002, Rattle committed his superhuman dynamism to leading the Vienna Philharmonic through a thrilling series of Beethoven symphonies. This recording was made live and is full of gusto.
The most recent recording of Beethoven’s Seventh on the list features the great American violinist taking the Academy through its paces with a fresh, high-octane performance.