1.StopSymphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21:1. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio 9.09
2.StopSymphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21:2. Andante cantabile con moto 8.36
3.StopSymphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21:3. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace) & Trio 3.57
4.StopSymphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21:4. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace 6.24
5.StopSymphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93:1. Allegro vivace e con brio 9.55
6.StopSymphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93:2. Allegretto scherzando 4.09
7.StopSymphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93:3. Tempo di Menuetto 4.58
8.StopSymphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93:4. Allegro vivace 8.18
9.StopFugue for string quartet in B flat major ("Grosse Fuge"), Op. 133 18.3
Testament's reissues of notable live performances are primarily aimed at collectors of rarities and fans of the featured artists, but experienced listeners who are curious about these historical artifacts may find them quite interesting and worthwhile, despite their various audio defects and less than ideal reproduction. Otto Klemperer's concert recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra are certainly problematic for anyone accustomed to contemporary digital sound, and this album of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21, the Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93, and the version for string orchestra of the Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133, takes a little patience to get through, mostly due to its distant microphone placement, boxy monaural sound, and abundant audience noises. However, this CD is still compelling for its musical values, and Klemperer's Beethoven is richly rewarding for its elegant interpretations, wide expressive range, and formal coherence; and even though the performances of the symphonies might be a bit slower, heavier, and more reverent than many high-speed performances by historically informed practitioners, Klemperer's tempos are fairly judicious and generally brisker than might be expected. The performance of the Grosse Fuge is the one serious disappointment here, as it presents many textural problems that require Klemperer to take much slower tempos than a string quartet would; with the thick string tone and the fairly leaden pacing, the orchestra sounds quite opaque, ponderous, and dull. So this disc is best appreciated for the symphonies, which offer much more of aesthetic value than the murky closing selection. Blair Sanderson, All Music Guide
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