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Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 & Symphony No. 4

By Kurt Masur

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By Kurt Masur and London Philharmonic Orchestra. By Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Country of Origin: United Kingdom. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Naxos (NX.LPO-0093).

Item Number: NX.LPO-0093

This release features former Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kurt Masur, who conducted more than 150 performances in London and internationally during his tenure (2000-2007). Masur inaugurated the launch of the LPO label in 2005 with live performances of Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 1 and 5. Sadly, Kurt Masur passed away in December 2015. This pair of concert recordings from 2004 pays tribute to his musical legacy: he conducted Beethoven with insight, cohesion, and these concert performences were conducted from memory. When audiences heard Beethoven's First Symphony, they were struck by something new in the air- there is no mistaking its Beethovenian energy and dash. Released for the first time on the Orchestra's Label, Symphonies 1 and 4 contribute to the expanding collection of Beethoven works on the label; the most recent being Beethoven's Fifth conducted by Tennstedt. Often neglected between the more famous Third and Fifth, the Fourth Symphony is a jourous work which inspired many of Beethoven's contemporaries, including Schumann and Berlioz. It's propelled with unstoppable momentum and buoyancy, after a searching opening perhaps inspired by Haydn's "Representation of Chaos.".

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