[f_minor] third beethoven

michael macelletti mmacelletti at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 13 17:58:22 MDT 2012

today my long awaited beethoven third, karajan berlin- gould arrived. so, i said 
to myself, here we go. another third.  who hasn't played it. who can't play it ? 
 it really isn't hard except for the two sticky wick coordination problems with 
orchestra in the third mmt.  i couldn't wait to hear it.   i can say that it can 
easily be described as a great recording of the century ( or three  !  ), with 
reservations.     the opening, with the berlin and karajan, was incredible. 
everything you remember about the symphonies and overtures with berlin was here. 
 full orchestral sound,  authoritative tempos, just total majesty.  certainly an 
accompaniment ( if i may use the word lightly )  for a soloist to fall into. and 
gould used it well.  he has never played better with an orchestra. boldness, 
accuracy, joy of music making, it was all here. the repartee was inspired. ( 
although i think karajan had more to do with that) . the first mmt cadenza went 
off without a hitch, as did everything . speeds were a bit brisk for gould. i 
thing he was complying with the maestro like he never did before. the second mmt 
was just all right . too fast to make me cry, like it usually does.  third mmt, 
again very brisk. spot on accuracy . not a wrong note in the performance . ( 
well, maybe one or two. i was making chile at the time. )   i can't imagine 
anybody playing it better,  in this world. exciting to an extreme. on a par with 
the horowitz-toscanini tschaikowsky first at carnegie. a performance to sell war 
bonds in the forties. so you might say,    what's not to like ?  and i would 
say, not much. except i had to put on a mozart string quartet for emotional 
relief right after listening to this truly " great recording of the century ". 
 i just couldn't take the tension  it created without turning to humanity's balm 
as soon as possible. 
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