Monday, November 30, 2015

Music Review: Beethoven's Symphonies 2, 4 & 5

Date: 28 November 2015
Performers: Jaap van Zweden (conductor), Hong Kong Philharmonic
Rating: ***** (5 out of 5)

The third chapter of the HK Phil’s Beethoven cycle brought together a trio of early and mid-symphonies. Whereas Beethoven’s Fifth is a universal crowd-pleaser and its famous four-note motif needs no embellishment, the Second and Fourth require a bit more work to bring to life. They suffer from the all-too-familiar “middle child syndrome” – Symphony No. 2 was so poorly received at its 1803 début that one critic compared the opening of the last movement to “a flatulence followed by a groan of pain.” Unfazed by the challenge, music director Jaap van Zweden found a way to turn the ugly sisters into Cinderella and sweep the audience off its feet.

Smaller symphonic works have always been the HK Phil’s forte, and their tight rendition of Symphony No. 2 provided ample evidence of that...

Beethoven's Symphonies 2, 4 & 5 with Jaap van Zweden


Read the rest of this review on TimeOut HK.

As published on TimeOut HK

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