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Beethoven Symphonies 6 & 7

NI6145
£14.99

Details

[Symphony no. 6]...maintains a fine feel of transparency. Melodies are nicely shaped and phrased, and the weighting of harmonies and orchestra tone colours is all well judged. It is superbly played and is uplifting as it should be. [Symphony no. 7] ...Yondani Butt generates a fine sonority from the orchestra, and controls Beethoven's pithy and extensive musical canvas very well indeed. Butt whips up plenty of dancing rhythmic power in the presto, and there are delightful and witty touches all over the place. Dominy Clements, Musicweb-international.com

 

Beethoven Symphonies 6 & 7

Tracks

Yondani Butt was born in Macau. He studied music at Indiana University and the University of Michigan. He also has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, on which subject he has published numerous research papers. As founder of Symphonie Canadiana, he has led the orchestra on major tours throughout North America. In addition, since 1983, he has held the position of Resident Conductor of the Victoria International Festival, creating the highly successful Concerti Extravaganza series. Frequently in demand as a guest conductor, Yondani Butt has recorded and performed in the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Europe. He has conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, American Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic of Canada, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Japan Gunma Symphony and Het Gelders Orkest, amongst many others. Yondani Butt received an MRA Gramophone Award in the Symphony Category 1995 for his recording of Glazunov’s Sixth Symphony. He had previously won the same Award in 1986 for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Third Symphony. His recording of Glazunov’s Third Symphony is recognised by the Glazunov Society as definitive and earned him the title of Honorary Patron of the Society.

Reviews

What I liked about this recording from the outset is the light touch with which Yondani Butt uses his instrument, the formidable London Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony no.6 is I admit relatively light by its very nature, but even where dynamics can legitimately be pushed Butt gives the sense of more in reserve, and maintains a fine feel of transparency. Melodies are nicely shaped and phrased, and the weighting of harmonies and orchestral tone colours is all well judged. The second movement Andante molto mosso is nicely muted and hazily atmospheric, and the gentle touch carries through into the following Allegro. There is a good energy in the dance sections, though the repetitions can be a bit samey and the feeling of forward momentum therefore perhaps not quite at optimum. The storm scene has some healthy drum thwacks, and the piccolo is nicely audible though not overbearingly so. The civilised nature of this reading as a whole makes the arrival of that wonderful final tune in the Allegretto perhaps a little less than wholly filled with relief and gratitude, but it is still superbly played and is uplifting as it should be.
 
Pairing 6 and 7 together works well on one CD, the Symphony no.7 being dramatic in entirely different ways to the Pastoral. Again, Yondani Butt generates a fine sonority from the orchestra, and controls Beethoven’s pithy and extensive musical canvas very well indeed. The funereal Allegretto is suitably dark, but not disproportionately theatrical. For all his lightness of touch, Butt whips up plenty of dancing rhythmic power in the Presto, and there are delightful and witty touches all over the place. There’s certainly no lack in detail from the recording or the playing, so this release can certainly be counted excellent for study purposes. The final Allegro con brio is by no means slacking, but the point about repetitions made earlier makes it less inspiring than some of the other movements. All of the ingredients are present, but there is little sense of each repetition of a phrase serving the cause of actual development. As a result, the excitement generated is rather low key. This might be said of the recording as a whole, but I also feel this would be unfair to interpretations which appear to seek the ‘authentic’ Beethoven in modern playing – revolutionary enough, without trying to over-romanticise.
 
The booklet notes are thorough, and the recording for this release is very good.

Dominy Clements Musicweb-international.com