Rattle leads Beethoven 7th!
This is one fine DVD, which features Mr. Vadim Repin in a performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto. In addition, we also get a beautiful reading of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements.
Sir Simon Rattle has become one of my favorite conductors, because he’s able to draw such passion out of orchestras that he leads. He developed his former orchestra in Britain into a terrific organization, and his leadership of the Berlin Philharmonic shows equal signs of his excellence. Rattle brings a spontaneity to the Beethoven Seventh, which gives the music the kind of crispness and excitement that it needs. The players follow him, and their first major sound outburst makes for an inspiring release of energy and tension. The tempi for the succeeding movements are just right, and especially the Funeral movement gives the listener all the phrasing and sensitivity that he expects. In the end, Rattle builds up the pace toward a very satisfying conclusion.
Repin, performing in between the two symphonies, plays beautifully in the Bruch concerto. Repin’s capability as a sensitive violinist is clearly established, and the orchestral support is outstanding. Repin is also quite moving in the Adagio, and terrific in the closing Allegro moderato movement.
The Berlin Philharmonic also plays Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements which might seem as an unusual companion to the other two selections. While it may have been selected to fit the overall available time, it also accomplishes the opportunity to have us learn more about Stravinsky and his mastery. This work, as well, is beautifully performed by Sir Simon and the BPO’s players.
Here is a video of Rattle leading the Beethoven 7th: