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LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN - SYMPHONY NO. 5 - CARLOS KLEIBER (conductor) - VIENNA PHILHARMONIC - 028944740028 - Deutsche Grammophon 4474002

This 1974 recording of the world's best known symphony is still at the top of the list after all these years. Many other contenders are still trying to capture the trophy, but somehow they all seem to fall a bit short of the mark. From start to finish this performance is brisk, clear, stately, full of momentum, and does not attempt, like some, to make this great work sound any darker than it is. The recording is a bit on the bright side but still has lots of punch. Simply put, the momentum and drive behind this performance contradict the old school view that Beethoven had to be dark and serious in order to work. A performance of Symphony No. 7, done just as well, rounds out this CD. Proof that this is a definitive performance, the label has also re-issued this recording in SACD, DVD-Audio and Blu-ray Audio formats.

Jean-Yves Duperron