Beethoven 4 & 7 Recording – Richard Wigmore

Posted on October 15, 2008

These enjoyable performances (of Beethoven’s 4th and 7th Symphonies) were recorded “live” in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, though you would hardly guess it from the digitally erased audience noise. This is athletic, authenticity-conscious Beethoven, with a transparent sound world founded on lean, crisp strings. There are no gimmicks, no mannerisms.

If other performances have conjured greater lyrical eloquence in No 4’s adagio, and more Bacchic delirium in the first movement of the Seventh, Boyd and his expert players are always eager and rhythmically alert.

The allegretto of No 7 builds inexorably, with no dawdling, while Boyd vindicates his headlong tempo for No 4’s finale – close to the composer’s controversial metronome marking – in a performance that combines dazzling agility with a properly Beethovenian truculence.

Beethoven 4 & 7 Recording – Richard Wigmore, Journalist and Musicologist – The Daily Telegraph