Beethoven broke new ground in exploring the potential of the symphony, both in terms of its subject matter and its qualities as descriptive music. The title of each movement of his sixth symphony, outlines what is being portrayed and in the case of the bird-calls at the end of the second movement, Beethoven made a point of instructing his copyist to include the names of the birds (nightingale, quail, cuckoo) in the score! Many, many recordings have been made of Beethoven’s popular ‘Pastoral’ symphony but one, sometimes overlooked, is Ashkenazy’s ideally-paced, picturesque and oh-so-lyrical account of this great work. It is coupled with two of the composer’s most popular overtures – ‘Egmont’ and ‘Leonore No.3’.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Symphony No.6 ‘Pastorale’
Overture: Leonore No. 3
Recording Producer: Andrew Cornall
Balance Engineers: John Dunkerley (Egmont, Symphony No. 6), Colin Moorfoot (Leonore)
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, 24–25 March 1981 (Leonore), 9–10 February 1982 (Symphony No. 6), 10 February 1983 (Egmont)