Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven: Symphony No 7 & Triple Concerto

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Beethoven: Symphony No 7 & Triple Concerto

Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra
One of the maestro’s most rhythmic, tautly interpreted.

"Apotheosis of the dance" is the epithet that has dogged this symphony since Richard Wagner made the observation in an 1849 essay, a commentary on the piece's emphasis on rhythm. This is particularly evident in the finale — no long melodies here, just the obsessive repetition of an Irish-reel-like tune — especially in Bernard Haitink's swift, taut, punchy performance. In the second movement, he never lets the lamenting, floating melodies bog down the relentless march tread underneath. (Or vice-versa, for that matter.) A feeling for dance rhythms (buoyant here, rather than obsessive) also mark this performance of Beethoven's generously-proportioned Concerto for violin, cello and piano.