Thankfully, Rajski does not attempt to outdo the crystalline coldness and severity which is currently fashionable and found in other recordings. Rather, he gives weight to the grim fate motif in the first movement by means of a swift tempo and gentle timbre. With chamber-music-like airiness and doting wonderfully on the interwoven parts, he enables the listener to get to the heart of the two middle movements and highlights subtleties which are hidden even from Beethoven specialists. In the final movement the orchestra finds the ideal medium between silky symphonic brilliance and analytic precision and confidently leads the sweeping C major final section to a magnificent close.
Admittedly one would like to know how a record which has been made using ‘tube only’ technology will sound on the tube amplifier at home – if you had one! But even using normal transistorised equipment, this Beethoven recording guarantees superb listening.
Recording: March 2008 in the church of “Stella Maris” in Sopot, Poland, by Andreas Spreer and Roland Kistner
Production: Andreas Spreer
2. Andante con moto