Today's Classical Music Video

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Harnoncourt and the VPO Play Schubert

Nikolaus Harnoncourt is famous for his pioneering work on period instruments and performance practice. Quite often these days he applies what he has learned in performances with conventional orchestras. Here is a performance of the second movement of Schubert's Symphony No. 9 in C major "Great" with the Vienna Philharmonic. Notice Harnoncourt's heavy emphasis on the first beat in every bar. To my taste it is overdone but Harnoncourt's research obviously tells him that is the way it should be done. Notice also the vehemence of the bow strokes in the strings, and the prominence according the three trombones. Harnoncourt's performances are rarely dull or predictable, and invariably give other musicians a lot to think about.
- Paul E. Robinson

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