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Symphonies - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
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When talking about Carlos Kleiber's conducting style and recording catalogue, it is easy to over-use superlatives. Perhaps the secrets of his art are best expressed in the cover picture, with the mad elegance of his gestures, which seem to summon up the music through sheer energy, subtlety and a radiant smile: he seems absolutely possessed by inspiration. But listening to this album should do the trick too. Living as a recluse, cancelling three quarters of his concerts, hardly ever recording, it was like a miracle when Carlos Kleiber agreed to set down these two symphonies for Deutsche Grammphon. In 1975, he recorded the 5th Symphony in the generous surroundings of the Vienna Musikverein, with a Philharmonic that hung off his every word and followed his slightest gesture. Under his philosopher's baton, the "5th" became pure, distilled energy, an explosive Pandora's box that gave off sparks and followed the demands of the score precisely. The fateful four notes around which the entire symphony was built were at once the foundation and the capstone of this landmark work, magnificently structured here by Kleiber. Has there ever been such a tempestuous and light-footed Seventh Symphony? One thinks immediately of Nietzsche: "I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance". Recorded the following year, in the same place, this Seventh soars, pirouettes and exults in a pantheist, saving joy, with a lightness that seems to lift the musicians off the floor. "Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now there danceth a God in me.". Thus directed Carlos Kleiber. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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