Van Beinum Live. Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov (COA)

Here is the first of several posts of recordings by Eduard van Beinum that are not currently available. I had forgotten about this Scheherazade, issued only on this lp, if I’m not mistaken. It’s a rip-snorting performance, bursting with vitality, and played with the unique timbres and qualities of the Amsterdam players of this time. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the studio recording made for Philips the previous year, but for sheer drive, I’m not sure it equals this live version. The sound is very good, with a bit of overloading, but the tape was in good shape when this was issued. Considering all of the live Van Beinum that has turned up in the past decade or so, I wonder why this remains unissued on cd?

The Beethoven comes from a reel-to-reel tape that Ward Marston obtained years ago, and I don’t remember the exact story of how it was recorded, but the sound is completely acceptable, and the performance gains from being with his familiar Amsterdam players, as opposed to the performance issued by BBC Legends with the Philharmonia Orchestra. It’s a rugged performance with heavy accents, but a good deal of finesse as well. I particularly like the last movement’s swagger: it’s not a romp (see Beecham’s live performance for that!), but within the firm control of the tempo there’s tremendous energy, as if they are just about to fall forward, but maintain the necessary classical balance. I don’t know the date for this, so if anyone knows, please let me know. It would be odd if it turned out to be from the same concert as the Rimsky!

Thanks to fellow collector Neil (from Montreal) for sharing the photograph of Van Beinum!

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, Op. 35

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Rimsky-Korsakov from a concert in Amsterdam, April 30, 1957
from Movimento Musica 01.044 (1982 Lp issue)
Date unknown for Beethoven

More Van Beinum to follow soon from Decca recordings!

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1 Response to Van Beinum Live. Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov (COA)

  1. fattoxxon says:

    Hi Neal – just caught up with the Beethoven 7, it’s just as good as you promised! Thank you (& Ward) so much for this & all the others.

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