BEETH0VEN:  Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67.  MENDELSSOHN:  Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90 "Italian"
BBC Symphony Orch (Beethoven); Boston Symphony Orch (Mendelssohn); Sir Colin Davis, cond. (rec. 12/1974 & 1/1976)
PENTATONE PTC 5186 192 TT:  64:22 (4 channel)
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Pentatone has shown some imagination in this coupling; both works originally were issued on Philips LPs with other couplings. Davis's British Beethoven Five, recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall, has the advantage of extraordinary sonic realism although there seem to be some minor extraneous sounds at times—could this be the conductor? It's fascinating to hear the Boston Symphony in quad; here is a very different vastly improved aural representation of the famous orchestra. Let us hope future releases will include the conductor's Sibelius recordings. 

BEETHOVEN:  Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat, Op. 19.  Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58.
Stephen Kovacevich, pianist; BBC Symphony Orch/Sir Colin Davis, cond. (rec. 12/1974)
PENTATONE PTC 5186 101 TT:  63:24 (4 channel)
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These recordings were made in Brent Town Hall in Wembley in December of 1974; the sound is equal to that achieved in the more famous Walthamstow Hall, site of the Beethoven Fifth symphony.  Performances are among the finest - let us hope the remainder of the series will appear via this improved sonic format.   Piano sound on this CD is among the finest, most natural I've ever heard, with the soloist perfectly balanced against the orchestra. Highly recommended!

R.E.B. (NEXT SURROUND REVIEW)