Symphonies no. 2 and 7

Berliner Philarmoniker directed by Herbert von Karajan
Ludwig van BeethovenDeutsche Grammophon 1997

Too often the work and life story of Beethoven have been seen exclusively as the expression of a Titanic wish for self-affirmation, as a faith in the progress of humanity, as a happiness constructed with his own hands and founded on rigorousness and moral coherence. (...)
Increasingly in his music and writings a cry emerges: Oh my God, my defense, my garrison, my only refuge... Listen to me, being that I don't know what to call, grant the prayer of the most unhappy of your creatures. Oh my God, help me! If one forgets this cry, even only as a subterranean source, then one cannot understand all the expressions, musical and otherwise, of the real, passionate invocation of this man who is aware of his own frailty: Beethoven's is the cry of a soul who recognizes his dependence on a God who is powerful, but still unknown or, better, not yet recognized.

(from Existence as a striving toward the infinite by Vera Drufuca - excerpt from the booklet enclosed in the CD)

We are aided in our path to comprehension of this extraordinary work by the imaginatively fanciful suggestions of a great composer from the past, Robert Schumann: This is the most joyous wedding that can be imagined; the bride is a heavenly creature with a rose in her hair. I would be much mistaken if the introduction were not the gathering of the guests, their greeting each other with pleasure, if the dancing flutes did not remind us that the whole village, decked in green branches and colored ribbons, is festively celebrating the young Rosa... But Schumann's most beautiful image is the one he creates to explain the unexpected arrival of the disquieting second movement: I would be much mistaken if the mother, pale and trembling, were not saying to her: "You know that we must part?" This separation is the dramatic condition of every true joy.

(from The roots of joy by Enrico Parola and Pier Paolo Bellini - excerpt from the booklet enclosed in the CD)