Tafelmusik, Canada's best-known period-instrument orchestra, tackles two of Beethoven's late symphonies - the expressive seventh and the shorter eighth. Under conductor Bruno Weil, the rhythms are tight and lively, with a sense of drama. The movements of the latter have a rhythmic distinctness; the second sounds like an elegant, grave court dance (Wagner called the symphony the apotheosis of the dance), and the last an exciting, galloping steeplechase.
A second disc is a DVD of the artists discussing what it's like to play Beethoven on period instruments, and a video of four symphony movements captured in performance. You can both see and hear why the audience cheers at the end of the seventh.
Available for $18.99 at HMV (333 Yonge and other locations, 416-586-9668).