As I noted in my brief update last night, the concert last night at Avery Fisher in NYC, with David Zinman conducting the NY Phil doing the 2nd and 7th symphonies, was a smash hit. Yes, I had somehow nabbed 7th row center seats at the last minute but the entire packed hall erupted for four curtain calls at the end. The entire Zinman/LvB festival was so highly anticipated they booked about 10 days of it. His approach of going bact to the Beethoven manuscripts, mixed with some "period" flavorings (though with modern instruments) felt fresh 25 years ago--and live it is astounding, with super-crisp playing and hidden elements brought to the fore. The slow movement of the 7th is played as a thoughtful "walk" rather than as a funeral march.
My friend Robert Jay Lifton (we've written two books together), who went with us, greeted us afterward with the words, "NOW I get why you are obsessed with Beethoven." I guess the "rock 'n roll" of the final movement of the 7th helped bring that home (see video down the page a bit), but was so much more, even in the much less renowned 2nd. In the item below you can see link to NYT review and interview with Zinman. Now here's a quite different version: the allegretto of the 7th for solo piano, as transcribed by Liszt, but also taken at "walk," not the usual "march."