Opus 92 and interpretation

The difference between real Beethoven interpretation and merely efficient, instrumentally accomplished playing can be studied by listening to Carlos Kleiber and the Concertgebouw Orchestra when compared with the WDR orchestra and Jukka Pekka Saraste. Although the WDR orchestra is a good band, the energy and rhetoric that comes from this concert is over vast stretches routine playing, on a sufficient level technically, but Beethoven’s knife edge intensity, the exuberance and extremes remain often unrealised here.
The awkward body language of Saraste speaks volumes when compared with Kleiber.
With Kleiber we get the miracle of controlling every tiny detail, but the overall architecture is never in doubt, and the energy being displayed seems totally organic and natural, whilst going to the extremes. Particularly the introduction to the first and the last movement show the difference in class between those 2 conductors and orchestras.
In movement 4 the pedestrian reading of the WDR exudes monotony and is bound by far too many lifeless downbeats, whereas Kleiber and the Concertgebouw let all fury break loose and the music breathes and remains a flexible and living organism.
The all important fact that Beethoven motives are ‘ rhetorical gestures’ is lost on Saraste and the WDR, where playing along the obvious surface of the score seems the main objective.