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Looking for good Beethoven

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert_Dufresne, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for a good CD DDD recording of Beethoven's
    9th and 5th symphonies. I don't have SACD or DVD-A so
    I just want a plain vanilla CD.

    Does anyone have suggestions ???

    Thanks

    Robert
     
  2. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Robert_Dufresne,

    Here are some recordings to checkout:

    -John Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique on Archiv (DG)
    -George Szell/The Cleveland Orchestra on Sony
    -Riccardo Muti/The Philadelphia Orchestra on EMI
    -Carlos Kleiber/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on DG


    Please don't become one of these people who only buy DDD recordings. Many of the best recorded performances were captured in analog sound, and their sound is often superior to digital recordings because the producers/engineers of the past were a whole lot better than the ones of today.
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    I have three copies of Beethovan's ninth symphony, but still haven't found the one that I can recommend over others. The fifth is another story and I offer a strong suggestion that you seek out and find the Deutsche Grannaphon Beethoven - Symponien Nos. 5 and 7 with Carlos Kleiber conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker. I usually won't even play the two other versions I have because I love this recording so much.
     
  4. Tomoko Noguchi

    Tomoko Noguchi Second Unit

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    The Kleiber will soon be on SACD too, for those who want it.
     
  5. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input I will defenately look into Kleiber

    Robert[​IMG]
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Cool! Great to hear that the Kleiber will be coming on SACD. That's one more disc to push me toward the Philips 963sa. [​IMG]

    One caveat w/ the Kleiber though. If you prefer your Beethoven 5th fast, mean and incisive, then the Kleiber might not be the best choice for you. Definitely a rather broad and spacious reading, but the last movement w/ the entry of the horns is gloriously hair-raising nonetheless. This performance is definitely one good reason to own at least 2 good performances of the Beethoven 5th as if most classical lovers don't own many more versions. [​IMG]

    For the 9th, there are also plenty of fans for Bernstein's live recording in Berlin. And of course, Karajan has his legions of fans for the 3 different versions available on DG. In this case, if you like Karajan, then the most recent, DDD version is the one to avoid. [​IMG]

    FWIW, of the ones mentioned, Gardiner's are probably the most different from Kleiber's. I personally love the speed, clarity and bite that his period performance brings to the 9th although the first movement of the 5th does feel a bit rushed and INSANE as if one can imagine it feeling more insane than what modern version one typically hears.

    BTW, given your thread title and the request, I suggest trying a version of the #3 (Eroica) as well. I find Szell's and Gardiner's versions highly recommendable myself. And I suspect you will not regret giving the Eroica a spin, if you never have before.

    Enjoy!

    _Man_
     
  7. JimChan

    JimChan Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    You're thinking of his (semi)live cycle with the VPO. Lenny only conducted the Berlin Philharmonic once in his career, and they performed Mahler's 9th symphony. DG released the radio broadcast recording of the concert on CD back in the early 90s.

    Personally, I would stay away from Karajan's Beethoven. His texture obsessed style never fit the music. But if the zounds of Karajan fanatics convince you to buy his Beethoven, his '63 cycle is far and away his best.
     
  9. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Nothing too special about the performance. As for audio quality, it was never that great on either LP and CD, and I hear the same is true for its SACD release. Apparently DG only converted the recording to 24/96 PCM for the SACD release (would we really expect anything less from DG?) Hopefully Sony will release Szell's Beethoven 9 sometime soon (along with more of his classic recordings).
     
  10. JimChan

    JimChan Stunt Coordinator

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  11. andrew markworthy

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    The John Eliot Gardiner version of the 9th is a must-hear, if only because it's one of the few revordings that takes the final movement at the speed Beethoven intended (i.e. a lot faster than is usual these days). After hearing it, other versions plod along and sound dreary. In fact, I'd recommend getting the boxed set of the whole Beethoven/Gardiner cycle.

    I agree with the negative comments re: Karajan. Personally, I found that he could be inspired in Mahler or (Richard) Strauss but otherwise I think he's seriously over-rated.
     
  12. Seth_S

    Seth_S Second Unit

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    Karajan's Mahler, ugh. But that's a whole other topic.
     
  13. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Great news on Kleiber getting the SACD treatment. As for the pacing of his version (I own seven versions at last count!) I think it's plenty quick, especially the double basses in the third movement.

    For the 9th, in addition to those already mentioned, I recommend the Solti/CSO version on Decca/London. The second movement is nearly flawless (IMHO).

    I don't know why I didn't think of this before, but I wonder if it would be interesting to burn a CD of Beethoven's 5th (or 9th) by mixing movements from various versions. I think most of us with multiple versions prefer some aspects of each one and dislike others. (Actually, I like/dislike specific segments within each movement as well, so it'll be impossible to make a "perfect" version.)
     

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