Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lrpm, Nov 27, 2011.
Please, reccomend me which ones I should try. Thanks
Modern or period orchestra?
Only stereo recordings?
Box set only or individual discs?
Here is a link to "Any audiophile quality Beethoven symphonies?" http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=149722
I play Karajan's 1977 cycle most frequently.
The latest release, small box, paper sleeves: http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sym...=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322435116&sr=1-4
original CD box set release, two fatboy jewel cases: http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Sym...=sr_1_9?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322435116&sr=1-9
Or you can buy the individual Galleria CDs, some of which are available on amazon and eBay still, but are mostly OOP.
Personally I think Andre Cluytens did a much better job with the Berlin Orchestra in 1959/1960; and the stereo box set is a better price too.
I just listened today to Karajan's n°7 (Vienna Philharmonic, 1959, Decca) and it's wonderful, technically and musically speaking.
I am far from an expert here, so I will defer to those with greater knowledge. However, I have the 1977 Karajan cycle as part of this humungous 38CD Symphony Edition, with other symphonies from Haydn, Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky
I picked it up locally for around $65, which is just stunning value. It's a European issue, so the OP might be able to score it in Spain.
I have also recently acquired the multichannel SACD set of Haitink's Beethoven cycle, which seems to be well-regarded. Good value at Amazon UK
I like it, but again I am no expert.
Leonard Bernstein's Beethoven recordings with the NYPO seem to be pretty good too. I only have the "Eroica" on vinyl, but it's available as a budget CD. Just noticed that Bernstein's full cycle can be had for around $31.
I like the Cluytens best as well
IMHO, nobody has ever equalled, let alone surpassed, Klemperer or Fürtwangler...
from an earlier post I made
Since then, I've managed to find this recording on a Turnabout LP box set, along with several other Beethoven symphonies.
Definitely search out audiophile versions of Beethoven's works, but make some room for Furtwangler. He is the master.
I've always been partial to Toscanini/NBC Symphony maybe because they're the first I heard a loooooooong time ago.
Just digressing into your remarks about the recording technology, wasn't this an early tape recording? ISTR reading about American and British engineers monitoring German radio broadcasts during the war and being taken aback to hear the Berliner Philharmoniker playing in the middle of the night.
The LSO Live Beethoven boxed set (SACD) is great!
A brief internet search seems to bear this out.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have got them in vinyl by unknown orchestras (from some collection my father bought) and I have bought in cd the 9th by Furtwangler (Bayreuth in the fifties) and by Karl Bohm (with Placido Domingo), and the 6th by Klemperer (58). I think I would like to get all in good stereo versions but I am not against some outstanding mono performance (I like that mono 9th very much). Should I get any of these complete series (such that one by Cluytens) or should I get different versions for each one.
Thank you again. With all the suggestions so far I have some ideas for the next buying campaign!
+1! These are fantastic live renditions (no coughs here). And it's a bargain for a hybrid SACD set. Some symphonies are performed better than others but there are no real duds. You may also add alternative recordings of, say, 9th (Fricsay on Deutsche Grammophon will serve you well), 5th (Kleiber on DG) and 3rd (Szell on Sony) and be done with Beethoven Symphonies for a long time. If you are not afraid of very raw mono sonics and some excessive nazi's coughing, you may also add the (in)famous Furtwangler's incomplete war-time set (on Music & Arts) to the Haitink's one, as a cool historical bonus.
Has anybody listened to the modern set by Claudio Abbado yet? I have read a good review...
Might give them a go
Karajan/Berliner's early 60s cycle on DGG vinyl is still my favorite by far. I like it better than the later performances.
This recording of the 5th and 7th by Carlos Kleiber consistently receives high marks
I've gone through more cycles of the Beethoven Symphonies than I can remember. Karajan '62 is often cited and really worth tracking down on LP if you can find the "Tulip" pressings. Barenboim's recent set with the Berlin Stattskapelle has remarkable sound and the quality of the playing is extraordinary. Note that Barenboim's set is floating around on DVD-A. However, after loving the Walter, Szell, Bernstein, Solti, Karajan, Klemperer and Cluytens versions [among others] I give the strongest recommendation to the Blomstedt/Dresden Statskapelle set, now on Brilliant Classics and also the set included in their bargain priced [and excellent] Complete Beethoven set. Possibly the best playing [Karajan included], excellent sound and inspired versions of the Eroica, Pastoral, Seventh and Choral Symphonies.
Regarding the LSO Live Beethoven boxed set (SACD)...
I was interested as well, until I saw that the reviews on Amazon weren't all that positive.
Not the case on Amazon UK, very positive reviews:
Which is what I have (originally purchased new by me in the late 70s). It sounds fantastic. My copy has pristine surfaces too, so it is a great joy to play.
There is no one perfect set. I'd also recommend the Karl Bohm/VPO rendition of the Pastorale and the Bernstein/NYPO Seventh. The Kleiber/VPO coupling of the Fifth and Seventh is a shoo-in, Szell's rendition of the Second Symphony is matchless as is his extraordinary rendition of the obscure Eighth. And Leopold Stokowski and the London Symphony Orchestra managed to come up with the best studio performance of the Choral, now kinda sorta available in a big box of his Decca Phase 4 recordings.
I should warn off those that chance across the "Beethoven Bicentennial Edition" pressings of these recordings. Pressed in the USA and offered up as record-club offerings they feature noisy surfaces and off-center pressings. Avoid.
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