Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Started by BachQ, April 06, 2007, 03:12:18 AM

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vers la flamme

Are either of these any good?

Harnoncourt/COE/Teldec
Abbado/Lucerne/Decca

The Solti can be had for really cheap, I might pick up a copy.

Brian

I was just reading Robert Levine's ClassicsToday review of the Naxos Fidelio (cond. Halasz), and he compares it to "Harnoncourt's chamberish interpretation" with lighter-voiced singers. He hasn't reviewed Harnoncourt separately but that description does make it sound like something you should investigate further.

Jo498

I haven't heard any of these; I only remember that the Naxos was pretty well received. The Solti is an orchestral/sonic spectacular but I am not a huge of either of his main singers (although they are highly regarded).
I don't think there is anything chamberish about Fidelio; there are 2 or 3 pieces on a smaller, more comedy/singspiel scale (the first duet and Rocco's and Marzelline's arias) but overall this is a large scale work that also has a vast scope of orchestral color and weight, e.g. in the big choral scenes or the dungeon scene at the beginning of act 2. Or the horns in Leonore's big aria (that I find a bit exaggerated, though).
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

mahler10th

Beethoven 7 - Chance encounters with Elephants and Doves
Last night I decided somewhat seriously to listen to Beethoven 7.  Well, I pondered, what fine performances could I listen to from the deafening number of performances out there?  Which one will be best?  Well, you know, Barenboim, he likes his Beethoven, he even has the command to conduct Beethoven from the piano on occassions...so in the tray went Beethovens 7th from Barenboims Staatskapelle Berlin set.  Barenboim can sure 'give it some' ala Solti when he's hot, so I was expecting big things from settling down to listen to this.  The first movement opened.
First of all, it's not that well recorded for something from 2007...it's ok, but I want to hear better seperation in things.  But that's not the point - after about a minute of listening, I became aware of a herd of Elephants, and followed them around a while to see what they were doing.  These Elephants were in great form, singing Beethovens Seventh with their mighty trunks as they paraded and flapped their ears in joy at the sheer sound of the thing.  That whole first movement of Barenboim, all Elephants.  What the...I liked the third in the set, kind of big and modern, but this seventh had tusks sprouting forth from my very cheeks.  I couldn't believe how Beethoven (and my cheeks) could be so transformed.
I confess never having listened to Szell and the Cleveland Orchestras Beethoven.  Ever.  So I put Szells Beethoven 7th on instead, something different to prove the Elephants were a fantasy.  I didn't know what to expect, but anything would be better than Barenboims festival of Elephants.  I've heard plenty of 7th recordings mind you, and heard all the to's and fro's about the use or scandalous non-use of repeats, blah, blah... ;D  but I've just never had a preferred 7th, with or without repeats.  I don't care about repeats.  I still watch NYPD Blue Series One from time to time, repeats don't bother me.  Anyway. So I've put the 7th on by Szell, originally recorded between 1957-67, and...Recording Beethoven can make you or not make you as a Conductor - alas, in reality methinks very few who have 'done' Beethoven can give us something so violently gorgeous and musically meaningful as a Beethoven Symphony that sounds EFFORTLESS and COMPLETELY COGENT throughout (except maybe his 1st and 2nd  :o ).  But Szell...my ears were opened and Heaven sent a talking Dove that said "Just in case you didn't know, smart arse, SZELL is the Beehoven guy you've been looking for all your life."  The elephants were gone, the tusks became dentures, and what I was hearing was Beethoven in a very good quality recording which RESONATED the music and made me aware that I was listening to the output of a Genius by a performance Master of his works, not a cascade of trumping Elephants charging around.  The difference is extraordinary.  The Szell recording managed to keep all the best elements of analogue, and Szells Beethoven (listening now)... I'm listening for what might be weak passages, or anything that might signify that Szell just got lucky.  Nope.  Everything I've heard so far, is seamless, effortless, and bang on Beethoven.  I have never heard Beethoven as good as Szells and as bad as Barenboims in all my days - and all of this in only about an hour of a single day,too.  Such things need to be revealed to the World! 
I'm afraid thats the end of the story.  To spice things up, I could say I got involved in a scuffle with Barenboims elephants, which I nearly did.  Or I could say my eyes have crossed vision and I'm currently frothing plumes of bubble infested saliva whilst declaring Szell to have been a streaming conduit of pure Beethoven all along.  Aye...not far away from that I suppose... :-X

LKB

Quote from: mahler10th on April 07, 2024, 08:03:02 PMBeethoven 7 - Chance encounters with Elephants and Doves
Last night I decided somewhat seriously to listen to Beethoven 7.  Well, I pondered, what fine performances could I listen to from the deafening number of performances out there?  Which one will be best?  Well, you know, Barenboim, he likes his Beethoven, he even has the command to conduct Beethoven from the piano on occassions...so in the tray went Beethovens 7th from Barenboims Staatskapelle Berlin set.  Barenboim can sure 'give it some' ala Solti when he's hot, so I was expecting big things from settling down to listen to this.  The first movement opened.
First of all, it's not that well recorded for something from 2007...it's ok, but I want to hear better seperation in things.  But that's not the point - after about a minute of listening, I became aware of a herd of Elephants, and followed them around a while to see what they were doing.  These Elephants were in great form, singing Beethovens Seventh with their mighty trunks as they paraded and flapped their ears in joy at the sheer sound of the thing.  That whole first movement of Barenboim, all Elephants.  What the...I liked the third in the set, kind of big and modern, but this seventh had tusks sprouting forth from my very cheeks.  I couldn't believe how Beethoven (and my cheeks) could be so transformed.
I confess never having listened to Szell and the Cleveland Orchestras Beethoven.  Ever.  So I put Szells Beethoven 7th on instead, something different to prove the Elephants were a fantasy.  I didn't know what to expect, but anything would be better than Barenboims festival of Elephants.  I've heard plenty of 7th recordings mind you, and heard all the to's and fro's about the use or scandalous non-use of repeats, blah, blah... ;D  but I've just never had a preferred 7th, with or without repeats.  I don't care about repeats.  I still watch NYPD Blue Series One from time to time, repeats don't bother me.  Anyway. So I've put the 7th on by Szell, originally recorded between 1957-67, and...Recording Beethoven can make you or not make you as a Conductor - alas, in reality methinks very few who have 'done' Beethoven can give us something so violently gorgeous and musically meaningful as a Beethoven Symphony that sounds EFFORTLESS and COMPLETELY COGENT throughout (except maybe his 1st and 2nd  :o ).  But Szell...my ears were opened and Heaven sent a talking Dove that said "Just in case you didn't know, smart arse, SZELL is the Beehoven guy you've been looking for all your life."  The elephants were gone, the tusks became dentures, and what I was hearing was Beethoven in a very good quality recording which RESONATED the music and made me aware that I was listening to the output of a Genius by a performance Master of his works, not a cascade of trumping Elephants charging around.  The difference is extraordinary.  The Szell recording managed to keep all the best elements of analogue, and Szells Beethoven (listening now)... I'm listening for what might be weak passages, or anything that might signify that Szell just got lucky.  Nope.  Everything I've heard so far, is seamless, effortless, and bang on Beethoven.  I have never heard Beethoven as good as Szells and as bad as Barenboims in all my days - and all of this in only about an hour of a single day,too.  Such things need to be revealed to the World! 
I'm afraid thats the end of the story.  To spice things up, I could say I got involved in a scuffle with Barenboims elephants, which I nearly did.  Or I could say my eyes have crossed vision and I'm currently frothing plumes of bubble infested saliva whilst declaring Szell to have been a streaming conduit of pure Beethoven all along.  Aye...not far away from that I suppose... :-X

The best Seventh I ever heard was Marriner and his ASMF live. They actually played that first movement rhythm correctly, which almost never happens in concert or on record.

Found the CD on Amazon, but it is pricey there:

https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-Wellingtons-Victory-Japanese/dp/B085K5V44R/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.gCnJzPap0rqE1xQn4ipECllO813cw9z2v6FuFnP5jIGhHBFHbqqCMkMWVg3filQhTnIlgEHjDklYbSRmg2YDALAmMT7NWiU3fuNEZ4P8WEJ3fNMAImfK7JvN81sl5lRoHQ9a1vqv4NjUfLAKFqg0oB9MnA1O1DrkKiSCcAc15wrOzQaAp9HYbn3vKVVMH72UQoUoWoPg6Z23I_cTrizLhZGJt3IDV8TR7NCNtUEjBUA.94PHhVY_dlHFw0CDknyKxbfi2UNaM-UiMe1es70WXWo&dib_tag=se&keywords=marriner+beethoven+symphony+7&qid=1712674339&sr=8-1

Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Spotted Horses

Quote from: LKB on April 09, 2024, 06:55:16 AMThe best Seventh I ever heard was Marriner and his ASMF live. They actually played that first movement rhythm correctly, which almost never happens in concert or on record.

Found the CD on Amazon, but it is pricey there:

https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-Wellingtons-Victory-Japanese/dp/B085K5V44R/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.gCnJzPap0rqE1xQn4ipECllO813cw9z2v6FuFnP5jIGhHBFHbqqCMkMWVg3filQhTnIlgEHjDklYbSRmg2YDALAmMT7NWiU3fuNEZ4P8WEJ3fNMAImfK7JvN81sl5lRoHQ9a1vqv4NjUfLAKFqg0oB9MnA1O1DrkKiSCcAc15wrOzQaAp9HYbn3vKVVMH72UQoUoWoPg6Z23I_cTrizLhZGJt3IDV8TR7NCNtUEjBUA.94PHhVY_dlHFw0CDknyKxbfi2UNaM-UiMe1es70WXWo&dib_tag=se&keywords=marriner+beethoven+symphony+7&qid=1712674339&sr=8-1



CD pricey, but available to stream of Apple Music. I listened to a bit of the first movement, I didn't notice that the rhythm is performed differently than the versions I am familiar with, so the subtlety escapes me I guess. Care to elaborate?
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: mahler10th on April 07, 2024, 08:03:02 PMBeethoven 7 - Chance encounters with Elephants and Doves
Last night I decided somewhat seriously to listen to Beethoven 7.  Well, I pondered, what fine performances could I listen to from the deafening number of performances out there?  Which one will be best?  Well, you know, Barenboim, he likes his Beethoven, he even has the command to conduct Beethoven from the piano on occassions...so in the tray went Beethovens 7th from Barenboims Staatskapelle Berlin set.  Barenboim can sure 'give it some' ala Solti when he's hot, so I was expecting big things from settling down to listen to this.  The first movement opened.
First of all, it's not that well recorded for something from 2007...it's ok, but I want to hear better seperation in things.  But that's not the point - after about a minute of listening, I became aware of a herd of Elephants, and followed them around a while to see what they were doing.  These Elephants were in great form, singing Beethovens Seventh with their mighty trunks as they paraded and flapped their ears in joy at the sheer sound of the thing.  That whole first movement of Barenboim, all Elephants.  What the...I liked the third in the set, kind of big and modern, but this seventh had tusks sprouting forth from my very cheeks.  I couldn't believe how Beethoven (and my cheeks) could be so transformed.
I confess never having listened to Szell and the Cleveland Orchestras Beethoven.  Ever.  So I put Szells Beethoven 7th on instead, something different to prove the Elephants were a fantasy.  I didn't know what to expect, but anything would be better than Barenboims festival of Elephants.  I've heard plenty of 7th recordings mind you, and heard all the to's and fro's about the use or scandalous non-use of repeats, blah, blah... ;D  but I've just never had a preferred 7th, with or without repeats.  I don't care about repeats.  I still watch NYPD Blue Series One from time to time, repeats don't bother me.  Anyway. So I've put the 7th on by Szell, originally recorded between 1957-67, and...Recording Beethoven can make you or not make you as a Conductor - alas, in reality methinks very few who have 'done' Beethoven can give us something so violently gorgeous and musically meaningful as a Beethoven Symphony that sounds EFFORTLESS and COMPLETELY COGENT throughout (except maybe his 1st and 2nd  :o ).  But Szell...my ears were opened and Heaven sent a talking Dove that said "Just in case you didn't know, smart arse, SZELL is the Beehoven guy you've been looking for all your life."  The elephants were gone, the tusks became dentures, and what I was hearing was Beethoven in a very good quality recording which RESONATED the music and made me aware that I was listening to the output of a Genius by a performance Master of his works, not a cascade of trumping Elephants charging around.  The difference is extraordinary.  The Szell recording managed to keep all the best elements of analogue, and Szells Beethoven (listening now)... I'm listening for what might be weak passages, or anything that might signify that Szell just got lucky.  Nope.  Everything I've heard so far, is seamless, effortless, and bang on Beethoven.  I have never heard Beethoven as good as Szells and as bad as Barenboims in all my days - and all of this in only about an hour of a single day,too.  Such things need to be revealed to the World! 
I'm afraid thats the end of the story.  To spice things up, I could say I got involved in a scuffle with Barenboims elephants, which I nearly did.  Or I could say my eyes have crossed vision and I'm currently frothing plumes of bubble infested saliva whilst declaring Szell to have been a streaming conduit of pure Beethoven all along.  Aye...not far away from that I suppose... :-X
Thank you for your entertaining story and analysis!  :) Out of curiousity, have you heard the other Beethoven symphonies with Szell (I don't know how many of them he recorded)?  If so, what do you think of them?

And I double-checked; no Beethoven symphonies with Szell here (checked LPs).
Pohjolas Daughter


Pohjolas Daughter

#2048
Quote from: LKB on April 09, 2024, 06:55:16 AMThe best Seventh I ever heard was Marriner and his ASMF live. They actually played that first movement rhythm correctly, which almost never happens in concert or on record.

Found the CD on Amazon, but it is pricey there:

https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-Wellingtons-Victory-Japanese/dp/B085K5V44R/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.gCnJzPap0rqE1xQn4ipECllO813cw9z2v6FuFnP5jIGhHBFHbqqCMkMWVg3filQhTnIlgEHjDklYbSRmg2YDALAmMT7NWiU3fuNEZ4P8WEJ3fNMAImfK7JvN81sl5lRoHQ9a1vqv4NjUfLAKFqg0oB9MnA1O1DrkKiSCcAc15wrOzQaAp9HYbn3vKVVMH72UQoUoWoPg6Z23I_cTrizLhZGJt3IDV8TR7NCNtUEjBUA.94PHhVY_dlHFw0CDknyKxbfi2UNaM-UiMe1es70WXWo&dib_tag=se&keywords=marriner+beethoven+symphony+7&qid=1712674339&sr=8-1


Or you could buy 10 CDs of Beethoven with him from here:  https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/9593410--marriner-conducts-beethoven A bit more money, but a whole lot more music!  :)

From Decca's website:  "15 April 2024 marks the centenary of the birth of Sir Neville Marriner, widely considered to have the most extensive discography of any single musician. He recorded for most of Decca's imprints – L'Oiseau-Lyre, Decca, Argo, and by acquisition, Philips Classics. He also recorded extensively for EMI and, in the final chapter of his discographical history, Hanssler Classics.
Known and celebrated for his recordings of Baroque music and of Mozart, Marriner also made highly-desired recordings of Beethoven with 'his' Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – a chapter in his recorded history being gathered together for the first time...."

https://store.deccaclassics.com/products/marriner-conducts-beethoven-10cd-boxset
Pohjolas Daughter

Cato

Quote from: mahler10th on April 07, 2024, 08:03:02 PMBeethoven 7 - Chance encounters with Elephants and Doves

I confess never having listened to Szell's and the Cleveland Orchestra's Beethoven.  ...Anyway. So I've put the 7th on by Szell, originally recorded between 1957-67,

Recording Beethoven can make you or not make you as a Conductor - alas, in reality methinks very few who have 'done' Beethoven can give us something so violently gorgeous and musically meaningful as a Beethoven Symphony that sounds EFFORTLESS and COMPLETELY COGENT throughout (except maybe his 1st and 2nd  :o ).  But Szell...my ears were opened and Heaven sent a talking Dove that said "Just in case you didn't know, smart arse, SZELL is the Beethoven guy you've been looking for all your life."  ...Everything I've heard so far, is seamless, effortless, and bang on Beethoven.  I have never heard Beethoven as good as Szells...



Quote from: LKB on April 09, 2024, 06:55:16 AMThe best Seventh I ever heard was Marriner and his ASMF live. They actually played that first movement rhythm correctly, which almost never happens in concert or on record.






Agreed on George Szell and Neville Marriner...however...consider this:


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: Cato on April 09, 2024, 07:59:55 AM
Quote from: LKB on April 09, 2024, 06:55:16 AMThe best Seventh I ever heard was Marriner and his ASMF live. They actually played that first movement rhythm correctly, which almost never happens in concert or on record.






Agreed on George Szell and Neville Marriner...however...consider this:


Ah, Toscanini in Beethoven!  8)  ;D

Pohjolas Daughter

mahler10th

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on April 09, 2024, 07:36:51 AMThank you for your entertaining story and analysis!  :) Out of curiousity, have you heard the other Beethoven symphonies with Szell (I don't know how many of them he recorded)?  If so, what do you think of them?

And I double-checked; no Beethoven symphonies with Szell here (checked LPs).


I recently got the Szell Beethoven set with the Clevelanders which has been around since the early 90's, probably OOP, got it on ebay.  It completely taught me how Beethoven's music is not all sturm and dang, it  is MUSICAL.   :o

Cato

#2052
Quote from: mahler10th on April 07, 2024, 08:03:02 PM:o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o




John of Scotland!!!

Is that you?!  8)

Welcome back! 

If you are not John of Scotland, welcome!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

mahler10th

Quote from: Cato on April 09, 2024, 09:01:56 AMJohn of Scotland!!!

Is that you?!  8)

Welcome back! 

If you are not John of Scotland, welcome!

Aye.  John of Scotland right enough.  Thank you.  :)  That Toscaninni above has pretty good audio for it's age.  Neville Marriner and ASMF - that's a surprise!  I have a lot of difficulty with Marriner sounding so bland on so many recordings, so I've missed a beat there somewhere.  ::)

Mapman

I'm also a fan of Szell's Beethoven. The principal clarinetist, Robert Marcellus, is one of the best!

DavidW

I really like Fleisher/Szell in the Beethoven piano concertos.


Karl Henning

Quote from: mahler10th on April 07, 2024, 08:03:02 PMBeethoven 7 - Chance encounters with Elephants and Doves
Last night I decided somewhat seriously to listen to Beethoven 7.  Well, I pondered, what fine performances could I listen to from the deafening number of performances out there?  Which one will be best?  Well, you know, Barenboim, he likes his Beethoven, he even has the command to conduct Beethoven from the piano on occassions...so in the tray went Beethovens 7th from Barenboims Staatskapelle Berlin set.  Barenboim can sure 'give it some' ala Solti when he's hot, so I was expecting big things from settling down to listen to this.  The first movement opened.
First of all, it's not that well recorded for something from 2007...it's ok, but I want to hear better seperation in things.  But that's not the point - after about a minute of listening, I became aware of a herd of Elephants, and followed them around a while to see what they were doing.  These Elephants were in great form, singing Beethovens Seventh with their mighty trunks as they paraded and flapped their ears in joy at the sheer sound of the thing.  That whole first movement of Barenboim, all Elephants.  What the...I liked the third in the set, kind of big and modern, but this seventh had tusks sprouting forth from my very cheeks.  I couldn't believe how Beethoven (and my cheeks) could be so transformed.
I confess never having listened to Szell and the Cleveland Orchestras Beethoven.  Ever.  So I put Szells Beethoven 7th on instead, something different to prove the Elephants were a fantasy.  I didn't know what to expect, but anything would be better than Barenboims festival of Elephants.  I've heard plenty of 7th recordings mind you, and heard all the to's and fro's about the use or scandalous non-use of repeats, blah, blah... ;D  but I've just never had a preferred 7th, with or without repeats.  I don't care about repeats.  I still watch NYPD Blue Series One from time to time, repeats don't bother me.  Anyway. So I've put the 7th on by Szell, originally recorded between 1957-67, and...Recording Beethoven can make you or not make you as a Conductor - alas, in reality methinks very few who have 'done' Beethoven can give us something so violently gorgeous and musically meaningful as a Beethoven Symphony that sounds EFFORTLESS and COMPLETELY COGENT throughout (except maybe his 1st and 2nd  :o ).  But Szell...my ears were opened and Heaven sent a talking Dove that said "Just in case you didn't know, smart arse, SZELL is the Beehoven guy you've been looking for all your life."  The elephants were gone, the tusks became dentures, and what I was hearing was Beethoven in a very good quality recording which RESONATED the music and made me aware that I was listening to the output of a Genius by a performance Master of his works, not a cascade of trumping Elephants charging around.  The difference is extraordinary.  The Szell recording managed to keep all the best elements of analogue, and Szells Beethoven (listening now)... I'm listening for what might be weak passages, or anything that might signify that Szell just got lucky.  Nope.  Everything I've heard so far, is seamless, effortless, and bang on Beethoven.  I have never heard Beethoven as good as Szells and as bad as Barenboims in all my days - and all of this in only about an hour of a single day,too.  Such things need to be revealed to the World! 
I'm afraid thats the end of the story.  To spice things up, I could say I got involved in a scuffle with Barenboims elephants, which I nearly did.  Or I could say my eyes have crossed vision and I'm currently frothing plumes of bubble infested saliva whilst declaring Szell to have been a streaming conduit of pure Beethoven all along.  Aye...not far away from that I suppose... :-X
To borrow a line from Jeeves: I believe Szell has given general satisfaction. Good to see you back, Johnnie!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

DavidW

Quote from: vers la flamme on December 17, 2023, 06:44:40 AMAre either of these any good?

Harnoncourt/COE/Teldec
Abbado/Lucerne/Decca

The Solti can be had for really cheap, I might pick up a copy.

I'm sorry that I completely missed this post, I'm guessing it doesn't matter now. The Harnoncourt set is brilliant.  I haven't heard that Abbado set, but I really like the Rome concerts with the BPO from the early 2000s.  I had them on dvd but I think they have had a cd release since then.  Those concerts were also what Abbado considered his finest and final statement on Beethoven's symphonies.

LKB

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on April 09, 2024, 07:39:48 AMDo you remember when you went to the concert?  I would have loved to see him perform.

Hey PD,

I don't recall exactly, but it would have been ca. 1990, in San Francisco.
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

LKB

Quote from: Spotted Horses on April 09, 2024, 07:21:17 AMCD pricey, but available to stream of Apple Music. I listened to a bit of the first movement, I didn't notice that the rhythm is performed differently than the versions I am familiar with, so the subtlety escapes me I guess. Care to elaborate?

I have now listened to the first movement from that recording, which I don't actually own.

It would seem that when I saw Marriner and company, they were really on their game. Neither they nor ( apparently ) anyone else on record performs the rhythm with consistent accuracy. Over the last day I've heard recordings by Szell, Toscanini, Carlos Kleiber, von Karajan, Klemperer ( who actually does the best job of being faithful to the rhythm through at least some of the movement, rather surprisingly ), Giulini, Haitink, Honeck ( the worst, apparently he told the orchestra to rush the tempo since they were going to play it so badly ), Furtwängler, Barenboim, Solti, Bernstein, Reiner and Harnoncourt.

So I got lucky that night, it would seem... and so, perhaps, did ASMF. ;)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...