Author Topic: Beethoven Symphonies on Record  (Read 31446 times)

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Offline Que

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Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« on: April 06, 2007, 03:02:16 AM »
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« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 01:39:07 AM by Que »

Renfield

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 02:21:47 PM »
Herein, your are most cordially invited to discuss Beethoven symphony recordings, whether individual issues or integral cycles. All such recordings, bar none, are welcomed; to be compared, contrasted and debated to our hearts' content.


And if I might offer a more personal prompt, a solid representation of good (not boring, not plodding, not tired) non-HIP cycles would be a very good start, seeing as more historically-conscious performance styles have had a head-start. 8)


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Courtesy of Que, below are previous threads specifically devoted to one of the Beethoven symphonies in particular:


Beethovens 1st Symphony

Beethoven 2nd

Beethoven's 3rd symphony recommendations

Beethoven's 4th Symphony

Beethoven Symphony No.5

Beethoven's 6th Symphony

Beethoven's 7th Symphony

Your favorite recordings of Beethoven's 9th symphony

Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9

The Best and Cheapest Beethoven's Ninth


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To start the discussion off here, and for your general delectation, I thus offer Toscanini's Beethoven cycle with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded over a series of live concerts in 1939. Historical sound or otherwise, interpretatively, this is a cycle that never fails to impress (me) with its directness, certainty of articulation, and thoroughly 'modern' aesthetic. In fact, I firmly believe that if this set had been afforded the sound of the 1952 studio set, choosing between them would be a non-issue.




Interestingly, of all the contemporary Beethoven cycles I have and have heard, it's Vänskä that I have felt most approaches Toscanini purely in terms of rhythmic articulation, even if the former opts for a more dynamically 'reserved' sound.

And indeed, even that to a lesser degree than one might expect, doing a side-by-side comparison.


Edit: However, common to a few other GMG members, I have not yet heard Järvi Jr.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 03:19:13 PM by Renfield »

DavidW

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 02:28:33 PM »
A series of recordings that are excellent, spiritual successors to Toscanini but in stereo are done by Monteux.  Swift tempos, classicist eye to the structure, but always finds the emotional heart.  I don't know if you can find an easy to find cycle of his, but they are worth listening to. :)

Renfield

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 02:39:54 PM »
Interesting. I realise I've never heard Monteux's Beethoven: a twofer is available on Decca, with Symphonies 1, 3, 6, 8.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 02:41:34 PM by Renfield »

DavidW

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 02:44:50 PM »
Which is cool, sad though how so many of his other recordings just went oop.  Yeah that twofer is cool, worth hearing. :)

Drasko

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 02:50:08 PM »
Interesting. I realise I've never heard Monteux's Beethoven: a twofer is available on Decca, with Symphonies 1, 3, 6, 8.

Worth hearing definitely, but the other twofer with 2, 4, 5, 7 is the better of the two. The 5th doesn't completely carry the momentum after incredible first movement but all three other symphonies are reference stuff, for me at least.

Renfield

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 02:56:01 PM »
Oddly, the other twofer seems OOP. Decca logic.

Or is it Universal Music Group? I forget. ::)


On a related note, someone contemporary who, to my ears, tries very hard to hit the 'swift classicist' vein for Beethoven is Dausgaard. However, and though his cycle is very good, occasionally the effort seems to show a little.

It's like his Beethoven unfolds, in a very captivating fashion: but by comparison, his Schumann just happens.

(I recall someone enquiring about his Schumann lately. That's a must-get, IMO. Especially the 1st.)

Offline Holden

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 12:12:48 AM »
Worth hearing definitely, but the other twofer with 2, 4, 5, 7 is the better of the two. The 5th doesn't completely carry the momentum after incredible first movement but all three other symphonies are reference stuff, for me at least.

I have both but there is no 9th. I agree that the works recorded with the LSO (2, 4, 5, 7) is better than the ones done with the VPO but they do combine to make a great cycle that is minus the 'Choral'.

There are many LvB sets out there both historic and modern with those recorded in between. No set I've heard has fully satisfied me. There has usually been a symphony or two in each set that has let the side down. In most cycles this has been the 7th and this is certainly been so in all of Toscanini's essays.

So I can't recommend a full set of the LvB symphonies. I've heard and bought many and this is what I've kept.

Toscanini NBCSO - RCA
Bruno Walter NYPO and Philadelphia (mono), Columbia SO (minus the 9th)
Andre Cluytens - BPO
Rene Leibowitz - RPO
Monteux (as mentioned minus the 9th)
Cheers

Holden

George

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 04:35:07 AM »
To start the discussion off, and for your general delectation, I thus offer Toscanini's Beethoven cycle with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded over a series of live concerts in 1939. Historical sound or otherwise, interpretatively, this is a cycle that never fails to impress (me) with its directness, certainty of articulation, and thoroughly 'modern' aesthetic. In fact, I firmly believe that if this set had been afforded the sound of the 1952 studio set, choosing between them would be a non-issue.



Hi Renfield!

Are these the same performances that were offered on Naxos as part of the Tocanini Concert Edition and/or on RCA Gold Seal as part of the Arturo Toscanini collection? If so, how do the transfers compare?

Can I also ask how these performances compare to his later ones on RCA?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 04:42:37 AM by George »

DavidW

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 04:54:24 AM »
I wanted to +1 the Walter (either one) and Cluytens mentioned in Holden's post, the second is zippy, the former is very (to piss off Jens) IMPACTFUL. 0:)

Drasko

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 05:10:24 AM »
I have both but there is no 9th. I agree that the works recorded with the LSO (2, 4, 5, 7) is better than the ones done with the VPO but they do combine to make a great cycle that is minus the 'Choral'.

There is a 9th (which I haven't heard), but it wasn't released for Decca but for Westminster and later on CD from DG in their Westminster series, out of print now.



I think there was a box of all nine from Japanese Decca/Universal at one point. Not completely sure though.

DarkAngel

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2010, 05:13:56 AM »
Herein, your are most cordially invited to discuss Beethoven symphony recordings, whether individual issues or integral cycles. All such recordings, bar none, are welcomed; to be compared, contrasted and debated to our hearts' content.

If I could suggest to Renfield to edit the title subject line of this forum thread Beethoven Symphonies on Record
 
It is confusing in that it sounds like you are asking for vinyl record versions of Beethoven Symphonies
(unless that is actually what you are seeking)

DarkAngel

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2010, 05:26:34 AM »
There is a 9th (which I haven't heard), but it wasn't released for Decca but for Westminster and later on CD from DG in their Westminster series, out of print now.



I think there was a box of all nine from Japanese Decca/Universal at one point. Not completely sure though.

Yes good idea, that is exactly how I made up my complete Monteux Beethoven set:
 
2CD Decca/WP 1,3,6,8
2CD Decca/LSO 2,4,5,7
1CD Westminster/LSO 9

George

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2010, 05:53:39 AM »

If I could suggest to Renfield to edit the title subject line of this forum thread Beethoven Symphonies on Record
 

Though I see what you mean, I like the title. It has a 'classic' ring to it that appeals to me.

MN Dave

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2010, 06:09:39 AM »
I am not thrilled by Toscanini's Beethoven.  :P

DavidW

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2010, 06:36:34 AM »
I am not thrilled by Toscanini's Beethoven.  :P

What are your favs? :)

MN Dave

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 06:39:50 AM »
What are your favs? :)

This music is done so well by so many. Ugh. Szell does a great job if we're talking one cycle. I mostly collect Nines and like Wand, Reiner and Furtwangler for that one.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 06:47:29 AM »
This music is done so well by so many. Ugh. Szell does a great job if we're talking one cycle. I mostly collect Nines and like Wand, Reiner and Furtwangler for that one.

Me too, Dave. If you go shopping for more 9ths, and like that stylistic grouping, let me suggest 2 excellent additions to you: Kletzki/Czech PO and Jochum/Concertgebouw.  Both from <>1968. Of your 3 mentioned, I particularly like the Wand. :)

8)
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MN Dave

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2010, 06:49:38 AM »
Me too, Dave. If you go shopping for more 9ths, and like that stylistic grouping, let me suggest 2 excellent additions to you: Kletzki/Czech PO and Jochum/Concertgebouw.  Both from <>1968. Of your 3 mentioned, I particularly like the Wand. :)

8)

Yes, well, you have me to thank for that if I remember correctly.  0:)

Thanks for the recs, friend!

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies on Record
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2010, 06:54:05 AM »
Yes, well, you have me to thank for that if I remember correctly.  0:)

Thanks for the recs, friend!

Yes, you and M, actually. What a pair! ;D

My pleasure. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the 9th as much as I do. :)

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