Author Topic: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?  (Read 63073 times)

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Online Brian

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #280 on: October 03, 2020, 11:48:44 AM »
the brass players did not seem very good (which is a major flaw in the Eroica).
The French horns are definitely balanced strangely - at times they are very prominent and exciting, but at other times they're timid and in hiding. Sarge would be alternately delighted and confused.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #281 on: October 04, 2020, 01:35:54 AM »
The Savall set is amazing, truly one of the most intelligently conducted and revolutionary-feeling sets of interpretations in years, and I hope that in a few years they will be able to return and record 6-9.

 Absolutely. However, assuming Savall is interested (and why wouldn't he be?) you won't have to wait years.  That guy is a machine from heaven. His production rate is phenomenal, but he rarely reaches the classical era, time-wise. If he is determined to finish the cycle, it won't take him long. However, if he is already bored with "these radical kid" composers and drifts back to 14th century Paniagua type composers...well, maybe we'll never here the rest.
It's all good...

Offline hvbias

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #282 on: October 04, 2020, 05:32:58 PM »
Yes!  :)

And:







Q

Just curious why Bruggen and not Hogwood? I'd be interested in reading your take.

======

I stopped exploring new recordings sometime back (other than the Walter mono, being able to hear that all the way through after the recent Complete Columbia box) after it seemed everyone was going for period inspired tempi; for me if you're going to do that go all out with period instruments and an appropriately sized orchestra.

So my preferences go more towards the "gravitas" side of things, Szell being my overall favorite. These four in no particular order - Walter mono and stereo, Karajan 63, Wand/NDR. Followed by Hogwood and lastly a  Toscanini 1939 broadcast. Still brisk tempos on that but in general not like those 50s RCA recordings.

I don't know Jochum all that well but I've read he tended to have some elasticity and used some rubato ala Furtwangler so I plan to explore these. But I'm becoming less and less tolerant of poor sound (particularly EMI) as I get older and my hifi evolves.

Offline JBS

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #283 on: October 04, 2020, 05:48:27 PM »
It's been a long time since I listened to Hogwood's set. I remember it as having no flaws but also no virtues. I just pulled it out to give it a fresh listen, and will report.

The Bruggen set includes a very good performance of the VC, although strictly speaking that's not relevant to your question.

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Offline Ras

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #284 on: October 08, 2020, 07:59:56 AM »
Absolutely. However, assuming Savall is interested (and why wouldn't he be?) you won't have to wait years.  That guy is a machine from heaven. His production rate is phenomenal, but he rarely reaches the classical era, time-wise. If he is determined to finish the cycle, it won't take him long. However, if he is already bored with "these radical kid" composers and drifts back to 14th century Paniagua type composers...well, maybe we'll never here the rest.

On the back of the Savall  CD it says "complete symphonies vol. 1". But I have not seen any information about when vol. 2 is coming out.
"Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable." - Carl Nielsen

Offline Jo498

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #285 on: October 08, 2020, 08:05:06 AM »
Brüggen is certainly among the more flexible/elastic/weightier of HIP but of course still quite different from traditional/historical. The violin concerto with Zehetmair is probably my favorite recording of that piece.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Que

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #286 on: October 08, 2020, 08:18:13 AM »
Just curious why Bruggen and not Hogwood? I'd be interested in reading your take.

I think Brüggen has more gravitas than the - in my mind - more lighter, "Mozartian" Hogwood.

Quote
I don't know Jochum all that well but I've read he tended to have some elasticity and used some rubato ala Furtwangler so I plan to explore these. But I'm becoming less and less tolerant of poor sound (particularly EMI) as I get older and my hifi evolves.

The sound of Jochum in the Concertgebouw is excellent.  :)

Q

Online Brian

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #287 on: October 08, 2020, 09:52:01 AM »
On the back of the Savall  CD it says "complete symphonies vol. 1". But I have not seen any information about when vol. 2 is coming out.
They need to convene and record them after the pandemic ends. They are doing a series of weeklong sessions, two weeks per Symphony j think, and the pandemic stopped them after 5. There's a note about it in the booklet.

Offline JBS

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #288 on: October 08, 2020, 02:08:28 PM »
It's been a long time since I listened to Hogwood's set. I remember it as having no flaws but also no virtues. I just pulled it out to give it a fresh listen, and will report.

The Bruggen set includes a very good performance of the VC, although strictly speaking that's not relevant to your question.

Reporting back after the promised listen, I find Hogwood to be a little better than I remember, but not enough to change my basic opinion. Que's term "Mozartian" is appropriate.

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Online Brian

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #289 on: October 08, 2020, 03:00:57 PM »
I tried the new WDR Janowski Eroica on streaming and didn't love it. Janowski rejects some of the best ideas of HIP - the timpanist uses the romantic fuzz ball sticks and is poorly balanced so it's not always audible (I love that moment in the first movement's recap where the timpanist just blasts out a drum roll that wasn't in the original exposition; here it's very underplayed). The brass is also somewhat reticent; it's interesting, but also odd, to listen to some of the biggest climaxes and hear the clarinets in full but not the horns. The pacing is old-school normal. The string playing is really the emphasis here, and the WDR Symphony is good, but it's not exactly got the richness of the more HIP-savvy Chailly in Leipzig or the even more romantic Barenboim in East Berlin. Overall, I guess the whole thing was just...middle.

Will be curious to see how other people react and find out if the problem is my ears. :)

Offline hvbias

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Re: Beethoven Symphonies Cycle: Which is your #1 pick?
« Reply #290 on: October 20, 2020, 03:22:23 PM »
I think Brüggen has more gravitas than the - in my mind - more lighter, "Mozartian" Hogwood.

The sound of Jochum in the Concertgebouw is excellent.  :)

Q

Reporting back after the promised listen, I find Hogwood to be a little better than I remember, but not enough to change my basic opinion. Que's term "Mozartian" is appropriate.

Thanks and sorry for the late reply. I think the reason I bought Hogwood back then was based off the quality and virtuosity of AAM's playing. My library has managed to get Bruggen for me via interlibrary loan so I will get to it at some point. I revisited Hogwood/Lubin in the Piano Concerti, something I didn't care for years ago but hearing it again I was absolutely delighted by the performances even in the Emperor. Earliest L'oiseau Lyre release, for some reason the Decca remaster on Spotify sounds more closed in.

Any thoughts on Jochum's second cycle vs the third on EMI? I've been streaming the second Philips cycle this morning and the performances are very good. The third with the LSO is also fantastic, maybe more dynamic and exciting?