Discussion:
Your favourite Beethoven Symphony 6, Pastoral?
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Andy Evans
2020-08-29 08:36:23 UTC
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Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.

So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
g***@gmail.com
2020-08-29 08:54:06 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
http://classicalnotes.net/classics4/pastoral.html
dk
2020-08-29 09:57:48 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
Why waste one's time on the Pastoral when
one can listen to Eine Alpensinfonie ?!?

dk
MELMOTH13
2020-08-29 11:12:19 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
*MONTEUX*...
ljk...@aol.com
2020-08-29 13:21:56 UTC
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Post by MELMOTH13
Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
*MONTEUX*...
ljk...@aol.com
2020-08-29 13:24:17 UTC
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Post by MELMOTH13
Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
*MONTEUX*...
Monteux, Vienna Phil. The tempi are perfect, and in this work getting the tempi just right matters a great deal.
MELMOTH13
2020-08-29 17:08:06 UTC
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Post by ***@aol.com
Monteux, Vienna Phil. The tempi are perfect, and in this work getting the tempi just right matters a great deal.
And an "Orage" that is really scary !...The most convincing, by far, of
my more than 100 recordings of this symphony!...
g***@gmail.com
2020-08-29 17:10:16 UTC
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Post by MELMOTH13
Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
*MONTEUX*...
https://www.wfmt.com/programs/collectors-corner-with-henry-fogel/
g***@gmail.com
2020-08-29 17:21:52 UTC
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Post by MELMOTH13
Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
*MONTEUX*...
https://books.google.com/books?id=_Mk4AQAAIAAJ&q=second+striking+aspect+of+Monteuxs+Pastoral&dq=second+striking+aspect+of+Monteuxs+Pastoral&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=0&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiTm_yC9sDrAhWSjKQKHS7hDEgQ6AEwAHoECAMQAg
Henk vT
2020-08-29 11:28:27 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
Fürtwangler/Wiener Philharmoniker is the only version I might want to revisit - under the right circumstances.

Henk
msw design
2020-08-29 13:50:14 UTC
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The "obvious" choices are Bohm/VPO, Walter/Columbia and Klemperer/Philharmonia.

I just sampled Klemperer and Walter in v. Klemperer is strong and dramatic. In a movement that seems primed for sentiment, you can see Klemperer's purpose with clarity. Wow. Walter seems to bring more sentiment- perhaps because the dynamics are not as good as for the contemporaneous EMI. But the performance is also wonderful.

Turning to the Bohm, the string-centered sound takes away the richness of the bass line, which is a real loss here. I'd take either of the '58 recordings from Mahler's students than this '71 one on the yellow label.

Another favorite of mine is Mravinsky from '82 on Erato. I can't help but be aware that this is a live performance, and that things just come off perfectly. The strings are divided, too, which makes for wonderful phrasing contrasts. Balances are also great. Listening to this now. Can't stop- there's real electricity to this performance, but no loss of feeling. It is never too controlled- if you want that, go to Vänskä.
Andy Evans
2020-08-29 17:27:29 UTC
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Another favorite of mine is Mravinsky from '82 on Erato. I can't help but be aware that this is a live performance, and that things just come off perfectly. The strings are divided, too, which makes for wonderful phrasing contrasts. Balances are also great. Listening to this now. Can't stop- there's real electricity to this performance, but no loss of feeling. >>
Thanks for the tip for Mravinsky. You're right - it's addictive, can't stop listening as you say. It completely draws you in. Wonderful.

I've been going through short clips of the first movement on YT, and there are a number that I've discarded just on that basis, mostly for too fast or too pushed. From what remain and I want to listen further to I'd say Mravinsky, Bohm, Walter, Harnoncourt, Haitink, E.Kleiber, Klemperer, Beecham, Jarvi. Not quite so sure about Monteux, Reiner, Schmidt-Isserstedt, Karajan, Ansermet, Gielen, Keilberth, Szell, Guilini, Bruggen, but I'll try and listen more to those. Shame there's no Van Beinum.

I didn't feel the need to go further with Bernstein, Kletzki, Cluytens, Dorati, Munch, Steinberg, Jochum, Zinman, Vanska, Gardiner, Celibidache, Paray, C.Kleiber, Abbado, or any of the historical performances, some of which were very weird to modern ears.

Undoubtedly a lot I haven't heard yet - hopefully some gems amongst them.
Bob Harper
2020-08-29 22:26:03 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Another favorite of mine is Mravinsky from '82 on Erato. I can't help but be aware that this is a live performance, and that things just come off perfectly. The strings are divided, too, which makes for wonderful phrasing contrasts. Balances are also great. Listening to this now. Can't stop- there's real electricity to this performance, but no loss of feeling. >>
Thanks for the tip for Mravinsky. You're right - it's addictive, can't stop listening as you say. It completely draws you in. Wonderful.
I've been going through short clips of the first movement on YT, and there are a number that I've discarded just on that basis, mostly for too fast or too pushed. From what remain and I want to listen further to I'd say Mravinsky, Bohm, Walter, Harnoncourt, Haitink, E.Kleiber, Klemperer, Beecham, Jarvi. Not quite so sure about Monteux, Reiner, Schmidt-Isserstedt, Karajan, Ansermet, Gielen, Keilberth, Szell, Guilini, Bruggen, but I'll try and listen more to those. Shame there's no Van Beinum.
I didn't feel the need to go further with Bernstein, Kletzki, Cluytens, Dorati, Munch, Steinberg, Jochum, Zinman, Vanska, Gardiner, Celibidache, Paray, C.Kleiber, Abbado, or any of the historical performances, some of which were very weird to modern ears.
Undoubtedly a lot I haven't heard yet - hopefully some gems amongst them.
Well, Carlos Kleiber's performance is all wrong: too fast, poor sound
(it survived only because the BR engineers made a cassette copy for his
son!), certainly short measure for an expensive CD.

But.

I remember listening to it in my car while driving through the Columbia
River Gorge and was absolutely transfixed and transported by the slow
movement. It might not hit me that way next time, but for a few
minutes...bliss.

Bob Harper
Al Eisner
2020-08-31 05:15:56 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Another favorite of mine is Mravinsky from '82 on Erato. I can't help but be aware that this is a live performance, and that things just come off perfectly. The strings are divided, too, which makes for wonderful phrasing contrasts. Balances are also great. Listening to this now. Can't stop- there's real electricity to this performance, but no loss of feeling. >>
Thanks for the tip for Mravinsky. You're right - it's addictive, can't stop listening as you say. It completely draws you in. Wonderful.
I've been going through short clips of the first movement on YT, and there are a number that I've discarded just on that basis, mostly for too fast or too pushed. From what remain and I want to listen further to I'd say Mravinsky, Bohm, Walter, Harnoncourt, Haitink, E.Kleiber, Klemperer, Beecham, Jarvi. Not quite so sure about Monteux, Reiner, Schmidt-Isserstedt, Karajan, Ansermet, Gielen, Keilberth, Szell, Guilini, Bruggen, but I'll try and listen more to those. Shame there's no Van Beinum.
I didn't feel the need to go further with Bernstein, Kletzki, Cluytens, Dorati, Munch, Steinberg, Jochum, Zinman, Vanska, Gardiner, Celibidache, Paray, C.Kleiber, Abbado, or any of the historical performances, some of which were very weird to modern ears.
Undoubtedly a lot I haven't heard yet - hopefully some gems amongst them.
The Erich Kleiber/Concertgebouw is wonderful, with the most convincing
rendition of the storm and its aftermath I've heard. (I have not
heard the Monteux which has been recommended in this thread). Not
exactly modern, as requesgted by the OP, but that doesn't bother me.
--
Al Eisner
Kerrison
2020-08-31 06:21:05 UTC
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Post by Al Eisner
Post by Andy Evans
Another favorite of mine is Mravinsky from '82 on Erato. I can't help but be aware that this is a live performance, and that things just come off perfectly. The strings are divided, too, which makes for wonderful phrasing contrasts. Balances are also great. Listening to this now. Can't stop- there's real electricity to this performance, but no loss of feeling. >>
Thanks for the tip for Mravinsky. You're right - it's addictive, can't stop listening as you say. It completely draws you in. Wonderful.
I've been going through short clips of the first movement on YT, and there are a number that I've discarded just on that basis, mostly for too fast or too pushed. From what remain and I want to listen further to I'd say Mravinsky, Bohm, Walter, Harnoncourt, Haitink, E.Kleiber, Klemperer, Beecham, Jarvi. Not quite so sure about Monteux, Reiner, Schmidt-Isserstedt, Karajan, Ansermet, Gielen, Keilberth, Szell, Guilini, Bruggen, but I'll try and listen more to those. Shame there's no Van Beinum.
I didn't feel the need to go further with Bernstein, Kletzki, Cluytens, Dorati, Munch, Steinberg, Jochum, Zinman, Vanska, Gardiner, Celibidache, Paray, C.Kleiber, Abbado, or any of the historical performances, some of which were very weird to modern ears.
Undoubtedly a lot I haven't heard yet - hopefully some gems amongst them.
The Erich Kleiber/Concertgebouw is wonderful, with the most convincing
rendition of the storm and its aftermath I've heard. (I have not
heard the Monteux which has been recommended in this thread). Not
exactly modern, as requesgted by the OP, but that doesn't bother me.
--
Al Eisner
Apropos 1st movement repeats: if you have Reiner and the Chicago SO on RCA LP SB 6510 you don't get the repeat. However, if you have the UK release on Victrola VICS1449, you do get it! ... This is because the powers-that-be in London's RCA office decided to observe Beethoven's repeat mark in the score, so they simply copied the tape up to that point. There are no 'lead back' bars so it was just a case of copying the first few minutes and adding them in again at the start. They did the same with the Reiner LP of the 7th Symphony, so you also get the first movement repeat of that on VICS1523. I'll leave others to discuss whether they were right or not! Personally, I find Reiner a bit too leisurely in the first movement of the 'Pastoral' but as far as 'vintage' recordings go, I much prefer Szell and the New York PO from 1955 ...


g***@gmail.com
2020-08-30 00:50:15 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.recordings/pastoral%7Csort:relevance/rec.music.classical.recordings/nzSAnYGwNq0/x9_2DD7vJSsJ
Andy Evans
2020-08-30 03:08:48 UTC
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A couple to add to the shortlist: LSO/Krips is nice. Dresden/Blomstedt also. I came across SWR/Rosbaud on YT and expected more than it delivered - a bit stiff and literal. I've also been listening to Bruggen and not quite sure how much I like it yet, but it holds my interest.
f***@yahoo.com
2020-08-31 02:25:45 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
A couple to add to the shortlist: LSO/Krips is nice. Dresden/Blomstedt also. I came across SWR/Rosbaud on YT and expected more than it delivered - a bit stiff and literal. I've also been listening to Bruggen and not quite sure how much I like it yet, but it holds my interest.
I like Blomstedt/Dresden a lot, mainly because of the superb wind playing.
fomalhaut
2020-08-30 07:36:15 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
1. With all the repeats and by alphabetical order:
Pierre Monteux (Wiener Ph, 1958, RCA)
Wolfgang Sawallisch (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 1960, Philips)
Arturo Toscanini (NBCSO, 1939, Naxos)

2. Without the first movement repeat and by alphabetical order:
André Cluytens (Berliner Ph, 1960, EMI)
Eugen Jochum (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 1968, Philips)
Erich (Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 1953, Decca)

fomalhaut
Precious Roy
2020-08-30 18:40:12 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
My favorite is the live recording of Erich Kleiber with the Czech PO, uploaded recently to Symphonyshare.
Andrew Clarke
2020-09-02 06:50:39 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Seeking recommendations. I don't listen much to Beethoven's symphonies but I make an exception for the Pastoral - to my ears the most modern he wrote, with passages that could be Dvorak or Mendelssohn.
So looking for a short list of excellent performances, whether historical or in modern sound. Modern sound preferred here since it's quite a sensuous work and the woodwind detail is lovely.
I never used to like the "Pastoral" very much - that brook always seemed to outstay its welcome, and the descriptions of the Austrian peasantry failed to convince. But if peasants did offer thanksgivings after thunderstorms I'm glad they did so to the tune "Crueger":

<https://hymnary.org/media/fetch/180110>*

Anyway, I'm still enjoying, after repeated hearings, the Anima Eterna recording of the Pastoral. I really think Beethoven does gain something from the HIP approach.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra

*"Hail to the Lord's Anointed" for those of us with a Protestant upbringing. Brahms nearly quotes it in the first movement of the First Symphony and I love it.
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