Discussion:
Favorite Beethoven Symphony sets
(too old to reply)
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 14:35:06 UTC
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I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.

MIFrost
Frank Berger
2020-05-12 14:58:21 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Seems like I have the Blomstedt set twice, both on Brilliant
Classics. Cat. Nos. 96040 and 99793. No idea why. Careless
shopping, I suppose.

FWIW, one of my favorite sets you don't have is that of
Schmidt-Isserstedt. Certainly I imprinted on his 9th, but
they are all good. I won't mention any others since you
really didn't ask.
v***@protonmail.com
2020-05-12 16:03:57 UTC
Permalink
I like the Cluytens set, though its Ninth is not one of my favorites. Also the incomplete Markevitch, and the Böhm set (don't tase me, bro!).


C.
Randy Lane
2020-05-12 16:15:20 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Seems like I have the Blomstedt set twice, both on Brilliant
Classics. Cat. Nos. 96040 and 99793. No idea why. Careless
shopping, I suppose.
FWIW, one of my favorite sets you don't have is that of
Schmidt-Isserstedt. Certainly I imprinted on his 9th, but
they are all good. I won't mention any others since you
really didn't ask.
I bought the Tower Japan SACDs of the Blomstedt Dresden recordings.
A phenomenal improvement. Better sound stage, improved dynamics, crystal clear climaxes.

Berlin Classics owns the copyright release (or is releasing soon) a new edition that supposedly uses improved digital masters - probably the same as the ones used by Tower.
Frank Berger
2020-05-12 16:21:26 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
Post by Frank Berger
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Seems like I have the Blomstedt set twice, both on Brilliant
Classics. Cat. Nos. 96040 and 99793. No idea why. Careless
shopping, I suppose.
FWIW, one of my favorite sets you don't have is that of
Schmidt-Isserstedt. Certainly I imprinted on his 9th, but
they are all good. I won't mention any others since you
really didn't ask.
I bought the Tower Japan SACDs of the Blomstedt Dresden recordings.
A phenomenal improvement. Better sound stage, improved dynamics, crystal clear climaxes.
Berlin Classics owns the copyright release (or is releasing soon) a new edition that supposedly uses improved digital masters - probably the same as the ones used by Tower.
Oh boy, I can have a third set of these!
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 16:49:52 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
I bought the Tower Japan SACDs of the Blomstedt Dresden recordings.
A phenomenal improvement. Better sound stage, improved dynamics, crystal clear climaxes.
Berlin Classics owns the copyright release (or is releasing soon) a new edition that supposedly uses improved digital masters - probably the same as the ones used by Tower.
Is this the one you mean?
https://tower.jp/item/4898934

MIFrost
Randy Lane
2020-05-12 16:20:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Sticking with sets that were originally conceived to be complete cycles I would not want to be without:

Böhm/VPO/DG
Schmidt-Isserstedt/VPO/DEcca
Jochum/Concertgebouw/Philips
Karajan/BPO/DG (1977)
Walter/NYPO/United-Archives
Walter/CSO/Sony
Klemperer/PO/EMI-Warner
r***@gmail.com
2020-05-14 23:19:07 UTC
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Post by Randy Lane
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Böhm/VPO/DG
Schmidt-Isserstedt/VPO/DEcca
Jochum/Concertgebouw/Philips
Karajan/BPO/DG (1977)
Walter/NYPO/United-Archives
Walter/CSO/Sony
Klemperer/PO/EMI-Warner
Same here, plus Mengelberg CGA, Weingartner (various), Loughran, Karajan Philh EMI, Karajan BPO EMI, Konwitschny Philips Fontana, Abbado (DVD), Bernstein CBS, Bernstein DG, Szell, Harnoncourt CGA. I regret the Szell and Bernsteins. Konwitschny was the first stereo cycle I bought, a bit before the EMI Klemperer box in 1970. It did not stand the competition from Klemperer.
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 16:20:19 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Let me amend my post. I had only listened to the first four symphonies from the Fischer set. I have now listened to number five and find it very undernourished compared with Blomstedt and also some others. Just FWIW.

MIFrost
Gerard
2020-05-12 17:21:04 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Not yet mentioned favorite sets:
- Abbado (his last set)
- Szell
- Brüggen (his first set)
- Chailly
- Paavo Järvi
wkasimer
2020-05-12 17:28:09 UTC
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Post by Gerard
- Abbado (his last set)
- Szell
- Brüggen (his first set)
- Chailly
- Paavo Järvi
Also Krivine.
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 17:29:36 UTC
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Post by Gerard
- Abbado (his last set)
- Szell
- Brüggen (his first set)
- Chailly
- Paavo Järvi
Ah ... Chailly. I have that one too. So that makes ten. It's also excellent. The ones that disappoint ate Gardiner, van Immerseel and Lenny. All the rest give much pleasure in one way or another. I often sit with my headphones and get into the Beethoven Zone, especially now with the Covid-19 issue. I never get tired of Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me, anyway.

MIFrost
Oscar
2020-05-12 17:38:10 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Ah ... Chailly. I have that one too. So that makes ten. It's also excellent. The ones that disappoint ate
Gardiner, van Immerseel and Lenny. All the rest give much pleasure in one way or another. I often sit with
my headphones and get into the Beethoven Zone, especially now with the Covid-19 issue. I never get
tired of Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me, anyway.
I have listened to Gardiner so many times in an attempt to see what the fuss is, and it's just not good. Unfortunate that UME selected it for inclusion in the Beethoven 2020 box. But I guess it _is_ the most 'popular' HIPP set in its catalog. Still sucks! (Pardon my language, but it's appropriate, IMHO.)

Immerseel I have not played since buying it in 2009. I recall liking Krivine, and should dig that one out for a reappraisal.

Has anyone heard that new ongoing cycle that is recorded in the halls where the Symphonies were first premiered? HIPP. Is it Hengelbrock? I can't remember who the conductor is. At any rate, it's almost complete and I have been meaning to audition the recordings. Very little buzz for such a project, I would think.

Re yr final point, Beethoven has come on strong this year for me after several years lull. The Fazil Say piano sonatas integrale really did it. The UME Beethoven 2020 box is also a great one to dig into, all the little pieces and the Cantatas (which Lief Segerstam has also newly recorded for Naxos, and which I highly recommend) and minor pieces. Beethoven was the man.

In closing, I must say that Scherchen's Ninth w/ RPO in the new DG box . . . tough to listen to. Not the best of the bunch.
Oscar
2020-05-12 17:56:35 UTC
Permalink
I should also like to say that Harnoncourt/COE is the _one_ set of CDs I have out and on the television rack. TELDEC Classics International GmbH, Hamburg, cat. no.℗ 1991, 1993-96 & © 1999. 10CD boxed set. Not the later reissue on Warner Classics. If there is just _one_ all-around Beethoven set I would take with me to the desert isle unaffiliated boy Covid-19, it would be this one. A pity the Piano Concertos w/ Aimard were recorded after this set was issued. It would be perfect were they contained herein. The performances are mostly sensational.

-Symphonies Nos.1-9
-Overtures
-Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, Op.43
-Violin Concerto • Romances
-Missa solemnis in D major, Op.123
Oscar
2020-05-12 18:01:49 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I never get tired of Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me, anyway.
Have you read Jan Swafford's 2014 biography? I can't believe it's been 6 years already. Published in August 2014.
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 18:07:24 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I never get tired of Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me, anyway.
Have you read Jan Swafford's 2014 biography? I can't believe it's been 6 years already. Published in August 2014.
Haven't read it. Perhaps I will. Thank you.

MIFrost
g***@gmail.com
2020-05-12 22:19:27 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by Gerard
- Abbado (his last set)
- Szell
- Brüggen (his first set)
- Chailly
- Paavo Järvi
Ah ... Chailly. I have that one too. So that makes ten. It's also excellent. The ones that disappoint ate Gardiner, van Immerseel and Lenny. All the rest give much pleasure in one way or another. I often sit with my headphones and get into the Beethoven Zone, especially now with the Covid-19 issue. I never get tired of Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me, anyway.
MIFrost
At the risk of bringing on a lynch mob, the jerkiness and abruptness in some of his music I find a bit off-putting.
Tatonik
2020-05-12 23:31:11 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I often sit with my headphones and get into the Beethoven Zone,
especially now with the Covid-19 issue.. I never get tired of
Beethoven. Never. He's the composer that keeps on pleasing. For me,
anyway.
MIFrost
At the risk of bringing on a lynch mob, the jerkiness and abruptness
in some of his music I find a bit off-putting.
It can be difficult to determine the root cause in these situations.
Indeed, the fault may lie with Beethoven. On the other hand, you might
have been listening to HJ Lim play it.
v***@protonmail.com
2020-05-12 23:48:13 UTC
Permalink
I recently, finally, heard Furtwangler's 1944 Eroica, and realized that Bohm's VPO recording
sounds quite a bit like a smoothed-over stereo version of it. Works for me, mostly.
Oscar
2020-05-12 17:29:43 UTC
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Post by Gerard
- Abbado (his last set)
- Szell
- Brüggen (his first set)
- Chailly
- Paavo Järvi
I like the Chailly, but today I will break out Harnoncourt/COE for some midafternoon fun. His final CD release was Beethoven, IIRC. It was a bit strange. I think I bought it, ripped it and returned it (for 75 percent 'insurance' refund at Amoeba). If I like something I'll keep it. But it was curiously bad.
msw design
2020-05-12 17:46:47 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
I've never found a "set" that had it all, which is another reason I have so many. If I had to got with one, it would probably be Abbado's last live box on DG, at least for 1-8. Big, powerful, aggressive. Far better than you would ever expect given the studio recordings that preceded it. But can I sub in another 9? Was listening to Lenny/VPO the other day. A great performance. Maybe not a top pick, but a finalist, for sure.
MELMOTH13
2020-05-12 18:13:55 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
Among my more than 50 sets, my favorites are (out of order) :

*Monteux*
*Scherchen*
*Szell*
*Brügen*
*Chailly*
*Kletzki*
MELMOTH13
2020-05-15 07:03:29 UTC
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Post by MELMOTH13
*Monteux*
*Scherchen*
*Szell*
*Brügen*
*Chailly*
*Kletzki*
And *Toscanini* 1939 !...
f***@yahoo.com
2020-05-12 21:53:11 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Since you don't have any by a chamber orchestra, I would strongly suggest Paavo Jarvi with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. I have the set on DVD, which is probably not identical with his CD/SACD set. But I expect they are pretty close. Also, the DVD set is currently cheaper than the CD set.

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Das-Beethoven-Projekt-Symphonien-Dokumentation/hnum/1639534
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-12 22:16:59 UTC
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Post by f***@yahoo.com
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Since you don't have any by a chamber orchestra, I would strongly suggest Paavo Jarvi with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. I have the set on DVD, which is probably not identical with his CD/SACD set. But I expect they are pretty close. Also, the DVD set is currently cheaper than the CD set.
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Das-Beethoven-Projekt-Symphonien-Dokumentation/hnum/1639534
But I do: Harnoncourt's orchestra, the COE, is the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. And the Fischer orchestra is the Danish Chamber Orchestra. The more I listen to Fischer, the more "lightweight" it sounds. I haven't listened to it all the way through yet, however.

MIFrost
f***@yahoo.com
2020-05-12 22:49:31 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by f***@yahoo.com
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Since you don't have any by a chamber orchestra, I would strongly suggest Paavo Jarvi with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. I have the set on DVD, which is probably not identical with his CD/SACD set. But I expect they are pretty close. Also, the DVD set is currently cheaper than the CD set.
https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Das-Beethoven-Projekt-Symphonien-Dokumentation/hnum/1639534
But I do: Harnoncourt's orchestra, the COE, is the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. And the Fischer orchestra is the Danish Chamber Orchestra. The more I listen to Fischer, the more "lightweight" it sounds. I haven't listened to it all the way through yet, however.
MIFrost
You're right. It has been years since I listened to the Harnoncourt recordings. IIRC, Jarvi's recordings have much leaner orchestral sound in comparison. That's why I did not think of the former as chamber orchestra (my mistake).
msw design
2020-05-12 22:40:05 UTC
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Post by f***@yahoo.com
Since you don't have any by a chamber orchestra, I would strongly suggest Paavo Jarvi with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. I have the set on DVD, which is probably not identical with his CD/SACD set. But I expect they are pretty close. Also, the DVD set is currently cheaper than the CD set.
I find I don't care for the sound of the DKB in Jarvi's recordings- I feel like I am listening to Tchaikvosky. But in Batiashvili's Violin Concerto recording, they sound fantastic- one of my very favorite Beethoven discs. (And I love Harding's overture disc, too). What would account for this? (I don't have the discs handy to check venue..)
s***@gmail.com
2020-05-13 00:43:56 UTC
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To my surprise, rather liked Wyn Morris/LSO. Was afraid that they would be like IMO Ormandy, beautifully played, but bland. Found that tempi were not rushed, but not so slow. I’ve been slowly going through cycles and finding discoveries like Morris. Szell, HvK ‘62, Leibowitz and Jochum/COA are my current faves.

Stan Punzel
Lawrence Kart
2020-05-13 03:13:51 UTC
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Peter Maag (Arts Music)
Lawrence Kart
2020-05-13 03:17:36 UTC
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Peter Maag, Padua and Veneto Orch (Artis Music)
Bob Harper
2020-05-13 17:01:38 UTC
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Post by Lawrence Kart
Peter Maag (Arts Music)
I like the performances, but the recordings tend to be too reverberant
for my taste. The Eroica (my favorite of the 9 is especially bad in this
regard.

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2020-05-13 17:11:35 UTC
Permalink
The first I ever heard was the Toscanini box (LM-6901, I believe), but I
never really liked them that much.
A few years later, I imprinted on Szell, and it's still one of my
favorites. The Eroica is still one of my top choices, and the end of the
Pastoral, with the little Luftpause as the main theme finally makes it
over the hill, is for me one of the most thrilling moments on record.

But this is 'music that is better than it can be played' as Artur
Schnabel (I believe) once said, so give me Klemperer, Konwitschny, Böhm,
Blonstedt, and at least Cluytens for starters.

Bob Harper
r***@gmail.com
2020-05-14 23:26:14 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
To my surprise, rather liked Wyn Morris/LSO. Was afraid that they would be like IMO Ormandy, beautifully played, but bland. Found that tempi were not rushed, but not so slow. I’ve been slowly going through cycles and finding discoveries like Morris. Szell, HvK ‘62, Leibowitz and Jochum/COA are my current faves.
Stan Punzel
Agreed, it's an excellent set however disagreeable its conductor was. Good sound too.
d***@aol.com
2020-05-13 07:23:56 UTC
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Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
In my case I often feel it is the last set I listened to, in my case the Scherchen just released on DG. Terrific. However, I am much looking forward to the arrival next week of sets by Rosbaud and Steinberg!
Ricardo Jimenez
2020-05-13 16:18:12 UTC
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Post by d***@aol.com
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
In my case I often feel it is the last set I listened to, in my case the Scherchen just released on DG. Terrific. However, I am much looking forward to the arrival next week of sets by Rosbaud and Steinberg!
There is a very invigorating Beethoven symphony set from a seemingly
unlikely source: Lan Shui and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, available
on Spotify.
Oscar
2020-05-13 17:26:51 UTC
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Post by d***@aol.com
In my case I often feel it is the last set I listened to, in my case the Scherchen just released on DG. Terrific.
However, I am much looking forward to the arrival next week of sets by Rosbaud and Steinberg!
Late last night I compared and contrasted the two Largos of the Seventh Symphony available for preview on AppleMusic. The Rosbaud came first and I found it very, very good, but the Steinberg, which I was less impressed with at the beginning had a dynamic layering and creation of tension paced through a steady beat which recreated this famous movement to this highest effect. Beethoven rocks. Both sets pre-ordered. Thx for reminder about these sets. Didn't realize release date was this month.
v***@protonmail.com
2020-05-13 17:43:57 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Post by d***@aol.com
In my case I often feel it is the last set I listened to, in my case the Scherchen just released on DG. Terrific.
However, I am much looking forward to the arrival next week of sets by Rosbaud and Steinberg!
Late last night I compared and contrasted the two Largos of the Seventh Symphony available for preview on AppleMusic. The Rosbaud came first and I found it very, very good, but the Steinberg, which I was less impressed with at the beginning had a dynamic layering and creation of tension paced through a steady beat which recreated this famous movement to this highest effect. Beethoven rocks. Both sets pre-ordered. Thx for reminder about these sets. Didn't realize release date was this month.
I like Reiner in the Seventh, plus real good sound. Looking forward to the Steinberg set as well..
Oscar
2020-05-14 03:58:24 UTC
Permalink
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.


Music Web International review, undated (Len M. really should require dates on his reviews, IMO):

<< Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Complete Symphonies CD2 [75:27]
CD1 [54:05] CD2 [75:27] CD3 [73:37] CD4 [60:34] CD5 [72:34]
Symphony No 1 in C major, Op 21 (1800) [23:47]
Symphony No 2 in D major, Op 36 (1802) [29:34]
CD2 [75:27]
Symphony No 3 in E flat major, Op 55 ‘Eroica’ (1804) [45:09]
Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60 (1806) [30:00]
CD3 [73:37]
Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 (1807) [33:18]
Symphony No 6 in F major, Op 68 ‘Pastoral’ (1808) [39:56]
CD4 [60:34]
Symphony No 7 in A major, Op 92 (1812) [37:26]
Symphony No 8 in F major, Op 93 (1812) [23:00]
CD5 [72:34]
Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op 125 ‘Choral’ (1824) [59:36 - see review]
Ruth Ziesak (soprano), Birgit Remmert (alto), Steve Davislim (tenor), Detlef Roth (bass)
Schweizer Kammerchor/Fritz Näf
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich / David Zinman

Recorded in the Zurich Tonhalle, Switzerland, 25-26 March 1997 (Nos 5/6), 16-17 December 1997 (Nos 7/8), May 1998 (Nos 3/4), 12/14 December 1998 (No 9), 15-16 December 1998 (Nos 1/2)

ARTE NOVA 74321 65410-2 (complete set) [5 CDs: 54:05 + 75:27 + 73:37 + 60:34 + 72:34]

These celebrated performances have been universally welcomed by critics of every persuasion, and praised for their freshness, their polish, and their scholarly approach. Hearing them again persuades me to salute them as, in many ways, the ideal recording of this much-recorded repertory: the one which most perfectly integrates old-school weight and dynamism with the lessons we've all learnt, since the 1980s, from historically-informed original-instrument performances.

Using the Jonathan Del Mar Urtext edition, published by Bärenreiter, these performances steal the occasional surprise on an unsuspecting listener, with some notes and numerous articulations notably at variance with traditional texts. But we mustn't make the mistake of imagining that this gives them some kind of biblical authority. As ever in Beethoven - as ever in all music - the conductor needs to decipher the composer's instructions, or lack of them, make sense of often-conflicting information, and provide his own bowing, his own dynamics and his own phrasing. And Zinman's obviously worked overtime to ensure that, in the spirit of Del Mar's edition, we hear exactly what Beethoven wanted us to hear.

Of course Zinman's not alone in prizing that objective. The challenge in conducting Beethoven is deciding what's most important in any one situation. Dynamics have to be perpetually adjusted - most commonly, noisy trumpets and horns need to be piped down to enable more fragile voices, but more important information, to penetrate. And, commonly, making this kind of adjustment in favour of thematic detail ruins the effect of an all-important climax. Too often in Beethoven, the interpreter will have to settle for 'loud' - i.e. as loud as the composer appears to have wanted it - or 'clear' - i.e. significant detail being audible - but accept that it can't always be both. It may appear to be outrageously controversial to say so but in fact it's stating the truth, and indeed the obvious, that, when writing for the orchestra, Beethoven's workmanship was often crude - certainly his finishing, and his attention to detail or everyday practicalities.

Zinman's formula is to balance textures in such a way that we are able to follow the argument without sacrificing weight or excitement. The modest size of his orchestra enables him to do this, but it mainly comes down to making inspired decisions in resolving the innumerable enigmas and dilemmas Beethoven leaves us with. With hardly any exceptions (the Fifth Symphony, perhaps, but more about this later) it's all gain and no loss.

What you always get in these performances is excellent orchestral playing, incisive articulation, carefully voiced textures, a cracking pace, and agreeable surprises here there and everywhere. Over and over again, phrases are shaped in a novel way, note lengths are unlike we've heard them before, and woodwinds are left to ornament a once-familiar line: the solo oboe free-time links in the first movements of the Fifth and Seventh, for example, are extended into mini-cadenzas, and most persuasively done. These are invariably arresting performances - powerful, without being heavyweight. My copious notes repeatedly include words like agile, athletic, sprightly, alive, youthful, vigorous and energetic.

In one area of potential controversy - his widespread adoption of fast tempi - Zinman is by no means alone among modern recorded performances. The first movement of the Third is startlingly quick, but it differs from most others that are similarly rapid (Bernstein's inspired CBS/NYPO performance, for example, or even the celebrated [Erich] Kleiber mono recording on Decca with the Vienna Philharmonic) in finding room to shape phrases, and to breathe, despite the sheer pace. The Allegretto slow movement of the Seventh is - you may think, as I am tempted to… - hurried to the point of sounding casual, of belittling a great statement. Similarly, perhaps, the slow movement of the Ninth, which, however beautiful, surely loses expressive composure at this pace. But this is becoming the norm nowadays, and no longer exceptional! The most notable beneficiaries of this approach are the scherzos of all symphonies. That in the Fifth works particularly well, with an agility and fleetness of foot which is most infectious: those in the Sixth and Seventh are outstandingly alive. However, the one-in-a-bar trios of the scherzos in both the Seventh and the Ninth are truly hectic, and even I find these difficult to accept.

It's worth remembering that the metronome wasn't invented until 1811 or thereabouts - the slow movement of the Eighth celebrates it, remember - and that Beethoven's markings dating from the years of his advancing deafness are mostly retrospective. I'm not the first person to question their 'authority'!

One curious aspect of Zinman's conducting deserves a special mention. Horns and trumpets in Beethoven's day weren't chromatic instruments, because they pre-date the invention of the valve. In fact the long solo for the 4th[!] horn in the Ninth's slow movement is a marker, if you like, for that seminal transition between diatonic 18th century brass and chromatic 19th century brass! So they played only the notes of the harmonic series - tonics, dominants, triads - like the Eroica's first movement main theme - and what-have-you, plus a few others, mostly higher up the pitch range, which were out of tune, and had to be hand-stopped to bring them into line - a technique which drastically impaired the instrument's tonal character and polish, especially in forte and fortissimo. Whereas Mahler (among others) used stopped horns for special and usually menacing effect, hand-horn players in Beethoven's day tried to disguise such stopped notes so that listeners would be largely unaware of the difference between 'natural' (i.e. open, or normal) and 'un-natural' (i.e. stopped, or adjusted) notes - as, for example, in Gardiner's or Norrington's CD recordings with their 'original instrument' orchestras. Zinman, with his modern instruments, recognises this characteristic by, for me, eccentrically, encouraging his players to modify notes outside the harmonic series with a full Mahlerian stopped tone, rather than the subtle adaptation you'd get from a seasoned hand-horn player. This makes for alarming tonal discrepancies, often in the middle of a phrase, and for no good other than nominally technical reason.

A few highlights. The trills in the Second's slow introduction are as you've never heard them before - tremendous fun, and doubtless the result of painstaking rehearsal! The last movement of the Seventh is breathlessly energetic: it sweeps you away! The hilarious discourse of upper and lower strings at the beginning of the development section, where Beethoven throws us completely off tonal course, speaks to us like a spontaneous comic recitative - tremendously involving, and wholly convincing! The Eighth - Beethoven's 'little' symphony - is full of good humour, emerging very fittingly as a chamber symphony, and enlightened by all manner of touches and affectionate detail. How refreshing, especially after Gardiner's relentless, almost merciless, approach, which seems increasingly to be the done thing these days. In the 'introduction' to the Ninth, how nice to hear genuine sextuplets, clearly annunciated: no Brucknerian tremolos here!

May be the Fifth works least well. It's athletic and manly, but it has a lightness of touch which we don't associate with this hard-hitting historic statement. The amount of detail Zinman brings out enables us to hear it afresh - indeed we are made to realise what we so often miss! - so we shouldn't rule it out of court simply because it lacks the Klemperian weight we expect of it. To compare it with the classic [Carlos] Kleiber/VPO Fifth - which I've always been tempted to regard as definitive - is to compare Olympic sprinters and Olympic weight-lifters.

The Ninth makes for a strong conclusion to the set, but it perhaps lacks the grandeur of more traditional performances. It's powerful, meticulously prepared, and deeply committed, but it doesn't belong in the mighty Klemperer-Karajan dynasty. That will be a plus point to some, and a minus point to others. The young-sounding soloists are excellent as a quartet, especially the soprano, but aren't ideal in their solo numbers: the tenor sounds breathless and lightweight at Zinman's pace, and the bass is hardly commanding enough at his entry to be credible as a silencer of the orchestra's din. The chorus is excellent.

By the way, Arte Nova gives you two versions of the Ninth's finale. The alternative includes a G.P. bar (General Pause) before the word "Bruder", which Beethoven later and mysteriously removed. Not a big deal, I'd say. Personally, I wish Beethoven had left revised versions of all nine symphonies, with answers to all the interpretative questions we've spent 180 years grappling with! (Only joking: what sort of a music-lover's world would it be where all Beethoven symphony recordings were the same?)

The discs are all available singly, as detailed above. In fact buying the set only entails a cardboard box containing the five individual CDs, complete with their separate booklets. If you're wanting just a First and a Second, I'd say this is the one. It perfectly portrays a growing composer bursting confidently out of the gates of the 18th century, and into a dawning new age. The two finest performances of the set, the Third and the Fourth, are paired on a single disc, which embraces every human emotion, and speaks with a uniquely authoritative voice. The Eroica boasts a mighty first movement, a solemn Funeral March, a nimble Scherzo (with wonderful horn playing) and a grandly-conceived variation finale. The Fourth has explosive energy without ever being overstated, and (in its slow movement) some of the most tender playing in the entire cycle. Take it from me: there is no better Beethoven symphony disc than this in the recorded music catalogues of all time!

This set deserves the most enthusiastic recommendation which words can muster. It has few rivals even in the top price range. The most recent Abbado? Certainly the Gardiner. And the Vänskä Minnesota set, when (if ever) it's complete, will take some beating. In its price range, the Drahos (on Naxos) is good, but not quite in this league: likewise the Norrington, now available on Virgin for silly money, and very tempting. But Zinman is Beethoven: I can pay him no greater compliment.

—Peter J Lawson >>
Gerard
2020-05-14 09:31:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
m***@gmail.com
2020-05-14 13:38:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.

Mark
s***@nycap.rr.com
2020-05-14 14:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a little sports car.

MIFrost
Steve Choe
2020-05-14 16:52:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a little sports car.
MIFrost
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
wkasimer
2020-05-14 18:41:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Choe
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
Very well recording, and very bland.
Oscar
2020-05-14 19:41:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Steve Choe
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
Very well recording, and very bland.
Yep. Stultifying is the word that comes to mind.
Bob Harper
2020-05-14 20:39:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Choe
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a little sports car.
MIFrost
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
From what I've heard of it, wonderfully executed and about nothing. Pass.

Bob Harper
Steve Choe
2020-05-14 21:47:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Steve Choe
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a little sports car.
MIFrost
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
From what I've heard of it, wonderfully executed and about nothing. Pass.
Bob Harper
Several years ago I heard the Minnesota Orchestra with Vanska doing an all-Beethoven concert. The Coriolan and the Violin Concerto made up the first half and then the Eroica after the intermission. The program was pretty thrilling I remember and they played their hearts out for him. This was before the lockout of 2012.
Thanks to you and others for the warnings about his studio (I assume) Beethoven set.

Steve
msw design
2020-05-15 12:21:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Choe
Thanks to you and others for the warnings about his studio (I assume) Beethoven set.
Steve
The current unanimity is amusing- at the time of their release, there were plenty of enthusiasts.

I found them stereile- a radio broadcast of 3 had me running to Lenny/VPO for something that sounded right (that's my imprint). However, I recall liking 6 quite a bit.
Gerard
2020-05-15 12:53:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Choe
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Steve Choe
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman & Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a little sports car.
MIFrost
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
From what I've heard of it, wonderfully executed and about nothing. Pass.
Bob Harper
Several years ago I heard the Minnesota Orchestra with Vanska doing an all-Beethoven concert. The Coriolan and the Violin Concerto made up the first half and then the Eroica after the intermission. The program was pretty thrilling I remember and they played their hearts out for him. This was before the lockout of 2012.
Thanks to you and others for the warnings about his studio (I assume) Beethoven set.
Steve
He is far better than what the 'consensus' here says. A real disappointing set is Sawallisch with the RCO Amsterdam.
But what about Haitink's last set (LSO), or that by Jansons?
Ed Presson
2020-05-14 23:15:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Choe
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
Post by m***@gmail.com
Post by Gerard
Post by Oscar
Is it me or have I not seen an enthusiastic recommendation for Zinman
& Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich on Arte Nova? I did not seem to take to it
as openly as others did, and I feel it has somewhat lost its luster
over its appearance c.Y2K. I would rather listen to Chailly.
Zinman was mentioned in the original post.
A set that gets *never* mentioned: Dohnanyi (Telarc).
I have the Dohnanyi/Cleveland set (well-recorded and well-played, but no
striking interpretive insights), as well as Szell/Cleveland, Toscanini
NBC (on LP), Karajan 1962, plus big chunks (short of completeness) by
Furtwangler, Monteux, Scherchen and others. The only set I ever
purchased and then gave away was Barenboim, which I found turgid.
Mark
Funny how tastes can differ so. I like the Barenboim set immensely. I
also like Zinman. In fact, I find them to be like bookends -- One is slow
and deep. Very smooth like a thick velvet; the other quick and edgy, a
little sports car.
MIFrost
Agreed on both sets. Both are extremely well recorded too.
I'm curious about what people thought about Vanska?
From what I've heard of it, wonderfully executed and about nothing. Pass.
Bob Harper
I've heard several of the Vanska Beethoven CDs (thanks to a friend), and was
not motivated to seek out more.

Ed Presson
Matthew Silverstein
2020-05-14 04:19:44 UTC
Permalink
Like many here, I've got dozens of sets. If I could keep only one, it would probably be either Gardiner/ORR or Järvi/DKB. It's hard, though, because even my favorite sets contain performances I find disappointing. If I had to put together my dream set, it would include some of these:

1: Brüggen (Philips), Järvi
2: Fey, Harnoncourt, Antonini
3: Scherchen (Westminster), Järvi, Klemperer (mono EMI)
4: Gardiner, Kleiber
5: Gielen (EMI), Szell/VPO (Orfeo), Gardiner (DG)
6: Gardiner, Bohm, Monteux
7: Gardiner (DG), Kleiber (DG), Kleiber/VPO (Memories), Barenboim
8: Brüggen (Philips), Harnoncourt, Fricsay (DG)
9. Gardiner, Järvi, Giulini (DG), Furtwängler/Lucerne (Tahra)

I'm sure I'm forgetting other favorites. I was going to narrow it down to one recording for each symphony, but every time I started I couldn't settle on a single favorite for more than two or three of the symphonies.

Matty
fomalhaut
2020-05-14 20:10:16 UTC
Permalink
By alphabetical order :

Bernstein, New York Phil (Columbia-Sony)
Cluytens, Berlin Philh (EMI-Warner)
Jochum, London Philh (EMI-Warner)
Konwitschny, Gewandhaus Leipzig (Eterna-Berlin Classics)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna Phil (Decca-London)
Schuricht, Paris Conservatoire (EMI-Warner)

fomalhaut
Bob Harper
2020-05-14 20:44:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by fomalhaut
Bernstein, New York Phil (Columbia-Sony)
Cluytens, Berlin Philh (EMI-Warner)
Jochum, London Philh (EMI-Warner)
Konwitschny, Gewandhaus Leipzig (Eterna-Berlin Classics)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna Phil (Decca-London)
Schuricht, Paris Conservatoire (EMI-Warner)
fomalhaut
I have the first four, and agree as to their excellence. Unfortunately,
S-I is OOP and ridiculously expensive (I do have the 9th), and I've not
heard the Schuricht. If it's as good as his Bruckner (which I do have),
it would be dworth getting, especially as it's quite inexpensive.

Bob Harper
Alex Brown
2020-05-15 09:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by fomalhaut
Bernstein, New York Phil (Columbia-Sony)
Cluytens, Berlin Philh (EMI-Warner)
Jochum, London Philh (EMI-Warner)
Konwitschny, Gewandhaus Leipzig (Eterna-Berlin Classics)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna Phil (Decca-London)
Schuricht, Paris Conservatoire (EMI-Warner)
fomalhaut
I have the first four, and agree as to their excellence. Unfortunately,
S-I is OOP and ridiculously expensive (I do have the 9th), and I've not
heard the Schuricht. If it's as good as his Bruckner (which I do have),
it would be dworth getting, especially as it's quite inexpensive.
Bob Harper
S-I is available as a hi-res download from Presto, for a very reasonable
price ...

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8365398--decca-masterpieces-beethoven-the-complete-symphonies
--
- Alex Brown
wkasimer
2020-05-15 14:03:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Brown
S-I is available as a hi-res download from Presto, for a very reasonable
price ...
And various individual discs are always available on Amazon Marketplace and eBay. To be honest, the only one that I think that has really stood the test of time is the 9th.
number_six
2020-05-15 15:44:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by wkasimer
Post by Alex Brown
S-I is available as a hi-res download from Presto, for a very reasonable
price ...
And various individual discs are always available on Amazon Marketplace and eBay. To be honest, the only one that I think that has really stood the test of time is the 9th.
I've been buying some of those individual discs.

Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
v***@protonmail.com
2020-05-15 18:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by number_six
Post by wkasimer
Post by Alex Brown
S-I is available as a hi-res download from Presto, for a very reasonable
price ...
And various individual discs are always available on Amazon Marketplace and eBay. To be honest, the only one that I think that has really stood the test of time is the 9th.
I've been buying some of those individual discs.
Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
I had the S-I Eroica for awhile but it didn't do much for me. It became a library donation.
Gerald Martin
2020-05-15 18:25:46 UTC
Permalink
Just a bit of trivia. Schmidt-Isserstedt's son was Decca classical record producer Erik Smith. Smith changed his surname so he wouldn't be suspected of nepotism.
Frank Berger
2020-05-15 19:06:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerald Martin
Just a bit of trivia. Schmidt-Isserstedt's son was Decca classical record producer Erik Smith. Smith changed his surname so he wouldn't be suspected of nepotism.
I guess Smith-Isserstedt wouldn't have worked.
number_six
2020-05-15 19:49:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Gerald Martin
Just a bit of trivia. Schmidt-Isserstedt's son was Decca classical record producer Erik Smith. Smith changed his surname so he wouldn't be suspected of nepotism.
I guess Smith-Isserstedt wouldn't have worked.
He could still stand under the spreading chestnut tree...

Would throw the old poem off a bit though...
RANDY WOLFGANG
2020-05-16 01:30:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Gerald Martin
Just a bit of trivia. Schmidt-Isserstedt's son was Decca classical record producer Erik Smith. Smith changed his surname so he wouldn't be suspected of nepotism.
I guess Smith-Isserstedt wouldn't have worked.
I understand they were not particualry close anyway
msw design
2020-05-15 21:52:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by number_six
I've been buying some of those individual discs.
Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
Auditioned HS-I's 4 today and just couldn't make it very far. Staid. No abandon, no elation, just notes. Even Ansermet shows more feeling, while working with similar tempi. As a matter of fact, Ansermet is quite winning. Listening to it now.

I suspect my VPO cycle of choice is going to remain Lenny.
v***@protonmail.com
2020-05-15 22:16:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by number_six
I've been buying some of those individual discs.
Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
Auditioned HS-I's 4 today and just couldn't make it very far. Staid. No abandon, no elation, just notes. Even Ansermet shows more feeling, while working with similar tempi. As a matter of fact, Ansermet is quite winning. Listening to it now.
I suspect my VPO cycle of choice is going to remain Lenny.
In the Eroica, at least, I just couldn't hear what the fuss was about. Pretty boring, as I remember it.


C.
Gerard
2020-05-16 09:39:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by number_six
I've been buying some of those individual discs.
Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
Auditioned HS-I's 4 today and just couldn't make it very far. Staid. No abandon, no elation, just notes. Even Ansermet shows more feeling, while working with similar tempi. As a matter of fact, Ansermet is quite winning. Listening to it now.
I suspect my VPO cycle of choice is going to remain Lenny.
Did you hear Nelson's cycle?
(I don't think it will change your choice ;-) )
Randy Lane
2020-05-16 10:31:31 UTC
Permalink
I don't recall seeing Kempe/Munich/Warner(EMI), which I have never heard, mentioned in this thread.
Which only increases the bewilderment I feel about the numerous Japanese reissues of that set.
What do they possibly find so attractive about those recordings that raises its esteemed value so much higher for theml than the value most of the rest of the world gives it?
msw design
2020-05-16 20:45:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Randy Lane
I don't recall seeing Kempe/Munich/Warner(EMI), which I have never heard, mentioned in this thread.
Which only increases the bewilderment I feel about the numerous Japanese reissues of that set.
What do they possibly find so attractive about those recordings that raises its esteemed value so much higher for theml than the value most of the rest of the world gives it?
So much other Kempe is so enjoyable that it's just affection bleed. That's my take.
msw design
2020-05-16 20:56:49 UTC
Permalink
MIFrost's note about other symphonic favorites jogged my memory:

Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
RANDY WOLFGANG
2020-05-16 21:25:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
Bob Harper
2020-05-16 23:38:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by RANDY WOLFGANG
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
The complete set on Sony is studio. Live performances on RCA--recorded
between 1989 and 2001--include 1-6 only. There are other performances on
Profil, but I don't want to get carried away.

Bob Harper
RANDY WOLFGANG
2020-05-17 00:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by RANDY WOLFGANG
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
The complete set on Sony is studio. Live performances on RCA--recorded
between 1989 and 2001--include 1-6 only. There are other performances on
Profil, but I don't want to get carried away.
Bob Harper
Well the few Wand Beethoven recordings I have heard sound, I don't know, "right" to me. As an expert which recording of each symphony conducted by him would you recommend.
msw design
2020-05-17 01:18:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by RANDY WOLFGANG
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
The complete set on Sony is studio. Live performances on RCA--recorded
between 1989 and 2001--include 1-6 only. There are other performances on
Profil, but I don't want to get carried away.
Bob Harper
The live 4 is from 2001. There is too much hall to the sound, and it isn't as taut or lively as the studio recording, where the orchestral balance is wonderful- you can even hear the timps underneath, even as full as the orchestra is. The live 3, 5 and 6 sound fantastic- they are from '90 and '92. The live 1 and 2 are from 97/99. They sound fine. Hard to imagine how they could be that much better than the stidio, if at all. I like both quite a bit, but I'm not as particular with them.

Hope that helps.
msw design
2020-05-17 01:03:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by RANDY WOLFGANG
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
The studio cycle has been released in a few different packages. I doubt there is any mastering difference between these

https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Symphonies-1-9/release/11728927

https://www.discogs.com/G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Ludwig-van-Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-Conducts-Beethoven/release/12193692

https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Symphonies-1-9/master/962489

There are other live Wand releases. I sought out the ones that were praised in reviews and ignored the ones that were not. So I can only point to these two discs as being worth seeking out, and as superior to the studio recordings. Both discs were compared to Klemperer a lot in reviews, and I found that fair, if not entirely clear. There's something of Klemperer's strength, patience and absolute certainty to both of these. But they don't sound like later Klemperer, and late Wand I found simply slacker, not bringing any poetry of rhetoric to things as Klemps could even in his slowest performances.

But I feel both of these discs would make my short list of great Beethoven:

https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-Sinfonie-Nr-3-Ouverture-Nr-3-Leonore/master/949584

amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonies-No-Günter-Wand/dp/B006BB8I9W/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=wand+beethoven+5&qid=1589676966&sr=8-6
Bob Harper
2020-05-17 03:06:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by RANDY WOLFGANG
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Can you remind me which Wand set is live and which is studio--and which is better????
The studio cycle has been released in a few different packages. I doubt there is any mastering difference between these
https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Symphonies-1-9/release/11728927
https://www.discogs.com/G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Ludwig-van-Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-Conducts-Beethoven/release/12193692
https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-Symphonies-1-9/master/962489
There are other live Wand releases. I sought out the ones that were praised in reviews and ignored the ones that were not. So I can only point to these two discs as being worth seeking out, and as superior to the studio recordings. Both discs were compared to Klemperer a lot in reviews, and I found that fair, if not entirely clear. There's something of Klemperer's strength, patience and absolute certainty to both of these. But they don't sound like later Klemperer, and late Wand I found simply slacker, not bringing any poetry of rhetoric to things as Klemps could even in his slowest performances.
https://www.discogs.com/Beethoven-NDR-Sinfonieorchester-G%C3%BCnter-Wand-Sinfonie-Nr-3-Ouverture-Nr-3-Leonore/master/949584
amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonies-No-Günter-Wand/dp/B006BB8I9W/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=wand+beethoven+5&qid=1589676966&sr=8-6
None of these is the set I have. It's in a blue box and is part of the
'Gunter Wand Edition'. Remaster engineer Andreas Torkler, Sonopress
Studios, Gütersloh. But I'm betting the cap box, the second of the
three you list from discogs, is the same mastering, and it can be had
quite cheaply from Amazon.

Bob Harper
Bob Harper
2020-05-16 23:28:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Agreed. And his live Eroica from 12/12/89, also with the NDR, is even
finer, and is coupled with one of the greatest recordings of the Leonore
No. 3 that I've ever heard. Finally, if you can find it online, there is
an Eroica with the Munich Philharmonic from February of '94 that is,
IMO, even finer. I can't find it on Symphonyshare right now, but if I
knew how to upload it I would. I will have to investigate that.

Oh, and his Bruckner isn't bad either :).

Bob Harper (kind of a Wand cultist, I guess)
msw design
2020-05-17 01:22:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Agreed. And his live Eroica from 12/12/89, also with the NDR, is even
finer, and is coupled with one of the greatest recordings of the Leonore
No. 3 that I've ever heard. Finally, if you can find it online, there is
an Eroica with the Munich Philharmonic from February of '94 that is,
IMO, even finer. I can't find it on Symphonyshare right now, but if I
knew how to upload it I would. I will have to investigate that.
Oh, and his Bruckner isn't bad either :).
Bob Harper (kind of a Wand cultist, I guess)
Found it! One of the links is still live.

https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!searchin/Symphonyshare/wand$20eroica$20munich%7Csort:date/symphonyshare/sQLU1iQBV3o/_k2-EUMJCgAJ

As for his Bruckner, for me the sweet spot is Wand/NDR in their hall. They sound great and the readings are central and satisfying. I think of Wand not as the "last word" in Bruckner, but one of the best possible "first words".
Bob Harper
2020-05-17 02:58:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by Bob Harper
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good. THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either. I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
Agreed. And his live Eroica from 12/12/89, also with the NDR, is even
finer, and is coupled with one of the greatest recordings of the Leonore
No. 3 that I've ever heard. Finally, if you can find it online, there is
an Eroica with the Munich Philharmonic from February of '94 that is,
IMO, even finer. I can't find it on Symphonyshare right now, but if I
knew how to upload it I would. I will have to investigate that.
Oh, and his Bruckner isn't bad either :).
Bob Harper (kind of a Wand cultist, I guess)
Found it! One of the links is still live.
https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!searchin/Symphonyshare/wand$20eroica$20munich%7Csort:date/symphonyshare/sQLU1iQBV3o/_k2-EUMJCgAJ
That's the one. Do listen.

Bob Harper
Post by msw design
As for his Bruckner, for me the sweet spot is Wand/NDR in their hall. They sound great and the readings are central and satisfying. I think of Wand not as the "last word" in Bruckner, but one of the best possible "first words".
Matthew Silverstein
2020-05-17 07:49:41 UTC
Permalink
On Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:28:22 AM UTC+4, Bob Harper wrote:

[snip]

Thanks for reminding me about the Leonore No. 3 on this disc. It's terrific. (My other favorites are Karajan/DG, Bernstein/DG, and maybe Chailly.)

Matty
Oscar
2020-06-07 07:29:15 UTC
Permalink
New set issued on Friday (6/6) by Ondine: Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Trevino, who is heretofore unknown to me. Some HIPP stylings, can't tell if section numbers are smaller or not (I would wager they are). Have auditioned Nos.5 & 8 and both are excellent. Good stuff. Still on first play-throughs. Check it out on AppleMusic. May be a CD buy. Much better than Nelsons's set, which was, on the whole, rather hum-drum.
Oscar
2020-06-07 07:42:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oscar
New set issued on Friday (6/6) by Ondine: Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Trevino, who
is heretofore unknown to me. Some HIPP stylings, can't tell if section numbers are smaller or not (I would
wager they are)...
Reduced strings, at minimum—a little bass-lite. Rhythmically taut and exciting, some good n' pert wind playing in the Eighth, perhaps, if I may criticize the interpretation, a little _soulless_, for lack of a better word. Superficial? Still better than 60 percent—yes, 60 percent—of sets that take Trevino's approach to this music.
Bob Harper
2020-06-07 17:48:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Oscar
New set issued on Friday (6/6) by Ondine: Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Trevino, who is heretofore unknown to me. Some HIPP stylings, can't tell if section numbers are smaller or not (I would wager they are). Have auditioned Nos.5 & 8 and both are excellent. Good stuff. Still on first play-throughs. Check it out on AppleMusic. May be a CD buy. Much better than Nelsons's set, which was, on the whole, rather hum-drum.
He did the Shostakovich 11th with the Oregon Symphony just before
everything stopped. Tremendous performance.
will have to check out his Beethoven.

Bob Harper
Néstor Castiglione
2020-06-07 23:56:18 UTC
Permalink
Good take. I agree: Trevino is like Nelsons except better. Strange how similar approaches yield vastly different results. He's a talent to watch for sure. Beethoven 2, 4, and 7 were quite fine. Buoyant, light, almost balletic. Joyful readings. Doesn't displace the gravitas of Kna, Furtwängler, Klemperer, and so on; but I'm glad to have Trevino's sunniness share shelfspace with them.

Nelsons' Beethoven, on the other hand, is not only tired and sorely lacking Vitamin D, but the VPO also sometimes sounds like a wreck. Weird intonation, sloppy ensemble, etc. Who green-lit that disaster?
Post by Oscar
New set issued on Friday (6/6) by Ondine: Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Trevino, who is heretofore unknown to me. Some HIPP stylings, can't tell if section numbers are smaller or not (I would wager they are). Have auditioned Nos.5 & 8 and both are excellent. Good stuff. Still on first play-throughs. Check it out on AppleMusic. May be a CD buy. Much better than Nelsons's set, which was, on the whole, rather hum-drum.
Matthew Silverstein
2020-05-17 07:43:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Wand/NDR is a great central set, and the recording sound is sooo good.
THe singing orchestral tone is marvelous. Listening to 4 i right now and
he's not quite as free as some, but he's never entirely square, either.
I am not a member of the Wand cult, but if anything deserves to prop up
his reputation, his Beethoven symphony performances are that.
I agree. This is a superb central set. It's not a favorite in any of the symphonies, but there are no duds either.

Matty
Raymond Hall
2020-05-16 23:28:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by Randy Lane
I don't recall seeing Kempe/Munich/Warner(EMI), which I have never heard, mentioned in this thread.
Which only increases the bewilderment I feel about the numerous Japanese reissues of that set.
What do they possibly find so attractive about those recordings that raises its esteemed value so much higher for theml than the value most of the rest of the world gives it?
So much other Kempe is so enjoyable that it's just affection bleed. That's my take.
That is also my take on the matter. Kempe's excellent Richard Strauss is well known, but doesn't guarantee success with LvB, even though there must be some genuine admirers.

Ray Hall, Taree
msw design
2020-05-17 01:07:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Raymond Hall
That is also my take on the matter. Kempe's excellent Richard Strauss is well known, but doesn't guarantee success with LvB, even though there must be some genuine admirers.
Ray Hall, Taree
I ordered a few of his Testament discs from BRO last time I ordered, and forced myself to listen to them in their entirety, in order, something I don't often do. Typical scenario: "Oh, Oberon- do I really want to hear this again, even if it is Kempe?" After: "Wow, that was great." Every disc was like that.
msw design
2020-05-16 13:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gerard
Did you hear Nelson's cycle?
(I don't think it will change your choice ;-) )
Yes, sampled on the wife's Spotify and wasn't even tempted to purchase. What a waste. Rattle, Thielemann, Nelsons, I don't care a bit for any of them. Thielemann at least has something to say that is fairly consistent, I'm just not interested. The other two just don't seem in their element.
number_six
2020-05-16 21:54:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by number_six
I've been buying some of those individual discs.
Have not heard entire cycle from S-I but 6th is very strong IMO.
Auditioned HS-I's 4 today and just couldn't make it very far. Staid. No abandon, no elation, just notes. Even Ansermet shows more feeling, while working with similar tempi. As a matter of fact, Ansermet is quite winning. Listening to it now.
I suspect my VPO cycle of choice is going to remain Lenny.
I haven't heard HSI's LvB 4 so I can neither concur nor demur.

But your "no abandon, no elation" comment is interesting.

Have to admit those aren't what mainly draws me to Beethoven.

But I agree those are qualities Bernstein could bring to his performances!
Bob Harper
2020-05-15 16:47:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Brown
Post by Bob Harper
Post by fomalhaut
Bernstein, New York Phil (Columbia-Sony)
Cluytens, Berlin Philh (EMI-Warner)
Jochum, London Philh (EMI-Warner)
Konwitschny, Gewandhaus Leipzig (Eterna-Berlin Classics)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna Phil (Decca-London)
Schuricht, Paris Conservatoire (EMI-Warner)
fomalhaut
I have the first four, and agree as to their excellence.
Unfortunately, S-I is OOP and ridiculously expensive (I do have the
9th), and I've not heard the Schuricht. If it's as good as his
Bruckner (which I do have), it would be dworth getting, especially as
it's quite inexpensive.
Bob Harper
S-I is available as a hi-res download from Presto, for a very reasonable
price ...
https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8365398--decca-masterpieces-beethoven-the-complete-symphonies
Not available in the US, but I'll be happy with the 9th.

Bob Harper
fomalhaut
2020-05-15 11:54:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by fomalhaut
Bernstein, New York Phil (Columbia-Sony)
Cluytens, Berlin Philh (EMI-Warner)
Jochum, London Philh (EMI-Warner)
Konwitschny, Gewandhaus Leipzig (Eterna-Berlin Classics)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna Phil (Decca-London)
Schuricht, Paris Conservatoire (EMI-Warner)
fomalhaut
I have the first four, and agree as to their excellence. Unfortunately,
S-I is OOP and ridiculously expensive (I do have the 9th), and I've not
heard the Schuricht. If it's as good as his Bruckner (which I do have),
it would be dworth getting, especially as it's quite inexpensive.
Bob Harper
The Schuricht's Beethoven Cycle is better than the Bruckner's symphonies recorded for EMI (3, 8 & 9).

fomalhaut
Andrew Clarke
2020-05-15 12:07:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
I can't understand the oft-expressed dislike of Immerseel and Anima Eterna. At the moment, his interpretation of the Fifth is the only one I want to listen to.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
g***@gmail.com
2020-08-07 16:02:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
Of all of Hurwitz's Youtube uploads, this has the most views:

Repertoire: The BEST Beethoven Symphony CYCLES
j***@gmail.com
2020-08-08 23:29:36 UTC
Permalink
One of the often overlooked sets is that of Franz Konwitschny and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, recorded in stereo 1958 - 1961 as a co-production of the East German VEB Deutsche Schallplatten and Philips of The Netherlands. In terms of performance and interpretation, it is as good as they come IMO. Early CD incarnations on Berlin Classics are impaired by overuse of NoNoise processing to reduce tape hiss (which is minor to begin with). But in 2017 Berlin Classics did a major remastering at high resolution direct transfer from the analogue master tapes, with the superb results released on CD in its "Established 1947" brand. The improvement in sound is outstanding, capturing the Leipzig orchestra in peak inspiration under Konwitschny's baton.

For those who want to spend a few more $$s for highest quality, Tower Japan has issued the 9 symphonies on high-res SACDs, which appear to be a transfer of the 24/96k remastering. Sellers on ebay offer the set for around $100.

If you don't know the Konwitschny Beethoven, you owe it to yourself to have a listen. But again, go for the remastered "Est. 1947" branded discs.
Jorge
2020-08-10 09:17:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
What about Masur/Gewandhaus? A bit old but IMHO one of the best.
Alain Michel
2020-08-10 22:50:31 UTC
Permalink
Hello All!

It's been a while since I posted here. I used to be a lot more active when this group was a "newsgroup" on Netscape! Anyway...

I have a collection of over 2,000 classical LP's. I traveled a lot and would go from store to store, in one city and buy LP's, in the 1980's.

A very dear friend, now passed, used to own a classical music [opera too] record store in San Diego. It was called "Classical Encounters...a different kind of record store." It was on 5th and B Street, if anyone ever visited the store I'd really like to hear your recollections.

One of the Beethoven sets that Rick suggested I purchase was a set that I don't recall hearing mentioned in this thread. Forgive me if it was. I like The Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Sanderling. The 9 is quite thrilling to listen to. I believe that the 8 lp's are from a U.K. import, because, after reading the flyer that the company placed in the box with the lp's, it said that the co$t was about £28, which I have just learned is about $37 U.S. currency.

The LP's were produced under the auspices of the du Maurier World of Music. I know the group sounds kinds hokey, but I trusted Rick and he always came through. He was one of the first classical music buyers for Sam Goode in Chicago.
Frank Berger
2020-08-11 00:05:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alain Michel
Hello All!
It's been a while since I posted here. I used to be a lot more active when this group was a "newsgroup" on Netscape! Anyway...
I have a collection of over 2,000 classical LP's. I traveled a lot and would go from store to store, in one city and buy LP's, in the 1980's.
A very dear friend, now passed, used to own a classical music [opera too] record store in San Diego. It was called "Classical Encounters...a different kind of record store." It was on 5th and B Street, if anyone ever visited the store I'd really like to hear your recollections.
One of the Beethoven sets that Rick suggested I purchase was a set that I don't recall hearing mentioned in this thread. Forgive me if it was. I like The Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Sanderling. The 9 is quite thrilling to listen to. I believe that the 8 lp's are from a U.K. import, because, after reading the flyer that the company placed in the box with the lp's, it said that the co$t was about £28, which I have just learned is about $37 U.S. currency.
The LP's were produced under the auspices of the du Maurier World of Music. I know the group sounds kinds hokey, but I trusted Rick and he always came through. He was one of the first classical music buyers for Sam Goode in Chicago.
The Philharmonia Sanderling Beethoven symphonies have all
been released on CD in various combinations, along with some
of the overtures, by EMI. AFAIK, they've never released a
boxed set, but Disky has (licensed?). None are in print,
but all are available variously on Amazon marketplace and
E-bay. Somehow I've missed acquiring #8.
Frank Berger
2020-08-11 04:04:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Alain Michel
Hello All!
It's been a while since I posted here. I used to be a lot
more active when this group was a "newsgroup" on Netscape!
Anyway...
I have a collection of over 2,000 classical LP's. I
traveled a lot and would go from store to store, in one
city and buy LP's, in the 1980's.
A very dear friend, now passed, used to own a classical
music [opera too] record store in San Diego. It was called
"Classical Encounters...a different kind of record store."
It was on 5th and B Street, if anyone ever visited the
store I'd really like to hear your recollections.
One of the Beethoven sets that Rick suggested I purchase
was a set that I don't recall hearing mentioned in this
thread. Forgive me if it was. I like The Philharmonia
Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Sanderling. The 9 is quite
thrilling to listen to. I believe that the 8 lp's are from
a U.K. import, because, after reading the flyer that the
company placed in the box with the lp's, it said that the
co$t was about £28, which I have just learned is about $37
U.S. currency.
The LP's were produced under the auspices of the du
Maurier World of Music. I know the group sounds kinds
hokey, but I trusted Rick and he always came through. He
was one of the first classical music buyers for Sam Goode
in Chicago.
The Philharmonia Sanderling Beethoven symphonies have all
been released on CD in various combinations, along with some
of the overtures, by EMI. AFAIK, they've never released a
boxed set, but Disky has (licensed?).  None are in print,
but all are available variously on Amazon marketplace and
E-bay.  Somehow I've missed acquiring #8.
I forgot to mention that on the Disky set, Disc 1 contains
the first 3 movements of Symphony #1 and all of Symphony #3.
The final movement of #1 leads off disk 5. Go figure.
Just for the heck of it here's a translation of a French
review on Amazon of the Disky set:

"As much as Sanderling tutotototototoes the peaks in
Brahms's symphonies and Tchaikovsky's last three, so much as
his Beethoven fell flat because of lack of commitment and
personality. However, we will listen
to the ensemble without displeasure, but we will return to
it more on the contrary to the integrals left by
Furtwangler, Karajan, Klemperer (EMI), Leibowitz,
Norrington, Bruggen, Toscaninni (1939), Walter (New York),
Schuricht or the young Canadian Jean-Philippe Tremblay (to
discover!). Beethoven's symphonies allow and even invite to
these very personal interpretations, this is what makes
their specificity and immense interest .
We will love them as much as we hate others, and it is so
much better as they do not leave indifferent by their bias
or excesses. With this
in mind, Sanderling could not find the place we would have
hoped for for him here and only succeeded in being anything.
To be complete, let's add that CD 1 contains only the first
3 movements of the 1st symphony (+ the whole 3rd), while the
4th movement is in range 1 of CD 5 before the 9th symphony!
One could have thought of a daring rapprochement of alpha to
the omega of the cycle, but it is not, except a
manifestation of the incuracy of some publishers..."

One person found this helpful.
Lawrence Kart
2021-01-20 01:23:19 UTC
Permalink
Konwitschny

Peter Maag
Bob Harper
2021-01-20 01:34:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Konwitschny
Peter Maag
I like both of them, but found the Maag too reverberant--especially the
Eroica (my favorite).

Bob Harper
Alex Brown
2021-01-20 05:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Konwitschny
Peter Maag
Since it's Wednesday, how about:

Historic - Furtwängler. Pristine does a nice "set" which tends to favour
earlier/war-time recordings.

Mainstream - Karajan 1960s. Kind of a clichéd choice, but for a good
reason. The #6 is a dud though.

"HIP" ish - The recent Ádám Fischer set with the Danish CO is a lot of
fun, possibly too much fun.
--
- Alex Brown
M&S Frost
2021-01-20 18:38:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alex Brown
Post by Bob Harper
Konwitschny
Peter Maag
Historic - Furtwängler. Pristine does a nice "set" which tends to favour
earlier/war-time recordings.
Mainstream - Karajan 1960s. Kind of a clichéd choice, but for a good
reason. The #6 is a dud though.
"HIP" ish - The recent Ádám Fischer set with the Danish CO is a lot of
fun, possibly too much fun.
--
- Alex Brown
Never "too much fun." I agree completely with Adam Fischer. For mainstream I like Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin or Blomstedt/Dresden. But Karajan '63 is excellent also.

MIFrost
Chris from Lafayette
2021-01-20 20:45:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@nycap.rr.com
I have in my collection nine sets: Harnoncourt/COE, Bernstein/Vienna, Gardiner, Karajan ('62), Zinman/Tonholle, Barenboim/Staatskapelle Berlin, van Immerseel, Blomstedt/Dresden (not the new one) and the new one with Adam Fischer/Danish Somethingorother. The last two are top of the heap. They have it all. Sparkling, assertive, powerful - the works. Fischer I just got and I've been listening to it for a couple of days now. Just outstanding.
MIFrost
The best set is obvious: Wojciech Rajski and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of Sopot (on the Tacet label). It's not perfect, but it's still the best. (I only wish that Rajski would have let the strings play with more vibrato - sounds like HIP "vibrato bad" strictures have exerted too strong an influence!) But the sound quality is glorious on the most recent blu-ray audio incarnation in MCh (there were earlier incarnations on SACD and DVD-Audio), with the orchestra surrounding you - man, this is living, right in the middle of the orchestra!

And check out the customer reviews on Amazon - all are five stars, except for this one Kraut who complains about the singers' Polish accents and no doubt wants to invade Poland again. OK, maybe you're skeptical because you've never heard of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of Sopot. But, as we audiophiles have long known, these folks are great! Or as one of the Amazon posters notes: "The elegance, subtlety, delicacy, transparency and colour in Beethoven is often missed or underplayed. Weingartner captures those qualities and so too Toscanini in many of his recordings. Rajski does the same."

If you're too afraid to take a chance on Rajski and his Sopot players, you'll have to make do with the latest incarnation of Karajan's 70's DG set. It's been remastered on blu-ray audio into Dolby Atmos, and it sounds great - so make sure your ceiling speakers are up to snuff!
Reinhold Gliere
2021-01-20 20:59:42 UTC
Permalink
make do with the latest incarnation of Karajan's 70's DG set. It's been remastered on blu-ray audio into Dolby Atmos, and it sounds great - so make sure your ceiling speakers are up to snuff!

Were there any ceiling microphones present in the venue for this recording? If not turn off your ceiling speakers (if you have any) to preserve power to drive your other speakers.
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