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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies Box set

16 customer reviews

Price: £14.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
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£14.81 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Frequently Bought Together

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Product details

  • Performer: Ruth Ziesak, Birgit Remmert, Steve Davislim, Detlef Roth
  • Orchestra: Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, Swiss Chamber Choir
  • Conductor: David Zinman
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (1 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Classics
  • ASIN: B00000IFP6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,392 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Adagio molto
2. Andante cantabile con moto
3. Menuetto
4. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Allegro con brio
2. Marcia funebre
3. Scherzo
4. Finale - Allegro molto
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Allegro con brio
2. Andante con moto
3. Allegro
4. Allegro
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
2. Allegretto
3. Presto
4. Allegro con brio
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Allegro ma non troppo
2. Molto vivace
3. Adagio molto e cantabile
4. Presto
See all 6 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Colin Fortune VINE VOICE on 13 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Any complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies by the same forces will be bound to have weaker and stronger moments. This excellent Zinman and Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra set has fewer weak moments than most others and delivers a refreshing and often illuminating view of the symphonies, based on the new Barenreiter editions. This is modern instrument Beethoven but with "period" considerations like sparing use of vibrato in the strings, natural horns, small timpani hit with hard sticks, and tempi that are invigoratingly swift. Throughout, Zinman shows himself to be a Beethoven interpreter of great standing.

But there are bound to be a few quibbles. In the early symphonies, and most notably in the first movement of the 5th, the oboe parts are ornamented on occasions. I found this is initially very surprising and interesting, but a player's ornamentation is precisely for that particular moment. Compact discs offer repeatable recorded music and I wonder if the effect will eventually pall. The tenor ornaments his part in the 9th also. Whether you like this or not is a matter of taste. For me the jury is out on the question of whether or not it will repeat satisfactorily. Also, if the Tonhalle Orchestra has played with first and second violins to the left and right respectively, then the "period" arrangement of the orchestra would have been recreated - and in any case this has the effect of clarifying even further the fugal writing in the music. But these remarks are only quibbles and are not of major importance.

More importantly, the 9th Symphony is presented in what is in effect a "chamber" version by today's standards, with a smallish choir and orchestra.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on 22 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is more surprising than the period instrumental renditions by Hanover Band or Academy of Ancient Music. There are more variety and freer handling of types and dynamics of sound and witty articulation on the modern instruments. Zinman's rendition here inspires the feeling that the modern orchestra might well be good at HIP (Historically Informed Performers) as the replacement for the reign of orchestras with original instruments. It makes sense that HIPs are not only for original instrumentalists as their main function is not only the sound of the instruments, but also, and more importantly the interpretation of the time and of the impression and effect in perception that were to be caused accordingly.

Overall performance were illustrated with sharp dynamic contrast (much sharper than evr), marked staccato playing and convincing taking of rhythm with real vitality. Inner parts are really audible as they were punctuated with effective emphasis in particularly remarked phrases, which is very interesting to actually hear them that clearly. Zinman has a great control over the orchestra and succeeds to display some of the most remarkable musical quality of Beethoven.
The liner note mentions that New Barenreiter Edition was used and there were quite a few surprising changes from other renditions supposingly Zinman were making some optional decisions that apparently had come across with the recent Urtext Edition.

It did give me an impression that as if I were listening to those symphonies for the first time. Zinman recreates somehow as if it were performed at the primitive state. Emotional involvement is great although it sounds awfully brisk and straight. It is a conservatiove way of stating emotions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 12 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
A steal at any price, this justly acclaimed set of Beethoven's symphonies performed using the Jonathan Del Mar-edited scores should find a home in any classical music lover's collection. Among the highlights are superb performances of the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th symphonies; Zinman's version of the "Pastorale" seems as fresh and vibrant as those conducted by Karl Bohm and Bruno Walter. His version of the 5th is among the finest I've heard, eclipsed only by Karajan's first Deutsche Grammophon cycle and Carlos Kleiber's definitive Deutsche Grammophon recording with the Vienna Philharmonic back in the mid 1970's. With the exception of the 9th Symphony, which I find a bit too brisk, the other performances are quite good too, though I believe that better ones exist, most notably Nikolaus Harnoncourt's Teldec cycle with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Arte Nova's sound engineers deserve highest praise for an exceptional set of recordings which equal the best from the major labels. Somehow they and Zinman have magically transformed the Tonhalle Orchestra, a major symphony orchestra, into a large chamber ensemble. Although this is not my primary recommendation as a definitive Beethoven symphony cycle, it remains a splendid introduction to Beethoven's symphonies from the fresh perspective of Jonathan Del Mar.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R.Powell on 14 Jun. 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is surely one of the defining symphonic cycles of recent years. Zinman and the Tonhalle give new perspective on Beethoven's music and allow you to see it in a fresh new light. The edition of the symphonies they use is the new barenrieter one by Andrew Del Mar. Zinman's visionary style of interpretation coupled with the Tonhalle Zurich's virtuosity and prescise ensemble make this one of the most prized cds in my collection. I have several sets of the complete Beethoven Symphonies and have heard many more but I have yet to find a complete cycle to match this.

Symphony No.1 is played with a rhythmic prescision and articulation that alot of conductors spend hours in rehearsals begging from ensembles. The refreshingly brisk tempi give the work a classical feel but without dismissing the Beethoven that is yet to come with pounding timpani and looming brass making the symphony a real genuine pleasure to listen to. Symphony No.2 is also played equally well with even more emphasis on Beethovens growing maturity as a composer.

The 3rd, the "Eroica", really does some up the entire cycle. It is through this recording that I truly began to realise why this is one of the most revolutionary musical works of all time. Again fast tempi are used but I really do feel that this recording is as close as we'll ever get to hearing the "Eroica" in the way that Beethoven mould have wanted, from the violent brass and timpani chords of the first movement to the gut wrenching funeral march and then through the lively scherzo onto the victorious finale. There is no needless emphasis on musical changes of direction but instead, Zinmans lack of emphasis on them makes them seem even more shocking when they occur.
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