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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies [Box set]

Staatskapelle Dresden , Beethoven , Herbert Blomstedt Audio CD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt
  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (11 Jun 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B007NCP86E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,100 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Adagio Molto - Allegro Con Brio
2. Andante Cantabile Con Moto
3. Menuetto & Trio: Allegro Molto E Vivace
4. Finale: Adagio - Allegro Molto E Vivace
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Adagio Molto - Allegro Con Brio
2. Larghetto
3. Scherzo & Trio: Allegro
4. Allegro Molto
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Allegro Con Brio
2. Andante Con Moto
3. Allegro
4. Allegro - Presto
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Poco Sostenuto - Vivace
2. Allegretto
3. Presto - Assai Meno Presto
4. Allegro Con Brio
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Allegro Ma Non Troppo, Un Poco Maestoso
2. Molto Vivace - Presto
3. Adagio Molto E Cantabile - Andante Moderato - Tempo I - Andante Moderato - Adagio - Lo Stesso Tempo
4. Presto, Allegro Ma Non Troppo - Various Performers

Product Description

Staatskapelle Dresden - Herbert Blomstedt, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather staid 19 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It may seem heresy,but i found theses recordings to be a bit dull...good enough,but lacking any real flair...Klemperer would be my choice,dozens of Beethoven sets later he still tops my list.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This set is also available in a different box without the notes included, but is cheaper and is the set I purchased.

Initially I wanted a good recording by a German orchestra, thinking there would be more of an authentic feel to it. I saw this and thought, yes, this should do the trick. However, I then did a bit of research on what else was out there and that's when the fun started.

Did I want a set played at Beethoven's correct metronome speed? With the reduced orchestra? With original instruments? Recorded digitally, analogue, stereo, mono? Well I listened to examples of all sorts of versions and also read countless reviews.

First of all I decided I didn't want the ultra fast stuff like that of Zinnerman. I wanted an up to date, crystal clear recording that wasn't too ponderous in the slow movements. So it was going to be Simon Rattle and the VPO, but when I played each sample against the recording by Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, Rattle's seemed a bit stark in comparison. Yes, it was crystal clear, but did I really prefer the fabulous lush sound of Barenboim with his larger orchestra even with the slower tempos? For two weeks I tormented myself. Each night I thought I'd be having one last listen and make my decision. Then I started to notice how Barenboim would accentuate certain parts, perhaps a bit too much and this annoyed me. I then read a review that had also picked up on this same thing. Of course this was only in certain places, but was this going to annoy me every time I played them? So I didn't want Barenboim and Rattle was to atiseptic.

At this stage I had decided that I wanted a lush sounding, well recorded version at a reasonable tempo and that's when I came back to Blomstedt.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven as it should be 26 Dec 2012
By W. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Have you ever listened to a Beethoven symphony that was too smooth sounding? Maybe the accents and dynamic of the score weren't being paid much attention to. The performance was just a performance and not really what Beethoven had intended his audience to experience. Beethoven was quite the revolutionary and after him everything changed. Nothing remained of the old musical word. Yes, it did take some time but not long after his death, his music was being performed at almost every music venue in Europe. That pretty much has continued to this day world wide. Complete recordings of his symphonies abound. And this is one of them. Great in conception and execution and performance. This little white cd box from Brilliant Classics with the nine Beethoven symphonies, conducted by quite possibly the greatest Beethoven conductor of his generation, Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Staaskapelle Dresden, quite possibly the finest Beethoven orchestra anywhere are contained in this little unassuming 5 cd case. These are exciting, engaging awesome performances and if you love Beethoven, you owe it to yourself to get this symphony cycle. The audio is upfront and crystal clear with a wide deep sound field. Alas, no booklet is included but after all this time who needs one. Not to be missed.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Beethoven Set 27 Jun 2013
By JohnK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This modestly-priced 5-CD set of Beethoven symphonies is my current favorite. Herbert Blomstedt, an underrated conductor who has spent much of his career in central Europe, always seems to pick just the right tempo for each movement and gets his superb orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, to rise to all the big moments in these familiar scores. The analog recordings from the late 1970's are excellent, with the woodwinds realistically balanced in the orchestra (not spotlit as in many other cases). There are no notes included in the set, nor are there any overtures. Though there are many other options for these symphonies, this set is a superb reference - and it comes at bargain price to boot!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plush renditions, superb in the slow movements 2 Mar 2014
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Herbert Blomstedt, the Swedish conductor, become the Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 1975, where he stayed until 1985. This was unusual given that Dresden was in the DDR -- East Germany. More unusual, Blomstedt was (and remains) a devout Seventh Day Adventist. He was leading the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the same period (1977-1982), so he must have been quite busy. According to the Berlin Classics liner notes the SD, which chose Blomstedt, "was never looked upon very favourably by the ruling party."

The Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the world's oldest (founded in 1548) and finest symphony orchestras. It was certainly in prime condition from 1975 to 1980 when this Beethoven cycle was recorded. The recordings were made in the acoustically excellent Lukaskirche in Dresden. So the sound is magnificent. Blomstedt's interpretations, however, are not very exciting. The tempos are slow, and tend to sound sluggish when more dynamism is called for in the fast movements. It is in the slow movements that Blomstedt and this fine orchestra shine. The Adagio of the Third, for instance, is very moving in stark contrast to the more famous Karajan/BPO 1962 recording. In the Ninth, the Molto vivace is clumsy where it should be dazzling and light on its feet, but the Adagio is one of the finest I've heard, just incomparably lovely.

For Beethoven in a similar traditional vein I prefer Gunter Wand's cycle with the NDR Hamburg orchestra, recorded in the late 1980s. Perhaps the best, though, is the more recent cycle from Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

This is the latest in a series of Brilliant reissues of this cycle. It was originally released by Berlin Classics, and its most recent box, in the Brilliant style with the discs in cardboard sleeves, is also still available, with a booklet including liner notes.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a neophyte, but sounds great to me... 19 Jan 2014
By Jonathan S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am new to listening to classical music, so please don't take my review too seriously. Nonetheless, I wanted to say that I have listened to these recordings of Beethoven symphonies and thoroughly enjoyed them. Despite being analog recordings, the sound quality is very high. I will also say that I researched reviews of these Blomstedt/Staatskapelle Dresden recordings broadly across the web, and nearly everybody states this is the best of bargain-priced versions and perhaps as good as many of the more expensive, more famous recordings.

The box contains 5 cds in cardboard sleeves, with no notes, or anything, but I'm not sure why one would pay extra for notes with so much information available on the Internet.

Anyway, a purchase well worth the money.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rank 3 Aug 2013
By ken100 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Grammophone Magazine gave this set a 10/10 for performance and sound quality. I agree. Excellent and at a budget price, too.
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