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Beethoven: Symphonies [Box set, Original recording remastered]

Claudio Abbado Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 43.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Claudio Abbado enjoyed an international career almost without parallel, and occupied a position of unique standing in the musical world.

Admired and loved by the artists with whom he collaborated, he astonished and delighted audiences with the vivacity and poise of music-making and through his career as a conductor he took in a remarkable range of composers’ works.

Abbado was ... Read more in Amazon's Claudio Abbado Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Nov 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B00004YZ33
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,419 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. 1. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
2. 2. Andante cantabile con moto
3. 3. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace)
4. 4. Finale (Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace)
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. 1. Allegro con brio
2. 2. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)
3. 3. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
4. 4. Finale (Allegro molto)
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. 1. Allegro con brio
2. 2. Andante con moto
3. 3. Allegro
4. 4. Allegro
See all 9 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. 1. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
2. 2. Allegretto
3. 3. Presto - Assai meno presto
4. 4. Allegro con brio
See all 8 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. 1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
2. 2. Molto vivace
3. 3. Adagio molto e cantabile
4. 4. Presto - Allegro assai
See all 5 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

An interview with Claudio Abbado in the booklet accompanying these CDs reveals just how long and hard he has been thinking about Beethoven. In the light of Abbado's ruminations about Beethoven's metronome markings, various textual discrepancies and other issues surrounding the symphonies, it is hardly surprising he has decided to follow his cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic dating from the Eighties with a new one with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Like increasing numbers of conductors, Abbado uses as a basis Jonathan Del Mar's exhaustive critical edition of the symphonies (occasionally overruling Del Mar where musical reasons dictate), and achieves something rather noteworthy: making the Berlin Phil sound like a modern, compact, efficient ensemble. Any ingrained orchestral habits were made easier to overcome by the relative youth of its players these days, and Abbado has been able to fashion them into the pared-down, no-nonsense orchestra one hears here. Forces are reduced, tempi are fast, dynamics informed by the latest scholarship. So what does it sound like?

One potential pitfall of being as businesslike as Abbado has made himself is the neglect of expression. A clattering and cacophonous finale to the Seventh, hurtling heedless to its conclusion, is an example; and here, as occasionally elsewhere, Abbado's high-octane dramatics can seem self-conscious and calculatedly brutal. For the most part, however, Abbado skilfully deploys his forces to reveal the sort of subtleties often swamped in the wash of sound generated by a larger ensemble. The Larghetto in the Second is such an instance, a model of lucidity and detail which sacrifices nothing of its free-flowing warmth. It is also a cycle of remarkable quietness - even more than the triumphal finale to the Fifth, one is struck by the two minutes that precede it, which push at the very limits of audibility.

Like David Zinman's recent cycle, which also uses Del Mar's edition, Abbado's has a highly integrated feel: very much of a piece, it is consistent in style and coherent in vision. Like it or not, it throws out a stimulating challenge to any listener concerned with the continuing metamorphosis of Beethoven performance.

© BBC Music Magazine 2000

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Fast Version 28 Jun 2001
Format:Audio CD
Abbado's new Beethoven set is fleet with a strong sense of movement without loss of details, with excellent playing by the Berliners. Barenboim's new set (equally excellent in an entirely different way) dwells lovingly over the details without losing forward movement. I would not want to be without either set.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Beethoven Cycle 8 May 2004
Format:Audio CD
This Beethoven Cycle is a revelation. I have never heard such a consistantly involving and rewarding set. It sounds as if Abbado has reduced the size of the Berlin PO considerably to almost chamber orchestra proportions - none of Karajans thick soupiness here!! The result is a set of extremely powerful and urgent readings with a beautiful lightness and delicacy. The "Pastoral" now has to be the finest before the public even eclipsing the famous VPO/Bohm version. As for No.7, the finale takes your breath away - how did the orchestra do it? The crowning glory, No.9, as it should be with superb choral forces and fully integrated soloists. Abbado and DG should be very proud of this production.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 10 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I thought Abbado's symphonies are among the best I've heard, if not, the best. He executes unbelievable emotive power throughout. Apart from some careless intonation occurrences, this is a faultless Beethoven cycle, and well worth the money. The Berlin Phil., as ever, brilliant!
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4 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 28 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Beethoven a master of classical music sets out his heavy and toneful style in his undisputed 9 symphonies, of which includes the famous "Choral", which is adapted from german origin to be sang in many languages. a MUST BUY for music fans.
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1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Eunuch for the Sake of the Kingdom 7 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD
Origen is one of the few Church Fathers who was not lumbered with sainthood. There are three reasons for this. His Christology was proto-orthodox - whatever that means; secondly, such was the breadth of God's salvific power, he so adjudged, it is possible even for the Devil to be saved at the end of time (his ecclesiastical buddies pulled out the red pen for this one). Worst still, in his eagerness to follow in the steps of Christ, Origen took Matthew 19:12 literally:

"For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."

Snip - Snip - Bigger Snip - Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now who would willingly become a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom? What would ever possess a right-minded person to castrate himself down to the hilt? Surely the nut-house and the zapper await any such buggers!

But wait, an example comes to mind: Maestro Claudio Abbado, the former head conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Back in the 1980s, he undertook a cycle of the Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic Beethoven;Overtures. While it was as boring as bat-poop at least it was boringly traditional. But then Claudio had an `On the Road to Hogwood' experience where he was knocked off his motorised trolley. Being boring was not enough: he had to be sterile as well. Accordingly, that meant imbibing all the horror of period practice.
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