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Beethoven: Symphonies; Overtures /Anima Eterna van Immerseel [Box set]

Bart Meynckens , Joachim Brackx , Klaus Schredl , Ludwig van Beethoven , Jos van Immerseel , et al. Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 38.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Anima Eterna
  • Conductor: Jos van Immerseel
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (28 April 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Zig Zag Territoires
  • ASIN: B0014WSWTY
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,574 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

ZZT 080402; ZIG ZAG TERRITOIRES - FRANCIA; Classica Orchestrale

Customer Reviews

4 star
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
By Colin Fortune VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I had not come across Immerseel and Anima Eterna -interestingly Flemish/Dutch/German (?)and Latin for the phrase "eternal soul" - until a friend recommended this set as being outstanding in many areas. It is, and they are!

Firstly, Anima Eterna have a distinctive sound. They play the symphonies and overtures at a high "Viennese" pitch that makes for a bright and exciting listening experience (A = 440). A so-called "original instrument" band (as opposed to a present-day symphony orchestra playing in an "historically informed" manner, as on the Norrington/Hansler set) they play on Nineteenth Century instruments or on copies of originals. The strings use thick gut strings and an assortment of different bows - we can assume the the players have eschewed the post Paginini school of fingering - playing for the most part without vibrato, and only using it very sparingly for specific effects. The double-basses use frets for increased accuracy of intonation and are tuned in fourths, a "modern" innovation in Beethoven's day, and they seem to be four string models (i.e. not three string) one at least of which can find the low C required. The horns are valveless, the trumpets long and the trombones small bore. Small and tight timpani are very much to the fore in the balance.

This orchestra is very small (twenty-four strings, rising to thirty-three in the Choral Symphony, for example) but plays within an acoustic that delivers more than satisfactory weight and heft, whilst at the same time being superbly attuned to the delicacy of much of Beethoven's writing.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise never lost and yet regained 3 Feb 2010
By Chyron
Format:Audio CD
Here is a Beethoven symphony cycle (again) on period instruments (again). So why should it stick out in the midst of dozens of other cycles ? Yet it does stick out.
These symphonies by Jos Van Immerseel and his small-scale orchestra Anima Eterna are all fresh, full of tintillating life. In fact, the orchestra is perfectly modelled on the size of the symphony orchestra in Beethoven's time, everything has been done in an effort to recreate the sound that Beethoven sought to create and that he would have heard (or wish to hear)himself. The details about the research and the production are explained in a well-written multilingual booklet included in the box.
The sounds. These symphonies are a wealth of sounds, I have never before heard the percussion so clearly and the same goes for practically every individual instrument and yet the music flows and sings with all instruments together, dynamically and harmoniously : this is pure heaven.
I'm very fond of Beethoven's symphonies and I have some two dozen complete cycles in my collection but this one went straight to the top as one of the very, very best.

These were my impressions after I bought the set some 18 months ago and they still hold, even though a few more cycles have since come to caress my senses (and enhance my space-consuming collection). Van Immerseel's cycle is still unique and my favourite for sheer refreshing beauty that captures the attention no matter how often you've heard the music before.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh sound, appropriate performances 13 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Rip-snorting performances here, fast but not too much so, with lots of oomph and attention to detail. Of course with sets like this, listeners will like some better than others, as I did. Overall though these performances sound as they likely would have in Beethoven's time and that is the mark of a good period performance. Emphases on particular sections within the orchestra are often different than modern performances which makes the listening experience fresh. My favourites, the Eroica, the Seventh and Coriolan overture are exhilarating. A pity not all the overtures were included (e.g. the Leonoras) - some, perhaps not all, of those missing could have fitted without creating an extra CD. Recording quality is full and warm, the cellos and basses are especially rich and the brass is bright and clear (if occasionally a little too forward). This is passionate and exciting playing. I do recommend the similarly-exuberant and well-recorded Harnoncourt overtures CD. Likewise the Gardiner set is arguably still a rival, and there are many individual modern performances, like some of Masur's (on PHILIPS not the disastrously remixed dried-out Pentatone SACDs) and Paita's glorious Eroica, that still stand up well, but I feel as a set this one pretty well wipes the opposition off the board, both period and modern. I'll keep my other ones, but I would be happy with this set alone.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful conception and outstanding playing 20 Sep 2009
Format:Audio CD
However well you know the Beethoven symphonies, if you haven't heard Immerseel's interpretations you are missing something really special. In conception and in execution these performances are outstanding. In every movement the musicians of Anima Eterna say something new, made possible by the chamber-music-like ensemble they achieve with their modest number of strings balancing the wind and brass. The virtuosity of these players on their period instruments is outstanding. The inner clarity, textures, and colours are perhaps closer to Beethoven's own conceptions and harmonic intentions than we have heard. The generally fast speeds allow rhythm and phrasing that are perhaps closer to Beethoven's melodic intentions that we are used to hearing. No single interpretation of these sublime works will ever be definitive, but you should not miss these.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks you previous reviewers
I did not know of this set until I came across reviews on Amaxon and I am still getting to know it - my comparisons have been with Harnoncourt and Haitink. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lance Edwards
2.0 out of 5 stars A Horticultural Experiment
I have a black thumb. I destroy flora. Last spring, I wanted to avert the usual result with my tomatoes (there's a small green-house out the back). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars THE top period instrument set for me!!
There isn't much more I can say about Anima Eterna/Immerseel's recording which hasn't already been said by previous reviewers, except it's fantastic! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scott N.
5.0 out of 5 stars An especially good and convincing set of period instrument recordings
This set, well recorded between 2005 and 2007, comes with an informative and thorough booklet in several languages, but each one taking up about 30 pages of text. Read more
Published 13 months ago by I. Giles
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that successful for basic reasons
I have been fairly disappointed by this cycle, and certainly far less impressed than most reviewers here on Amazon. Read more
Published on 30 May 2012 by Long-Time Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this project
I love this project, good and services purchased and mailed the product is brand new, in line with the expectations of buyers.
Published on 26 April 2012 by chen chien hsin
If you have already purchased the Chilly version of the complete cyle,the the next stage is to this verriod instruments. Read more
Published on 17 Dec 2011 by Mr. M. Beebeejaun
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music at bargain price.
I agree with the opinion of other reviewers.This is a superb complete set of the symphonies.
This is an excellent set if you are looking for a small orchestra playing with... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2010 by Guilherme Canta
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's get this into perspective ...
This is a really good set - one of the best of the last 20 years - but for me it doesn't dominate the field to the extent that other reviews here seem to suggest. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2010 by enthusiast
5.0 out of 5 stars A song of joy
I am not someone who has heard all the Beethoven sets available (life`s too short for one thing) or one who simply has to hear every single recording by Furtwangler, say, or... Read more
Published on 10 Dec 2009 by GlynLuke
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