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Mengelberg Conducts Beethoven [Box set]

Willem Mengelberg Audio CD

Price: £28.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Disc: 1
1. Symphony No.1 in C major Op.21
2. Symphony No.3 in E flat major Op.55
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No.4 in B flat Op.60
2. Symphony No.5 in C minor Op.67
Disc: 3
1. Symphony No.6 in F major Op.68 (pastoral)
2. Symphony No.8 in F major Op.93
3. The Creatures of Prometheus - Ballet music Op.43

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more cookie-cutter Beethoven! 16 July 2000
By Ralph J. Steinberg - Published on Amazon.com
Being that there are so many faceless and characterless Beethoven sets on the CD market today, this set comes as a refreshing reminder of the days when interpreters were INVOLVED with the music they played! Yes, these are individualistic performances, but as in the case of Furtwaengler, this is the work of a thinker, a seeker who is not afraid of personal committment to the works he performs. And in fact, all of his tempo modifications seem to naturally arise from the ebb and flow of the music itself, rather than being imposed upon it. I find these Telefunken renditions much superior both in sound and in interpretation to the live Beethoven recordings on Music and Arts (formerly on Philips), which seemed unnatural and mannered in comparison to the smooth integration of tempi on the Pearl set. If you listen to this set at one sitting, I suggest you save the "Eroica" for the last, as this is one of the two or three greatest accounts of the score. By contrast, his older version with the NY Philharmonic on Biddulph sounds hopelessly stodgy, and the sound on that recording is wretchedly poor. The whole Pearl set is a real treasure, and here's hoping that the rest of Mengelberg's Telefunken recordings find their way to CD.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unique and gripping 17 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Mengelberg is sometimes guilty of "changements" in his interpretations. But he invariably delivers. His Beethoven Symphonies set (excluding the 9th)is in remarkably clear sound for prewar recordings - thanks to Obert-Thorn whose only rival is probably Marston. Mengelberg`s tempos are generally brisk and intense. Mostly,he is faithful to the printed score. But he does take liberties. He is less expansive than Klemperer but he does succeed convincingly with such a well-trained orchestra which he ruled for 50 years!This CD set together with the currently available Music & Arts 9th Symphony and 5th/6th on Teldec are highly recommended. But beware that the latter Teldec 5th is from 1942 and not 1937 according to the liner notes in this Pearl set.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent historic sound 24 Mar 2012
By John Austen - Published on Amazon.com
I expected to suffer through the sound on this set--and maybe suffer through the interpretations as well--for the sake of an archeologically interesting experience. I was wrong. Pearl is generally of the "snap, crackle and pop" school of restoration--faithful to the original, but warts and all--and I appreciate its faithfulness. But this set has excellent sound for its age, and remarkably little background noise. As for the interpretations, they would not be anyone's first choice--and they do have some of the "swooping strings" of the period--but they are also remarkably spry and often revealing. And (surprisingly, perhaps) there is sometimes a directness that feels almost naive, but which brushes the cobwebs off well-known passages (some of the bucolic effects in the 6th, for instance). Overall, while this set is clearly of "niche" interest, it is nevertheless of more than purely historic significance; it is an interpretation of genuine importance in good period sound.
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