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Symphonies 1-3: Egmont: Incidental Music and Import

Price: £27.00
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant Beethoven 16 Oct. 2003
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on Amazon.com
The Supraphon label has been doing an excellent job of reissuing large parts of their back catalog over the last few years. Not only are they remastering the numerous recordings of conductor Karel Ancerl in the "Gold Edition" (see my reviews), but they are also releasing many of the Czech Philharmonic's performances with visiting conductors. One such reissue is a brilliant Beethoven Symphony Cycle with conductor Paul Kletzki, of which this set is Volume 1. As the track information is non-existent above, allow me to mention that this is a 2-CD set with disc one featuring the 1st and 2nd Symphonies, and disc two featuring the 3rd Symphony and Egmont Overture. The Egmont was recorded in 1964, the 3rd in 1967, and the 1st and 2nd in 1968, and they are all in stereo. My first introduction to Kletzki as a conductor was via a now out-of-print EMI Seraphim of the 2nd Sibelius Symphony, and the volume dedicated to him in the "Great Conductors of the Century" series (see my review of the latter). The liner notes of the Great Conductors disc heaped praise on the Kletzki Beethoven performances featured here, and I can now see why. The performances are magical, with excellent pacing, revealing the vast intricacies of the music. While other Beethoven Cycles undoubtedly receive more accolades, this is an excellent set that no serious collector should be without. However, those looking for their first Beethoven Cycle or Symphony purchase, the Szell/Cleveland recordings on Sony Essential Classics are still the best buy in classical music (see my reviews).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent! 5 May 2007
By L. Johan - Published on Amazon.com
Paul Kletzki's Beethoven symphony cycle from 1964-68, with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is not as famous as other cycles from the same era. However, it deserves to be ranked very highly, in the ideal Beethoven Symphony Hall of Fame. Because Kletzki's interpretations are nothing but first rate performances. If you're used to other, more "mainstream" interpretations, these recordings will show you a truer Beethoven, or at least a Beethoven that you haven't heard before. The power, presence, and passion of these performances are simply breathtaking.

The orchestra deserves a special comment. The departments play with an electrifying commitment, which might be a rare thing when it comes to standard repertoire works. It's like they played this music for the first time. If you'll not be moved by this, nothing ever will.

Finally, the Supraphone engineering is excellent, capturing the spaciousness of the fine Dvorák Hall of the Rudolfinum Hall in Prague.

In sum, this is a magnificent Beethoven symphony cycle to cherish. I rank it together with Klemperer's (EMI), Furtwängler's (Music & Arts, EMI), Toscanini's (RCA), and Weingartner's (Opus Kura, Naxos) as one of the best cycles on record. Warmly and strongly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mercurial and epic Beethoven! 24 Dec. 2010
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
At the moment to regard the greatest Beethovenian conductors, we usually tend to forget the admired and talented Paul Kletzki, one of these phenomenal and admirable stars of the baton.

These authoritative performances posses volcanic flair, conviction and commitment. The Czech Philharmonic - one of the top ten Orchestras in the world -also deserves a special mention.

The Eroica Symphony is perhaps the major achievement. Plenty of febrile passion and heroic vitality. The Egmont is not at the same level respect Fricsay's version but even so, captures with faithful accuracy the epic rage and myhthical approach that demands this transcendental Overture.

Make yourself a favor and get this set. You won't believe it.
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