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Symphonies No. 1 - 9 [Box set]

Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra , BEETHOVEN , Skrowaczewski Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £38.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Skrowaczewski
  • Composer: BEETHOVEN
  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Oehms
  • ASIN: B000O78B14
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Skrowaczewski/RSO Saarbrucken/+

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please ignore the negative reviews of this set 13 Jun 2014
Please do not be influenced by the two negative reviews as I have to concur with everything that the two positive reviewers say.

I have also recently come across these interpretations and I have been amazed at how consistently good they are. I agree with the reviewer regarding Klieber being better in the 5th; but not enormously so. And when you include the fabulous clear sound and believable perspective of these recordings it is well worth buying them as a valuable addition to your collection.

I also agree with the reviewer who feels the the Pastoral shines out among these recordings: it is truly sublime. Skrowaczewski's interpretation really does convey the sense of this symphony being the expression of an early 19thC Romantic sensibility rather than tone painting. Truly wonderful.

As an update to the positive reviews: the BBC Radio 3 building a library feature on CD Review recommended the complete set of symphonies 1-9 as their building a library 1st choice in May 2014 and have recently recommended the version of Symphony No.2 ( paired with number 3 on a two disc set) as their 1st choice also. Who are you going to believe when it comes to how good this set is? Please!
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity at last! 13 Jun 2008
By Dace Gisclard - Published on Amazon.com
I couldn't agree more with Mr. Steiger's positive review of this set, and I share his opinion of the 6th. At last a first movement that doesn't sound like Beethoven is rushing through the countryside on the autobahn; at last a slow movement that sounds like Beethoven is really relaxing by the brook, not just impatiently waiting for the tour bus to arrive! The single positive quality that impresses me most about this set is its sane tempi, uninfluenced by trendy notions about following the composer's obviously flawed metronome markings. I've had quite enough of sets like that, resulting in performances that are rushed to the point of trivializing the music-I include Gardiner, Abaddo (Berlin) and Zinman among others. This is NOT to say that Skrowaczewski's tempi are predominantly slow-he merely allows each movement to project its own character. If that calls for a more moderate tempo than is currently fashionable, he does so--if not, he does so--this demonstrates brave independence of spirit. Skrowaczewski remarks on this very thing in the booklet, quoting Weber's remark, "Never mind about marks on paper-use your brain"-I couldn't agree more. The Fifth and Seventh bristle with energy, as does the Ninth, when called for, but the slow movement has all the expansiveness one could wish, without dragging. The orchestra plays wonderfully, In the scherzo of No.3, the horns positively bloom in the trio-often a moment of embarassment. The playing is full of delicious touches like this. As for the text, I don't have access to a copy of the new Barenreiter editions, so I couldn't say whether or not Skrowaczewski uses it-does anyone know?--input, please! Perhaps these remarks seem a bit "scattershot", but it's difficult not to enthuse over this set. Bravo, maestro, I hope you chance to read this-I'm one of your biggest fans!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subime performances! 17 Feb 2008
By Richard Steiger - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I can't claim to have heard all of the sets of the complete Beethoven symphonies, but I've heard more than my share, and this set, in terms of both performance and recording, is far and away the best I've heard. Skrowaczewski's performances always sound perfectly natural, neither inflated nor trivialized, and the work of his orchestra is beyond praise. Though all of the performaces are outstanding, I would single out the Pastoral, the finest performance of the work I've heard. As one example among so many, listen to the rapt slow movement, particularly the second theme, which opens with a solo bassoon, joined after a few measures by the violas and cellos. As Skrowaczewski plays it, the frail sound of the bassoon registers very softly (but audibly) until the theme is underlined by the strings. It's absolutely beautiful here. Over the years I've found it harder and harder to listen to the Ninth, since performances are so often overloaded with gestures of profundity that usually translate into sheer ponderousness. Skrowaczewski plays the first movement as if it were middle rather than late Beethoven, and if he misses some of the mystery of the movement more than compensates with energy and structural coherence. I found the performance shattering. If I have any complaint at all, it's that the slow movement of the Seventh seems to me a bit too fast and detached and its finale could use a bit more adrenaline, but those are tiny complaints and may reflect my taste more than any reasonably objective opinion. By the way, Skrowaczewski separates first and second violins, producing some marvellous effects, particularly in the Fourth and Seventh symphonies. Add glorious sound to the performances (the Eroica is a live performance, the rest are studio performances) and you have a set indispensable to beginners and veterans alike.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A super "sleeper" choice. 4 July 2010
By J. K. Davis MD - Published on Amazon.com
I haven't heard every complete cycle of the Beethoven symphonies, but I have heard most of them, and this is certainly the best in recent years. I think the even numbered symphonies and the 9th come off best, but if the 5th and 7th don't match Kleiber, they certainly surpass Norrington (Stuttgart, don't even mention his first attempt in London), Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Zinman, and the rest of the "period instrument", "period practice" and chamber orchestra (Dausgaard, Jarvi) versions.
The recorded sound is excellent, and the playing of the Saarbrucken orchestra superb. I only came upon Skrowaczewski this year. He has an excellent Bruckner cycle
in recent years, and terrific interpretions of Brahms, Shostakovich, Bartok and Beethoven going back to the 1960's. A more humane Szell in vastly better sound would
be a fair assessment.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happend? 11 Jun 2014
By Cantus Arcticus - Published on Amazon.com
I own a lot of complete symphonies editions: Bernstein, Karajan, Zinman, Barenboim, Abbado, Cluytens, Sawallisch, Gardiner, Hogwood and..... this one.
Resume of this record: Buy anyone of the above one's. You make a much better deal then this! What happend, that such a well-known conductor failed so hard while interpreting Beethoven? Especially the 7th: There is no brass, no horn existing?? Especially in the first movement at the beginning of the Vivace part,...nothing!! And so on and so on... This is a perfect case study in what happens, when a conductor disregard the composers instructions.
3 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars shockingly bad conducting 9 Sep 2009
By Eric Zuesse - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
These are remarkably dainty, even balletic, performances of the Beethoven symphonies; it's really shocking coming from Skrowaczewski, who aced the 11 Bruckner Symphonies. I have both of those complete symphony sets, and the Beethoven performances are lousy, they're all dainty, whereas the only Bruckner Symphony that Skrowaczewski renders with even touches of daintiness is the 3rd. On Bruckner, Skrowaczewski is more often craggy. How amazing that a great Bruckner conductor diminishes Beethoven like this!

The dainty treatment is disastrous on the heroic symphonies such as the 3rd, 5th, and 9th, but isn't as disastrous on the 6th or "Pastorale," since it comes across as very sunny, which might be okay. But if Skrowaczewski were to be judged by only his recordings in this Beethoven Symphonies set, I'd say he's not a very good conductor. None of the performances in this set are good. Skrowaczewski's Beethoven symphonies are an an insult to Beethoven, even though the touches of elegance do provide some distinction to some of these performances (such as 6&7).

Skrowaczewski performs Beethoven as if Beethoven were Rameau. How odd! How inappropriate -- Beethoven symphonies performed as if they were elegant dances for an audience of the French king and his aristocrats. Beethoven would have puked to hear Skrowaczewki's performances of his symphonies.
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