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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh as Paint, Cheap as Chips
The restoration of a 'old master' may produce results that shock. The shock can be healthy - if it is the effect of glimpsing the truth after having been used to seeing only a disfigured, obscured image. There is something of that shock in listening to the Beethoven symphonies under Mackerras - and very healthy it is too!
There is something essentially vernal, fresh,...
Published on 11 Mar. 2003 by R. C. Ross

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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven at the double
I haven't played all the symphonies on this because I can't stand it. Number 8 appeared to be trying for the Guiness world record for playing it the fastest. Same for No.s 7 and 5. I shall be donating it to a charity shop.
Published on 7 Mar. 2009 by P. D. Atkinson


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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh as Paint, Cheap as Chips, 11 Mar. 2003
By 
R. C. Ross (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
The restoration of a 'old master' may produce results that shock. The shock can be healthy - if it is the effect of glimpsing the truth after having been used to seeing only a disfigured, obscured image. There is something of that shock in listening to the Beethoven symphonies under Mackerras - and very healthy it is too!
There is something essentially vernal, fresh, spring-like about Mackerras's direction. These are in no sense heavy-handed 'interpretations'. They spring and bound along - often at a cracking pace. Only occasionally does this approach seem to go against the grain. The finale of the Eroica is surely too jaunty (dancing sailors on the poop-deck) and the 'big' Eighth symphony is too breathless for its real grandeur to register. But in most cases the results are splendid - in the 4th; 5th; 6th 7th and 9th the results are triumphantly good. Mackerras's tempi in the finale of the 9th are radically different from many other performances - but they sound 'right', the 'traditional' approach sounding moribund by comparison (by-the-way, the soloists blend beautifully in the 9th, the fresh-voiced choir match the mood).
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Value, 30 Dec. 2005
By 
G BERRY (BOLTON, Lancashire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
If you like your LvB symphonies played with metronome precision and orchestrated predicability, then these recordings are not for you.
The RLPO and Sir Charles have produced a magnificent series, I believe just what LvB would have wanted, you will never 'nod off' listening to these interpretations.
Every forte is a big/big sound, the tempo are usually very aggressive, the crescendi/diminuendi are beautifully controlled and the ensemble melodic lines are played in complete unison.
An excellent series by this excellent UK Orchestra,
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performances, excellent value for money!, 10 Aug. 2006
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
At the new low price (around £10) this set offers outstanding value for money. Sir Charles adopts a middle course, injecting plenty of life into these works without being too highly-driven or histrionic. The use of hard sticks for the drums pays due regard to periodic performing practices but the use of modern instruments is easier on the ear than period instruments. These interpretations are ideal for someone coming new to Beethoven who wants to explore these glorious symphonies without spending lots of cash.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 24 Feb. 2007
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Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
If you're new to Beethoven and want to see just what he has to offer, then you can't do any better than starting here. For an amazing price you get all of his symphonies in one package. OK, the recordings may not be up to the standard of others out there, but they are fine for first time listeners and casual classical lovers (such as myself). You get a comprehensive booklet, all of his symphonies and I really can't recommend this selection enough for a great introduction to Beethoven.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bargain basement Beethoven, 2 April 2007
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
There is an ever-growing number of recordings of Beethoven symphony cycles available, creating a somewhat daunting task for one who is looking for the answer to the question `which one is best?' It's all a matter of personal choice of course, some consider the most faithful and accurate interpretation to be best, while others take the most dynamic and exciting to mean best.

What is almost indisputable however is that this Beethoven symphony collection, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded on various dates between 1991 and 1997 is probably the best value of its type currently available.

The 9 symphonies, on 5 discs, are neatly packaged into a double width CD case, with a comprehensive 24 page booklet insert (all in English) explaining the story behind each symphony, some notes by Jonathan Del Mar on the Urtext editions (which these are) and some pictures of Sir Charles Mackerras and a suitably stern-looking Ludwig van Beethoven.

The performances throughout the symphonies are good, although I'm admittedly a little biased towards the Liverpool Philharmonic, having seen some outstanding performances from them on several occasions, and the recordings, while not the brightest and most dynamic I have heard, have been overly criticised I feel.

This is a great low-cost opportunity to buy the complete Beethoven symphonies - for the novice wanting perhaps to purchase them for the first time, and for the collector, who can add another interpretation of these masterpieces to their library.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Beethoven, 29 Jun. 2007
By 
Colin Main (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
As someone to whom classical music has been something other people listen to and enjoy, I felt I ought to give Beethoven a chance. After all, he has remained popular for far longer than most of the music I normally listen to.

I originally wanted the 5th symphony (ta-ta-ta-duuum, ta-ta-ta-duuum, etc.) but this set was too good value to turn down. I dare say some people will make comments about orchestra X being better than Y and conductor A being better than B, but that is completely irrelevant to me; it is excellent.

This is an outstanding set of CDs, and I am particularly pleased to have symphonies 5 and 7 on the same disk!

Highly recommended to anyone wanting to find out why Beethoven's music has lasted so long, and at this cost there is virtually no risk.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Beethoven cycle..., 21 Dec. 2014
By 
os - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
Few lovers of Beethoven's symphonies will content themselves with one cycle, so the idea that there will be one collection of above all the rest is perhaps a little redundant. I found this set (which has been a very frequent visitor to my CD player) to be a thoroughly enjoyable,refreshing and very engaging. As a overall conception, for some tastes it may be a little brisk and lacking in the sort of grandeur that may be available elsewhere ,but to these humble ears Mackerras has given us another way to listen to Beethoven and it works.

Get this set for around about the £10/12 mark that some Amazon sellers are currently offering it at and you'll have a bargain. Sound quality is good / very good but needs turning up a tad to get the full value of the production.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be in every collection, 28 Nov. 2005
By 
James Bury (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
Some of the finest and most stirring music ever written at a ridiculously low cost. If you're new to Beethoven, try the 7th or 9th symphonies first, or perhaps the famous 5th. Stirring stuff for anyone who appreciates powerful music, and at this price you really can't go wrong. Turn the volume up good and loud to enjoy at its best!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo, 15 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
Well done to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for another outstanding CD.

Each symphony is played to perfection and the sound quality is excellent. The price is very reasonable too and you won't be disappointed by this CD. My favourite symphonies are: 5, 7, 8 & 9. But the others are great as well.
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34 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many hours of pleasure, 12 Aug. 2003
By 
J. Farris (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (Audio CD)
A superb set; Sir Colin keeps the tempi racing without ever losing control, and the RLPO are more than up to the task. The 5th and 7th stand out in my mind, but every symphony is quite breathtakingly realised.
And what a bargain!
Buy it now!
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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven (Audio CD - 2002)
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