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Beethoven: 9 Symphonies (5 CDs)
 
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Beethoven: 9 Symphonies (5 CDs)

18 Feb. 2014 | Format: MP3

£20.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
8:22
30
2
6:33
30
3
4:05
30
4
5:27
30
5
12:08
30
6
10:19
30
7
4:25
30
8
6:08
Disc 2
30
1
15:36
30
2
12:41
30
3
5:32
30
4
10:41
30
5
10:56
30
6
9:24
30
7
5:17
30
8
6:24
Disc 3
30
1
6:30
30
2
8:15
30
3
7:05
30
4
9:49
30
5
11:02
30
6
12:00
30
7
4:48
30
8
3:39
30
9
9:16
Disc 4
30
1
13:09
30
2
7:45
30
3
8:30
30
4
9:07
30
5
8:41
30
6
3:46
30
7
5:28
30
8
6:17
Disc 5
30
1
13:03
30
2
13:07
30
3
12:06
30
4
5:30
30
5
15:54
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1994
  • Release Date: 18 Feb. 2014
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 1994 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 5:28:45
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LR5J48
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,814 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The nine Beethoven symphonies have been among the most recorded of all classical works, second perhaps to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Although they have been recorded many times over, these works are so universal, profound, efferverscent, melodious, novel and pathbreaking that they still retain the freshness that they had when they were first performed. Of the many Beethoven cycles recorded over the years, this superb period-instrument cycle by British conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner should take its place near the very top. I'm not saying this to be a yes-man to the prominent critics, but as an independent young Singaporean listener who enjoys this set tremendously and feels that Dear Sir John gets close to the heart of the music as I understand it. Dear Sir John's cycle has the edge over many other cycles in allowing us to experience these works in what Gilbert and Sullivan described as their "beauty in the bellow of the blast" (The Mikado, Act 2).Yet while I listen intently and avidly, I know that Sir John adds his own dollop of aplomb and shadings to the research of Jonathan Del Mar that makes these works LIVE, and prevent these performances from ever becoming anaemic and stale.

I won't elaborate on the background to these works. Rather I would like to get to the point and concisely review the entire set. Sir John gives the lighter symphonies (Nos. 1, 2, and 4) their needed lilt, efferverscence and gaiety. Although this cycle follows Beethoven's fast metronome markings, Sir John makes them sound efferverscent, good-humoured and cheerful, with characterful solo playing and ensemble playing of panache.
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Format: MP3 Download
Ok, not quite, but you get my point... I have a lot of respect for Gardiner, and I normally enjoy his interpretations, particularly his Baroque performances, but I found myself distracted by one question here: WHAT IS YOUR BLOODY HURRY?!! The booklet notes that these are live recordings, however there is no applause, no coughing nor throat clearing. I'm not sure what is meant by that, but Archiv has done a great job with the recording. It's as "studio" as it gets with good mic placement and good balance in an obviously controlled environment. Not the worst Beethoven I've ever heard, certainly, but not essential by any means.
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Format: Audio CD
As the years pass, complete Beethoven symphony cycles are reckoning up by dozens, like Sir Joseph Porter's female relations in Gilbert and Sullivan's famed opera H.M.S. Pinafore. This Gardiner cycle is part of the new "harvest", and from the moment it was first released it has proven to be extremely competitive in both performance and superlative-quality DG recording. As a period-instrument cycle, it excels on every level, using the latest scholarship to bring Beethoven's music to life like never before, yet bearing that the performances need dramatic tension. Throughout this cycle, Gardiner is inviting yet vibrant, authentic and scholarly at the same time, and on every repeated listening it sounds freaher than I imagine it tto be. The symphonies sound as perfect as Beethoven wanted them to be.
In the lighter symphonies Gardiner emphasizes Beethoven's unique musical voice. This is especially apparent in the Mozartian-inflexed and Haydenesque symphonies, namely the first two. These two early works still retain their classical charm, but have textures of Beethoven's ambitious mind. The fourth and eighth symphonies, while still being classical, are more slanted towards Beethoven's later style of orchestral composition. Yet any skepticisms of meaninglessness and anaemic performances are quickly swept aside from one listening because the breathing-space of the music is still there.
The fifth and seventh, arguably Beethoven's two most popular symphonies, come off rather well. Even at brisk speeds, fate can still be as powerful as Beethoven expects it to be and the music can lurch forward well to show how defiant Beethoven is, like in the first movement of the Ninth Symphony.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great... I started by listening to the third, it was as if I heard the music for the 1st time. Some symphonies I prefer other recordings (e.g. number 7 - I got spoiled by Kleiber), but that doesn't mean these ones aren't great. To my feeling this is pretty close to how it should/could have sounded 200 years ago, following Beethovens intentions, using the same sound.
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