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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies Box set

4.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

Price: £12.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beethoven: Complete Symphonies
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  • Beethoven: The Piano Concertos (Decca Collectors Edition)
Total price: £22.01
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Weiner Philarmoniker
  • Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B008MB2B3S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,573 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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5
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6
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Disc 3
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3
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4
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8
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Disc 4
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2
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3
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4
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5
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6
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7
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8
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Disc 5
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5
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Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Everyone knows Beethoven's symphonies so the music itself needs no review, but these performances and the recording itself are certainly worthy of high praise and recommendation. Sir Simon Rattle matured early into one of the world's great conductors and interpreters and, although he is up against the greatest possible competition in this repertoire, his conducting is a triumph. These recordings are a perfect choice for someone who wants all the fire, pace and life of a modern interpretation but doesn't insist on all-period instruments. Rattle proves again that it is possible to keep a modern approach whilst using traditional forces. The Wiener Philharmoniker are, of course, on home ground with this work and must have played the symphonies a thousand times. However there is no sense of repetition or over-familiarity here. The music is alive and fresh. I enjoyed the 1st Symphony more here than for a long time and it struck me what a neglected work it can be. The 3rd and 5th keep an appropriate sense of energy and power, and the 7th and 8th are full of joy. The 6th, with its well-known themes, also came up fresh and engaging while the 9th is inspirational as always. The recording quality strikes me as clear and involving and the price makes this set wonderful value for money. I whole-heartedly recommend it. In fact, may it give you as much pleasure as it has already given me.
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9 symphonies superbly recorded and played by the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.The clarity of inner textual detail is quite outstanding and shows what superb wind players the VPO has:the tempos in the main are brisk(even the funeral march of the Eroica!)and in the 8th symphony Sir Simon sticks very closely to Beethoven's metronome marks.The 9th symphony is truly magnificent and it is interesting to note that Sir Simon uses his old CBSO chorus,who are quite superb.A set well worth acquiring.
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By Mart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD
For quality of presentation this is the set to buy. EMI have excelled with the packaging, opting for a box with slide-out drawer, opened via a tab of green silky material, holding the 5 CDs, each of which is presented in a card wallet with full track details and times. The presentation box artwork is second to none, the front showing an almost-smiling Sir Simon Rattle, the rear showing a view of him from behind, hands clasped in self-satisfied stance.

Also included in the box is a 90 page (30 in English) hard backed booklet, printed on quality paper showing the track listing, details of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, notes on the Urtext editions and of course pictures of Rattle, Beethoven, Beethoven's home in Vienna, the orchestra, and much more. The booklet interestingly includes the year in which each symphony was composed and first performed.

Before purchasing this set I noticed the words `live recordings' on the rear of the box, and was concerned there may be audience noise or, even worse, applause between movements. Thankfully there is no such interference and no evidence of any ambient noises from the audience if in fact there was one.

The sound quality is outstanding, with each instrument clearly separated and audible, and although the interpretations may not suit everyone's taste (such as tempo changes), the performances are simply stunning. The energy level throughout is relentless, with an edginess to the playing which creates a real feeling of passion and an urgency to the music. Rattle's conducting certainly brings out the best in the performers, even if that means upsetting some who prefer their cycle a little more sedately played.

Everyone will have an opinion on these interpretations, with the usual debate upon the merits of each movement of each symphony, but I simply love these for their enthusiastic and dynamic performance.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although I already have some different recordings of Beethoven's symphonies, this set appealed as a good value physical collection by a modern master of his craft. The other recordings by Sir Simon that I own are superb so I reasoned that with his teaming up with the Vienna Philharmonic I couldn't go wrong. I'm a classical music fan, not an expert, so will leave the technical stuff for others. But what I love about these recordings is that they are not bombastic, as sometimes heard elsewhere, but have a certain lightness at times that enables the individual sections and instruments to be heard and heard very cleanly. This is especially evident in S7 where all the familiar tunes now have a freshness and clarity as if given a Spring-clean.

As a midlander, it was a particular delight to hear the Birmingham Symphony Chorus on S9! We have a lot to be grateful for to Sir Simon in these parts and it's a wonderful link to the performances I've witnessed myself in Symphony Hall.

As with all good box-sets the collection is completed by a very informative booklet - informative on the Symphonies' backgrounds as well as the recordings.
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It's become so "normal" to do the complete Beethoven to an excellent standard that one often forgets the extraordinary originality of Beethoven's achievement. What I like about Rattle is that he never seems to forget that originality. He brings a freshness to the music that's almost compulsive, when one often feels with this music that it is so easy to fall into complacency. That of course is also an issue for the listener.
Let me provoke your thoughts with a question. When you hear this music, do you think "my goodness, how remarkable and challenging was this music when first written" ... or do you think "gosh, I am not sure I want to hear this for is it the twentyfifth time?"?
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