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Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 [DVD] [2008] [NTSC]

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

Price: £49.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Dec. 2008
  • Run Time: 413 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001IMFHTS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,437 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

With this box containing all nine Beethoven Symphonies, MediciArts pays tribute to a consummate conductor, Claudio Abbado, and to his very special relationship, not only with the symphonic genius of Beethoven but also with the world class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. When they performed and recorded all nine Beethoven Symphonies at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, 2001, the nationwide Italian newspaper La Repubbica simply called it 'The most wonderful symphonic cycle of the past decade.'

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These are live recordings made in early 2000 before enthusiastic audiences in the Santa Cecilia Academy Rome.
They are vigorous, direct and rich in detail due to smaller string forces, giving a nod in the direction of period practice. Lighter and generally faster than earlier Abbado cycles but similar to the set he made for DGG in the late 90's. Slow movements flow nicely but there is plenty of pep elsewhere.
The 9th was recorded the previous year at the Philharmonie in Berlin and has a good quartet of soloists led by Karita Matilda and Thomas Moser.The finale is very well balanced, and like the rest of the set has an added intensity which wasn't present in Abbado's earlier sets.
The BPO are on top form with beautiful string tone and really lovely woodwind playing ; the Pastoral is gorgeous.
Camera shots are generally well chosen with the added option of a 'conductor camera' to show the maestro from the musicians perspective.
In all nearly seven hours of glorious music making,with both conductor and orchestra rising to the challenge and obviously enjoying it.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had this set in DVD format and I love it, I just don't enjoy watching DVD and when I noticed the Blu ray edition I bought it. The picture quality disappointed me. The improvement over DVD is minor. It looks that the original recording is DVD that was somehow improved. The ninth is especially bad. Pity, it doesn't worth any price increase.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The new blu-ray version of Abaddo conducting Beethoven's Symphonies 1-9 has very poor video quality - it is little better than a standard DVD. The music is superb, but the blu-ray video quality is not up to Euroarts' usual high standard. At £75 for the blu-ray and £29 for the DVD (which has similar video quality), the blu-ray is not worth the price.
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Format: DVD
In 2001, during the month of February, the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Claudio Abbado, were in residence at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome to play all nine of the Beethoven symphonies. The first eight symphonies were recorded for television by the renowned music film producer Paul Smaczny and directed for television by Bob Coles. The 9th had already been recorded in Berlin the year before with a distinguished cast of singers -- Karita Mattila, Violeta Urmana, Thomas Moser, and Eike Wim Schulte, along with the Swedish Radio Choir and the legendary Eric Ericson Chamber Choir -- and it is that performance that is included here. These performances have been released on four single DVDs previously, but this compilation box set of four discs is now available from Euroarts for an amazingly low price, much lower than than if you bought the single discs. You can read other customer reviews of the single issues here: Beethoven - Symphonies 1, 6, and 8 / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, Beethoven - Symphonies 2 and 5 / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic, Beethoven - Symphonies 3 and 9 / Abbado, Mattila, Urmana, Moser, Schulte, Berlin Philharmonic, and Beethoven - Symphonies 4 and 7 / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic. I have not reviewed the single issues but will not linger here to offer a review of each disc.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Prequel:
Please note that this review is the result of comparing the new Blu-ray set with the previous DVD set issued earlier. This review has therefore been completely re-written with that in mind and has replaced the earlier review which has now been deleted.
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The new review:

Abbado has recorded this set of symphonies several times and this is his last set recorded in 2000-2001. It represents a considerable modification of his previous interpretations and this series reflects his thinking in the light of recent research into period performing practice. The set of performances is centred around the Del Mar edition which is the latest thinking on the subject and is based on Beethoven's final markings. It is generally thought to be Abbado's finest whole set.

As mentioned in the introductory paragraph above, Abbado uses the new score prepared by Jonathan Del Mar which incorporates `the very latest Beethoven research and represents a valuable supplement to the experience gained by Abbado over many years' (booklet quote). Although Abbado does not go as far as using authentic period styled instruments, he nevertheless often uses much reduced orchestral sizes, even in the Eroica, and avoids part doubling in the wind.

The speeds are generally fleeter without losing necessary gravitas in the slow movements. Speeds are kept constant and avoid the Romantic period type of fluctuations to be found in the recent set of Thielemann performances for example. The same can be said of phrasing. Textures are leaner but not acerbic as in some early examples of early instrument performance. Timpani are usually struck with semi-hard sticks which could be said to be a fair compromise.
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