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on 10 February 2009
A brilliant realisation of Beethoven - neither too dry nor over-indulgent. Each symphony comes to life so vividly that it seems to step out of the CD player and right into the room.

The first, fourth, and ninth are stunning performances, but to be honest there is no weak link in the chain. And the sleeve notes (by Lindsay Kemp) are first rate.

If you've never encountered Beethoven then this set is an introduction to his genius that will blow you away.
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on 30 September 2014
Revelatory would be my one-word summary of this Beethoven symphony cycle by the London Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink. He may now be 85 but Haitink is never predictable or boring. (These recordings were made in 2005 and 2006 when the Dutchman was a relative youngster.) It's big band Beethoven but the sense of attacking the music that Haitink produces from the LSO shows just how much historically-informed performance has transformed the way Beethoven is played nowadays. And I was pleasantly surprised not to encounter the now almost legendary acoustical problems associated with the Barbican venue in London. The way the timpanis leap out of your speakers/headphones makes this an edge-of-seat rollercoaster experience. Try the 4th symphony for starters. At the time of writing, the whole lot ( and you get the Triple Concerto as a bonus) will cost you under £9 as an excellent MP3 download. It's the old story. Just when you think you couldn't possibly stomach yet another Beethoven symphony cycle, one comes along that blows your cynicism right out of the water. It's called genius and wasn't Ludwig van Beethoven the ultimate of the breed ?
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on 10 February 2016
Looking for a modern set of Beethoven' s symphonies (other than Abaddo's - my preference - I was lucky ordering Haitink with LSO. Despite some other reviewers' opinions, I consider it is technically superb - cristal sound, warmth, very good dinamic, I could listen to the finest details. Even if on my sacd player, it could sound not perfect, using a Senn HD 598 headphones, I felt I would be in the Barbican. Very good scene, each instrument is distinct - A pleasure to listen to.I have Abbado with BPO on dvd, so I consider this set to be the best option for a modern one on cd/sacd.

As for the music itself, what could I say? Some symphonies (#3. #4, #7, #9 especially) seems to me to be the top of the top. No matter how many complete sets I have, I will look for this one again and again. It' s fest!
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on 22 June 2008
this is my favourite set of the beethoven symphonies..the sound is superb, and the playing has plenty of energy and feeling - quite a fast pace to other versions though
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on 20 April 2012
Haitink and LSO are delivering one of the best recordings of the Beethoven symphonies in recent years.
It has clarity, drive and some superb playing. But as many modern recordings Haitink is setting a speed that isn't giving the music a chance. The natural pace is lost. The slower movements are running away from me.
The recording is a bit dry, with acoustics being quite moffling the sound and giving the notes a feeling of being very short.
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on 6 June 2011
I am very very impressed with this cd boxed set. I have not listened to many different versions of these symphonies, so I am not really qualified to say whether the interpretation is superior/inferior to other recordings. However I am an experienced music listener and can confirm that these are great recordings. The actual recording quality is really superb-as other reviewers said, you can hear every instrument and the sound is very powerful, crisp and transparent. Also the presentation of the set is superb-a generous booklet and good photos on the individual wallets make this a really classy set. I felt a bit guilty buying it for myself! Had I known it was going to be so nice I would have saved it for a birthday/christmas present. If you have relatives that are into classical music I'm sure this would make a great (and affordable) present for them. I'm planning to buy another copy for my dad's birthday. Highly recommended.
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on 15 August 2015
With the BBC Proms starting a few weeks ago starting with Beethoven I was reminded that I had bought this some time ago so finally sat down last weekend for a splurge of Beethoven. What can I say, pure quality and I loved every minute. It won't be so long before I listen again, especially as I now have it in an easier format to listen to so don't need to dig around for my CD player.
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on 20 April 2015
Great SACD set of all 9 Beethoven symphonies. If you have a SACD player do get this for your collection. The detail is so much better and the sound stage is superior to the standard stereo CD recordings. Even if you don't have surround sound, a stereo system makes this version seem much more alive and involving for the listener.
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on 20 February 2012
I'm by no means a connoisseur when it comes to classical music but I do know good and great performances when I hear them, me being a musician myself.

These performances are absolutely in the "GREAT" category! Joyful, playful, passionate, intense, swift are just a few of the words that come to mind to describe the performances by the LSO.

The sound quality on these SACDs is phenomenal in my opinion. Taking into account that these are live recordings (you'd never know except for the slightest sound you hear emanating from the audience through the rear speakers very occasionally) the depth and dynamic range on tap are just marvellous. Definitely a multichannel (5.1) record where you hear the orchestra coming through the rears in particular during the somewhat louder parts.

Easily recommended!
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on 24 January 2010
These symphonies sounds really good in stereo in CD (I don't know how they compare to other recordings, but I like them), but with SACD and surround sound it's a different level of involvement altogether. Terrific value
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