Banner: The symphonic suite Cantabile

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 33

Thread: Beethoven

  1. #16
    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,047
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Piano Concertos? I personally would avoid any HIP recording. While I love the muscularity and the sound of the original instruments when playing Bach, Handel, Mozart, or Haydn, the piano-forte just sounds ridiculous to me for the Emperor Concerto. My favorites:







    Since you have already expressed an aversion to classical vocals (something you may eventually grow to love) I'll just mention that I would go with John Eliot Gardiner for the Missa Solemnis and the Mass in C and Klemperer for the opera Fidelio.

    String quartets? I'd go with the Takacs Quartet or the Alban Berg Quartet.

    Least favourite pieces? Least favourite versions of pieces?

    I don't know that I can answer that easily. I already mentioned my aversion to period instruments with Beethoven... other that that I might simply advise you to use a credible music/CD guide and you probably won't go wrong. You may discover certain performances that you prefer to others, but most performances by world class orchestras and performers are quite solid.

    How do you rate him compared to the other composers?

    I'd place him as one of the three towering figures along side (just behind) Bach and Mozart. I would also suggest that if you are deeply passionate about Beethoven you might eventually use him as a place from which to step off into other composers. I would suggest Franz Schubert next (especially his 8th and 9th symphonies, the Death and the Maiden quartet, the Trout quintet, the Impromptus, the piano sonatas), Brahms (the 4 symphonies, the violin and cello sonatas, the clarinet works) Bruckner (symphonies 6,7,8,9), and Wagner (overtures).

  2. #17
    Member Comistra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    65

    Default

    What are your favourite pieces?
    The piano sonatas, probably. If not all, then a good chunk of them. It's just too hard to pick one or two out of the whole lot.

    I've become slightly cooler toward his symphonies, but only just: they're now among the best, in my mind, not necessarily the best. I have a feeling the pendulum will swing back in the future, though.

    Least favourite pieces?
    The early piano concertos (1 & 2), maybe? Whenever they come on, I'm reminded of Mozart, or perhaps more generally the Classical era; and while that's not bad, it's not exactly my cup of tea. I can listen to them but I wouldn't rank them as high as others might.

    How do you rate him compared to the other composers?
    Above them! And it's not really close. No matter what composer I'm currently favoring (Dvořák now, if you couldn't guess), I can't deny the greatness that is Beethoven. Other composers ebb and flow, but Beethoven, to me, is constant.

  3. #18
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair
    Posts
    3,516
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
    Let me state that I hate performances by Anima Eterna and other historical snouts. It's good for likes of Haydn, but not for forwardlooking composer who actually influenced the orchestra to get larger.

    In my first HIP Beethoven symphony collection, by The Academy of Ancient Music, the sleeve notes showed the AAM forces used by Hogwood in the recording for the 7th and 8th symphonies employed: "36 vln, 14 va, 13 vc, 7 cb, 4 fl, 4 ob, 4 fag, 2c/fag, 4hn, 4 tpt, timp (2players)".

    This HIP band would rival any modern symphony orchestra, not for that sake, but for the sake of being informed that the premiere of the 7th and 8th symphonies (February 1814), Beethoven wrote down: "at my last concert in the large Redoutensaal there were 18 first violins 18 seconds, 14 violas, 12 cellos, 7 basses, 2 contra-bassons". The latter indicates that the other wind instruments were also doubled.

    In Hogwood's recording of the 9th, the brass section employed were: "8hn, 4tpt, 6tbn".

    As for you, member Aramis, some of us here actually do our homework ...

    That certainly makes a very loud/full noise (through my B&W loudspeakers) but without making the music sound like a Wagner piece/Beethoven exaggerated.
    Last edited by HarpsichordConcerto; Apr-03-2010 at 02:17.

  4. #19
    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2,321

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    Piano Concertos? I personally would avoid any HIP recording. While I love the muscularity and the sound of the original instruments when playing Bach, Handel, Mozart, or Haydn, the piano-forte just sounds ridiculous to me for the Emperor Concerto. My favorites:







    Since you have already expressed an aversion to classical vocals (something you may eventually grow to love) I'll just mention that I would go with John Eliot Gardiner for the Missa Solemnis and the Mass in C and Klemperer for the opera Fidelio.

    String quartets? I'd go with the Takacs Quartet or the Alban Berg Quartet.

    Least favourite pieces? Least favourite versions of pieces?

    I don't know that I can answer that easily. I already mentioned my aversion to period instruments with Beethoven... other that that I might simply advise you to use a credible music/CD guide and you probably won't go wrong. You may discover certain performances that you prefer to others, but most performances by world class orchestras and performers are quite solid.

    How do you rate him compared to the other composers?

    I'd place him as one of the three towering figures along side (just behind) Bach and Mozart. I would also suggest that if you are deeply passionate about Beethoven you might eventually use him as a place from which to step off into other composers. I would suggest Franz Schubert next (especially his 8th and 9th symphonies, the Death and the Maiden quartet, the Trout quintet, the Impromptus, the piano sonatas), Brahms (the 4 symphonies, the violin and cello sonatas, the clarinet works) Bruckner (symphonies 6,7,8,9), and Wagner (overtures).
    Wow, it is freaky how much I agree with this post. Szell/Fleischer for the piano concertos is a great choice, as is Kempff for the 4th and 5th (personally, I prefer Kempff, but wouldn't be without either). I haven't tried the Perahia cycle, but in general, I really enjoy his recordings.

    I also give a huge thumbs up for the Takacs recordings of the string quartets. And if you want to try out Schubert and Brahms, Takacs also have recordings of some of their string quartets on Hyperion (the Takacs recording of the Death and the Maiden quartet is my favorite.

    Gardiner is great for the Missa Solemnis and Mass in C - but I do prefer Klemperer for the Missa Solemnis. Klemperer's Fidelio is also great. I forgot that recommendation.

  5. #20
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair
    Posts
    3,516
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    the piano-forte just sounds ridiculous to me for the Emperor Concerto.
    Which recording are you referring to, or are you making a general statement assuming that the types of fortepianos used for Mozart and Haydn are also employed for the Emperor? If the latter, then that's incorrect. That's because in my versions of the Emperor, for example The Academy of Ancient Music, they used a replica of a Conrad Graf, Viennese model from 1824.

    Anyone familiar with the history of the fortepiano between the time of Mozart and Haydn to the Emperor would know that the instrument was evolving very quickly indeed. When Beethoven wrote his first piano concerto, the fortepiano weighed half as much as the fortepiano around the time of the [I]Emperor[/]. It evolved from a 175 pound double-strung instrument in a harpsichord-case to a triple-strung machine weighing twice as much. It would only be natural for Beethoven to write music knowing what the instrument for each concerto was capable of at the time (about 15 year span between composition of the 1st and 5th concertos), as we all know the piano was certainly one of his favourite instruments.

    I also have The London Classical Players, Melvyn Tan (fortepiano)'s version (comes with other works like the Choral Fantasy).
    Last edited by HarpsichordConcerto; Apr-03-2010 at 05:30.

  6. #21
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default

    The Gardiner recording of the 'Missa Solemnis' is excellent to my mind, although it may lack the ludicrously expansive nature of Klemperer's famous rendition (in regards to sonic clarity however, Gardiner's take is outstanding). More relevantly, it (the 'Missa Solemnis') probably represents what I love most about Beethoven, that being his ability to go from the most intimate of whispers, in this case, quite literally, the 'Sanctus', to the most triumphant of roars, best illustrated by the courageously cascading 'Gloria'.

    It should be noted however that I find myself singing the 'Kyrie' most often, usually accompanied by some enigmatically inappropriate chord bashing on a piano. Most unfortunately, as we all well know, when one is born, musicality is never a given.

  7. #22
    Air
    Air is offline
    Moderator Air's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,197
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jhar26 View Post
    There are many great recordings of these and the other Beethoven piano sonatas. Personally I'm a sucker for Emil Gilels...
    So am I. Gilels is fantastic in this repertoire. Unfortunately, poor Emil died before he finished the complete set so we only get 29 sonatas in total. Here is his fantastic Waldstein: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjWBweNBHIM


    For all 32, you can't really go wrong with maestro Artur Schnabel here. Here is his magnificent performance of the Op. 111: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpiPH...eature=related
    And he was really unmatched in the slower movements such as this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIUKy...eature=related

    The sound is generally atrocious, but best on the Pearl reissue.

    I've also heard good things about (and listened to a few sonatas from) Annie Fischer's set. Her playing is strong and passionate, much in the style of tigresses like Teresa Carreño, Maria Tipo, and Martha Argerich:



    And not to mention her Op. 111, one of the greatest ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zolsDg0DCw


    For the late sonatas, there are also Maurizio Pollini and Maria Yudina. Yudina is a bit of an eccentric who plays everything with certain individuality - especially her notorious recording of Schubert's d960 - but this can also be heard in her Beethoven. She's fantastic with the late Sonatas.

    For high-quality sound, Pollini's late sonatas are hard to beat.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

  8. #23
    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Beethoven is amazing, and just gets more amazing as I continue to explore his works. Thus far, my favorite pieces are the piano sonatas. Believe it or not, they actually led me to like the piano! (Wasn't fond of it for a long time.) You really should listen to them all (many times, if you're like me). I prefer various performers' interpretations of certain sonatas. For example, Serkin for no. 8 ("Pathetique"), Brendel for no. 15 ("Pastoral"), Gilels for most of the middle-period sonatas, Schiff for no. 14 ("Moonlight"), 28, and 31, Richter for no. 32, etc. I'd also like to give a shout-out to Pollini's recording of the late sonatas.

    The symphonies are great, of course, and deserve their fame. There was a period of time where I just couldn't get enough of the first 3 movements of the 9th! (Funny, because the last movement is the famous one.) I also recommend the Anima Eterna recordings, though do pick up another version of at least the 3rd and 9th (not that AE's are bad, though I do think the 5-6-7 sequence is where they really shine).

    I second what someone said earlier about not diving right into the late string quartets I tried that myself, and was largely intimidated: they're large, intricate, and experimental works. I wouldn't be surprised if I eventually count them among the greatest musical achievements in history.

    As far as least favorite works, I'm surprised that "Fur Elise" is as popular as it is. In any case, it isn't really representative of Beethoven IMO. "Rage Over a Lost Penny" can also get on the nerves

  9. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nefigah View Post
    As far as least favorite works, I'm surprised that "Fur Elise" is as popular as it is.
    It's a short catchy piece, so not that surprising. I think Beethoven would have been angry though if he would have known how popular it would have become compared to many other of his works. He was quite angry that the Moonlight sonata (not called that in his time) had become so popular compared to some other pieces of his, so his reaction to the popularity of Fur Elise I can't begin to imagine. Not only that they misread his handwriting and it was actually 'Therese' and not Elise, yet another annoyance for him.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Johnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    187

    Default

    How do you know about his dislike of the Moonlight Sonata's relative popularity?

  11. #26
    Senior Member DrMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2,321

    Default

    There are a lot of recommendations here for the Anima Eterna recordings of the symphonies, and I am torn over them as a recommendation for starting out. Beethoven gets regularly praised for being so forward looking. Listen to the 32nd piano sonata, specifically the 2nd movement, and tell me you don't hear the anticipation of ragtime and jazz. I heard once that he could be frustrated with the limitations of instruments for what he wanted to do, especially the piano. While his works can be done quite well with period instruments, he seems almost restrained. The Anima Eterna recordings are great, but start with something else - Karajan's 60's cycle, Szell's cycle on Sony, Vanska's on BIS, Jarvi on RCA. The Karajan and Szell cycles are great. If you want the incredible sound engineering, though, then Vanska or Jarvi (I am slightly partial to Vanska) are incredible.

  12. #27
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    How do you know about his dislike of the Moonlight Sonata's relative popularity?
    Beethoven expressed surprise at the relative popularity of the C sharp minor sonata. He is reported to have said: "People are always talking of the C sharp minor Sonata, but I have written better things than that. The F sharp Sonata is something very different."

    He was also surprised at the relative popularity of his Symphony No 7 compared with No 8 (which he referred to as his "Little Symphony") which he considered to be the better of the two

  13. #28
    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Listen to the 32nd piano sonata, specifically the 2nd movement, and tell me you don't hear the anticipation of ragtime and jazz.
    Though of course I understand why one could get this impression, I'm not so sure I agree. Rather I think our association of that variation with jazz is just the anachronistic result of having heard a lot of jazz etc. before hearing that movement. I think it's a sublime variation in the context of the movement--a sort of energetic climax--but I can't imagine him writing an entire piece in that style or thinking that there would be a whole genre of music built around it. But it's awesome nonetheless

    Edit: Obligatory citation: Andras Schiff

  14. #29
    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    25 Brook Street, Mayfair
    Posts
    3,516
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Anybody here care to comment about Beethoven's Grosse Fugue Op.133? Anybody here love it in the same way as they love the symphonies, piano concertos etc.?

    Or was Beethoven just getting old, cranky, mad, "let's write something technically bizzare before I die"?

    I admire that is sounds so "20th century", that's about it. But if someone here can enlighten me, please be my guest!

  15. #30
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    Anybody here care to comment about Beethoven's Grosse Fugue Op.133? Anybody here love it in the same way as they love the symphonies, piano concertos etc.?

    Or was Beethoven just getting old, cranky, mad, "let's write something technically bizzare before I die"?

    I admire that is sounds so "20th century", that's about it. But if someone here can enlighten me, please be my guest!
    Grosse Fugue - What do you think?

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Why is Gardiner's Beethoven Symphony set so highly rated?
    By scytheavatar in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: Feb-07-2013, 02:05
  2. Mozart vs. Beethoven
    By Rod Corkin in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 188
    Last Post: Aug-29-2012, 20:41
  3. The Late Quartets of Ludwig Van Beethoven
    By Bach in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: Feb-14-2011, 02:15
  4. The Symphonies of Ludwig Van Beethoven
    By tahnak in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: Aug-01-2009, 21:31
  5. A Beethoven Day at work
    By Kezza in forum Community Forum
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Dec-15-2008, 06:38

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •