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Thread: Which Beethoven symphony cycle would you buy?

  1. #46
    Senior Member Oldhoosierdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Cheap alert! One of the best cycles out there is done by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by René Liebowitz. Pre-HIP HIP, generally lively tempos with great articulation and virtuosic playing, especially the woodwinds. And you get a lot more stuff as well in this super-budget download. Good sound. $2.69!

    It’s here on Amazon.
    For the longest time I had this cycle and did not care much for it as I found the sound less than good. Then I had occasion to download it again from Amazon and the sound issue was not there any longer. So, who knows what that was all about. Now I quite love this set. This is one of those things that if it was not readily available and cost $100, some folks would call it the best ever.
    I don't live in the past,
    there's no future in it.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollie John View Post
    Definitely this one -

    Attachment 124924

    Link to complete albums -

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lbrz0izT_pQsTT
    I bought this but disappointed. The speeds are just far too fast despite the playing.

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  5. #48
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    ^^^ Disappointingly, the same feeling here. I was left with huge admiration for the Gewandhaus, but less for Ludwig, and even less for maestro Chailly. Too fast and too aggressive, but damned exhilarating!

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  7. #49
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    ^^^ Disappointingly, the same feeling here. I was left with huge admiration for the Gewandhaus, but less for Ludwig, and even less for maestro Chailly. Too fast and too aggressive, but damned exhilarating!
    The problem is that an orchestra in Beethoven's day would never have had the technical skills to play the music at such speeds. Let's face it, it's only just been done! This adherence to Beethoven's highly questionable metronome marks appears to throw artistic considerations out the window.

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  9. #50
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Maybe suggests Beethoven's metronome was poorly calibrated?

  10. #51
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Maybe suggests Beethoven's metronome was poorly calibrated?
    Or maybe suggests we've got used to slow Wagner-esque Beethoven. His metronome was not faulty. Endless studies, examination of Beethoven and Czerny's letters and anecdotal evidence all reject the faulty metronome theory. Why anyone still believes that I don't know. The only 'research' that supports that theory is the massively flawed Smithsonian paper and that was based on inaccurate mathematical theory. Read Young's paper on the matter, or Zander on the metronome speeds. Nowt wrong with Chailly's speeds. Scherchen was doing them faster in the 50s. Give me Chailly over Klempy and Celi's trudgefests any day.

  11. #52
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    I cannot make Beethoven challenges like last year anymore but I've been listening this cycle up to No.5 and it's a great performance style with expansive acoustics, reaching as far as many modern orchestra but with the refinement and bite of the HIP ones. Best since Haitink LSO I can bet.



    Right now starting Nelsons WPO and I don't know how will it compare to Karl Böhm with the same orchestra and label, plus a very similar Vienna sound and performance in No.1.
    Last edited by Granate; Oct-10-2019 at 16:10.

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  13. #53
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Or maybe suggests we've got used to slow Wagner-esque Beethoven. His metronome was not faulty. Endless studies, examination of Beethoven and Czerny's letters and anecdotal evidence all reject the faulty metronome theory. Why anyone still believes that I don't know. The only 'research' that supports that theory is the massively flawed Smithsonian paper and that was based on inaccurate mathematical theory. Read Young's paper on the matter, or Zander on the metronome speeds. Nowt wrong with Chailly's speeds. Scherchen was doing them faster in the 50s. Give me Chailly over Klempy and Celi's trudgefests any day.
    I don't know but speed per se never seems to be a crucial issue for me in music. I have heard very slow performances of music I love that are yet full of life (Celi often achieves this, for me) and fast performances that are still somehow dull (I'm tempted to put Chailly's Beethoven in that category). The only time speed alone matters to me is if I listen to something slow very soon after hearing a faster performance of the same work. But I can think of lots of recordings which put me to sleep and it seems like speed is the problem. The famous Beethoven piano concerto recordings done by the young Barenboim with the aged and infirm Klemperer are a case in point. There is real chemistry between the two but it still doesn't rescue the music for me. I do know that many value these accounts highly and have long wished I could listen to them with pleasure. But I can't!

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  15. #54
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Or maybe suggests we've got used to slow Wagner-esque Beethoven. His metronome was not faulty. Endless studies, examination of Beethoven and Czerny's letters and anecdotal evidence all reject the faulty metronome theory. Why anyone still believes that I don't know. The only 'research' that supports that theory is the massively flawed Smithsonian paper and that was based on inaccurate mathematical theory. Read Young's paper on the matter, or Zander on the metronome speeds. Nowt wrong with Chailly's speeds. Scherchen was doing them faster in the 50s. Give me Chailly over Klempy and Celi's trudgefests any day.
    Whether or not Beethoven's metronome was faulty or not is beside the point. The orchestras in Beethoven's day certainly wouldn't have had the technical skill (many were amateurs, don't forget) to play at the speed of modern orchestras. We are not suggesting trudgefests neither are we suggesting, however, whirlwind tours. To me Beethoven's markings are more important than slavish addiction to the impossible metronome.
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-10-2019 at 17:43.

  16. #55
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Default Nelsons Vienna Beethoven

    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post


    Right now starting Nelsons WPO and I don't know how will it compare to Karl Böhm with the same orchestra and label, plus a very similar Vienna sound and performance in No.1.
    Hey guys! Give it a try to this one. Maybe it can be expensive but Youtube has the streaming playlist of the cycle. The old Vienna sound is much smoother here but it's perfectly recognizable in my opinion. Tempì is moderate and Nelsons' craft seems to have more to do in nostalgia for the good old days instead of sharpening and speeding like many modern orchestras and conductors do. From No.3 to No.5 it becomes better and better. Full list here, or search for Wiener Philharmoniker topic on YT. But pick Eroica's 3rd movement from here since the playlist skips it.




    Ok, it's not erasing my memories of the dynamic 70s Böhm cycle, but isn't a little hope what we need these days?
    Last edited by Granate; Oct-10-2019 at 20:50.

  17. #56
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    Hey guys! Give it a try to this one. Maybe it can be expensive but Youtube has the streaming playlist of the cycle.
    It's also on Spotify.

  18. #57
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    It's also on Spotify.
    Yeah, but I'm aware of the awful reputation Spotify sound has in this forum. Instead, as so many members like to stream from YouTube from this site, I place the links. Thank you.

  19. #58
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granate View Post
    Yeah, but I'm aware of the awful reputation Spotify sound has in this forum. Instead, as so many members like to stream from YouTube from this site, I place the links. Thank you.
    I have a premium Spotify subscription, and it sounds fine - vastly superior to YouTube.

  20. #59
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    Having mentioned with great enthusiasm the Maag cycle might I also add Skrowaczeski.
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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  22. #60
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Four of the five Maag CDs have arrived, only 1&3 to come. I'll give No.4 (one of my favourite Beethoven Symphonies) a listen tomorrow. Am expecting good things, and will hold you personally responsible if I have any tinges of disappointment!

    Big fan of Skrowaczewski here too, not only his Beethoven, but also his Brahms and Bruckner cycles...
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Oct-10-2019 at 23:01.

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