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Thread: Beethoven's Overtures on period instruments

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    Default Beethoven's Overtures on period instruments

    I can't find recordings about Zur Namensfeier and also Leonore I and III on period instruments. Do you know if someone has recorded them with a period orchestra?
    Thank You!

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    If you are absolutely insistent upon period instruments, I reckon you might be right for Name Day, but there are some Leonore reject overture recordings out there. Try the Hanover Band on Nimbus.

    If you are happy with HIP, rather than Period, you have more choice, Harnoncourt, arguably Zinman, at a stretch of the definition, Chailly's Beethoven-on-coke symphony set?

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    There are several of the overtures in the Immerseel/Anima Eterna Brugge complete symphonies box, and they are wonderful. That's my favorite of the period instruments cycles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    There are several of the overtures in the Immerseel/Anima Eterna Brugge complete symphonies box, and they are wonderful. That's my favorite of the period instruments cycles.
    Indeed a fabulous cycle, my second favourite on period instruments or HIP. But none of the three overtures Stefano is after are included

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    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CnC Bartok View Post
    Indeed a fabulous cycle, my second favourite on period instruments or HIP. But none of the three overtures Stefano is after are included
    Ah, yeah. Sorry.

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    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    ^^^^ Yeah, but that CD is of eight overtures, and is missing exactly the three - Leonore 1 and 3, Nameday - that the OP asks about!

    Looks like we're going to draw a blank, sorry.

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    I don't know of any period recordings. The three overtures that you're looking for aren't on The Hanover Players disc, at least not the one I have. (EDIT: I see that CnCB has already pointed that out.) In fact, these aren't overtures that even get recorded all that often on modern instruments.

    So, unless I'm wrong about there being no period recordings, you can either wait until some ensemble records the 3 overtures on period instruments (whenever that will be...), or choose one of the HIP/chamber orchestra options, such as the recordings by conductors Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Thomas Dausgaard, Paavo Jarvi, or David Zinman. Or, you could go with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, who play in a tradition that goes back to Beethoven's time, which is actually more HIP than people often realize. If interested in the Leipzig recordings, I'd suggest that you sample the overtures by conductors Riccardo Chailly & Kurt Masur (and maybe the older recordings by Franz Konwitschny, but those are probably less HIP than the other two). Of the three, Masur was the only one to record the complete Beethoven Overtures in Leipzig (& his set is available on Philips duo or a Pentatone hybrid SACD). Personally, I'd pick either Masur (who also made one of the best recordings of Fidelio in the digital era), or Harnoncourt, who's even more HIP than Masur (& so too is Dausgaard, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra). John Nelson is another conductor that takes a decidedly HIP approach to Beethoven's music on modern instruments (with the Orchestral de Paris), but I don't think he's done any of the overtures (which is too bad, since Nelson & Harnoncourt are my favorite HIP Beethoven conductors on modern instruments). If you want a complete HIP set of Beethoven overtures--with more brisk tempi than Masur's, David Zinman is probably your best bet (although I'm not crazy about Zinman's Beethoven, which I can find too stiff & dry).

    I. Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra:

    Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b (Chailly): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyn0ZGyoZN4
    Namensfeier, Op. 115 (Chailly): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYI0JiJP5yE

    Leonore Overture No. 1, Op. 138 (Masur): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzl0BvXg-sY
    Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b (Masur): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9H-S5Ew_Kk
    Namensfeier, or "Nameday", Op. 115 (Masur): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l16DZkTjNXs
    Fidelio Overture (Masur--from the full Eurodisc recording): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3yG4sCFJsc

    Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b (Konwitschny): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBdm...CG8nXc&index=3

    II. For comparison:

    Namensfeier, Op. 115 (Zinman): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5guYmEmpMw
    Leonore Overture, No. 1, Op. 138 (Zinman): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ENsAyc_ugw
    Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a (Zinman): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XowSDYLiiPE
    The complete overtures (Zinman): https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Com.../dp/B0007X9TKC

    Leonore No. 1, Op. 138 (Harnoncourt): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-3ITiyhFlc
    Leonore No. 3, Op. 72b (Harnoncourt): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mtHJ_hnVfY

    Leonore No. 1, Op. 138 (Dausgaard): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z_nDJ2ojJc
    Leonore No. 3, Op. 72b (Dausgaard): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHx5Aa0FMg0

    Leonore No. 3, Op. 72b (P. Jaarvi): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLBkA3Z0Ks

    If you choose to wait, I'd recommend that you keep your eye on the Hungarian period ensemble, Capella Savaria, who have yet to do a Beethoven cycle. I'd also keep your eye on conductor Nicholas McGegan, as well, who's yet to record or at least finish a complete Beethoven period cycle. (In fact, McGegan has recently been named the principal guest conductor for Capella Savaria...) & while this is purely wishful thinking, I'd also love to see Montreal Baroque record a Beethoven cycle, but they'll probably be too busy recording Bach's complete Cantatas in the foreseeable future.
    Last edited by Josquin13; May-21-2020 at 19:34.

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