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Thread: Carlos Kleiber's Beethoven 5

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Default Carlos Kleiber's Beethoven 5

    Anyone else a big fan of this monolithic performance? Perhaps the greatest recording of perhaps Beethoven's masterpiece.
    Last edited by Tapkaara; Oct-27-2009 at 23:26.
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    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I've heard it. Can you refer it to me, or tell me where I might find a copy of a CD or anything?
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    Member Sorin Eushayson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    Anyone else a big fan of this monlithic performance? Perhaps the greatest recording of perhaps Beethoven's masterpiece.
    Oh yeah. That's a truly legendary Beethoven recording right there. Don't forget to note the equally brilliant recording of the 7th, both packaged handily on one disc!

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorin Eushayson View Post
    Oh yeah. That's a truly legendary Beethoven recording right there. Don't forget to note the equally brilliant recording of the 7th, both packaged handily on one disc!

    Oh yes, excellent 7th too. Kleiber was an ideal conductor for Beethoven. He brings out the dark drama but also an epic sweep that is lacking in Karajan, for example. (Karajan is dramatic without being "epic.")

    In the first movement of the Kleibers 5th, I love how you can hear the bows really crunch into the strings for the famous Fate's Knocking. Heavy stuff!
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member nickgray's Avatar
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    Eh... I don't know. It's good, yeah, but I prefer my Beethoven to be in chamber orchestra version, it sounds much more natural that way, and although it doesn't really get epic, it doesn't need to. It should be crushing, fiery and fast, not heavy and epic.
    Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

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    Andante
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    I have the Kleiber CD it is the best that I have heard but mine is the original CD, there is a remastered version available that may be better.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andante View Post
    I have the Kleiber CD it is the best that I have heard but mine is the original CD, there is a remastered version available that may be better.
    I have the newer/remastered version. It features some of DG's best sound from the 1970s. Too bad Kleiber didn;t do a whole sympony cycle for Beethoven...
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    Anyone else a big fan of this monolithic performance?
    Of my 5 recordings of Beethoven's 5th, this one tops my chart.

    a) Kleiber-Vienna
    b) Stokowski-Philadelphia mono (from Centennial Collection)
    c) Solti-Chicago digital
    d) Karajan-Berlin '62
    e) Karajan-Berlin '77

    (I can actually listen to any of these versions and enjoy the experience.)

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    Another 5th worth mentioning is Cluyten's early stereo outing with Berlin. (The whole Cluytens cycle is top notch!) He gives such a joyous performance of the 5th. You can literally hear his smiles in the final movement.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickgray View Post
    Eh... I don't know. It's good, yeah, but I prefer my Beethoven to be in chamber orchestra version, it sounds much more natural that way, and although it doesn't really get epic, it doesn't need to. It should be crushing, fiery and fast, not heavy and epic.
    Kleiber's 5th is heavy, epic AND crushing, fiery and fast. Truly the perfect 5th.

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    Junior Member audiophilia's Avatar
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    Stiil perfect after hundreds of hearings. Awesome.
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    It's hardly a best kept secret that Carlos Kleiber/VPO's Beethoven Symphony No 5 is a top-rated classic CD. I would have thought that most Beethoven fans already have it, and if they don't then they they should, as it's been a best-seller since the time it came out in 1975. I admit that I "wore out the grooves" on my copy years ago.

    HERE is a review by Gramophone saying why they think it so great.

    For me the nearest in overall quality to it is the version by Anima Eterna/ Jos van Immerseel, (part of a 6 CD collection). This is a period instrument and historically informed approach, which I generally prefer these days. As might be expected, it's fast but too fast. It comes in just under 30 minutes compared with the Kleiber/VPO of about 33 mins. Worth a try:


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    Yes its perfect

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    I have heard several versions of the 5th, but sadly not this one. I have Karajan's 1963 DG Cycle, which is good, but the version I have that I like the most is by Georg Solti with the Vienna Philharmonic in 1955 which comes together with the 3rd and the 7th. The third is also superb, and the seventh has thrilling moments, but somehow seems to lack overall unity. It seems to reach great emotional heights in the second movement, with the third and fourth movement seeming like a bit of an anticlimax.

    Has anyone heard the Carlos Kleiber version as well as Solti's VPO version? If so, could they say which they prefer and why? I would love to own Kleiber's famous version but I have to justify to myself owning three copies of one Symphony...

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    Member Sorin Eushayson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    For me the nearest in overall quality to it is the version by Anima Eterna/ Jos van Immerseel, (part of a 6 CD collection). This is a period instrument and historically informed approach, which I generally prefer these days. As might be expected, it's fast but too fast. It comes in just under 30 minutes compared with the Kleiber/VPO of about 33 mins. Worth a try:
    That's my favourite version of the Fifth at the moment. Not only do you get a fiery and forceful performance but the added sonorities of time-appropriate instruments kick it up a notch. Check it out...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1Sl2xh-CoI
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