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If You Could Only Have One Beethoven Symphony Cycle

39029 Views 224 Replies 113 Participants Last post by  Holden4th
What one would it be?

This would be a no-brainer for me if Fricsay had a full cycle. But since he does not, i am kind of inclined towards Gunter Wand (but if I keep listening to the Hanover Band cycle, that may change). However, that is out of my current collection which includes full cycles of Hanover Band, Wand, Szell, Ferencsik, and Liebowitz (I had Walter but got rid of it as too stodgy, but am told I should have kept if for his 6th). I am interested in what others would pick for their sole Beethoven symphony cycle and why.

NOTE: I started this thread because I think the results will be very interesting, but also because we don't have enough Beethoven symphony cycle threads on this site. :lol:
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Gunter Wand. Not even close to being HIP. Takes time to smell the glorious roses. Just the way I like it in Beethoven. My favorite Beethoven symphony set among the seven that I own.
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Wand, because this interpretation touches the mind more than it touches the soul, and this I like

and Abbado with BPO, what a tempo and a very unusual sound, also brainy
I have the Abbado and it is nice but sometimes I want him to "slow down" a bit.
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you got it hp

that's why it is unusual hahaha

matter of taste
Yes. I like collecting multiple performances of music. You never find two that are exactly the same.

In Beethoven, I don't like the slow movements "glossed over"; played too fast because of some recent modern "scholarship" that claims "this is correct". Musical interpretation should be about how to make the music communicate best and sound convincing.

I can't believe that Beethoven would have preferred his adagios played andante.

Thats why I prefer the Gunter Wand set.

However, in Bach, Handel, Mozart and Haydn, I prefer the fine crisp HIP.

For me Beethoven is the first Romantic composer.
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Well out of 10,000 people, my relativity calculations tell me that there will be two who do not like the Wand set.

Where do you think the expression "waving a magic Wand" comes from?
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The Gunther Wand. Takes time to smell the roses. The perfect HIP antidote!
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After reading this thread I've ordered the Wand set which I've never heard.
They are wonderful performances! So warm....not like today's "historically-informed" Beethoven taken so fast, that I keep asking, "What's the point?" How could Beethoven be happy hearing his music played without poetry?
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I'm kind of surprised that there aren't more conservative new sets out there. Nice to have a spectrum of recordings.
It's currently "the fad". The faster the better. Wrong! Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic is fine "old school" too.
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