Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Sandor Solyom-Nagy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Janos Ferencsik|
Beethoven Collection: Symphonies Nos. 1-9, Complete Recording (Box Set)
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Beethoven and Well-Polished Mahogany.
R. C. Ross | Birmingham | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Janos Ferencsik was of the `old school' of conductors. A craftsman rather than a showman. Sadly we shall never see their like again! These are thoroughly balanced and lovingly conceived performances. They reveal great strength of character, healthy self-control and mature insight. Ferencsik evidently had experienced much, with emotional and spiritual roots that went deep. Consequently he had no need to resort to surface, superficial excitement to compensate for lack of insight. Ferencsik reveals the mature insight that comes only from a life-long contemplation of scores that the conductor knew as well as he knew the date of his own birthday.His freedom from egotistical self-indulgence may at first give the impression that Ferencsik's performances will be ordinary and unimaginative. Stay a little longer! The whole cycle has remarkable consistency and these are performances that promise to provide continuing satisfaction long after the latest products of the promoters' art are forgotten.Ferencsik's interpretations of Beethoven are remarkably free from what Harnoncourt calls the `agitative' qualities of this music. Not for him the sort of `off-the-peg' megalomaniac `heroism' of (too) much Beethoven conducting. Instead Ferencsik draws our attention to the profoundly stable, grounded, settled qualities of the music. To be sure music full of energy and dynamism; but using that energy to strengthen and under-gird a deep humanity and profound, peaceful beauty - as Emily Dickinson said, `Past what Ourself can estimate'. Not surprisingly then the 6th `Pastoral' symphony is given a wonderfully glorious performance. And so too is the elusive, enigmatic slow movement of the 9th. This is a remarkable gem, an exceptional success; wholly coherent, glowing with a lyrical, reposeful splendour.The Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra play beautifully, as `to the manner born'. They have with a thoroughly attractive and distinctive sound-reminiscent of a piece of much-loved, deeply polished mahogany. This set can be heartily recommended. At the asking price it's a `steal'! This is real music-making! Well worth hearing whatever other recordings of these inexhaustible symphonies you may have."
Value for money set - recommended for beginners only
Paul W. | KL, Malaysia | 02/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Received my set from Amazon recently and it arrived in excellent condition. Since then, I have moved on to 2 other Beethoven Symphonies sets by other conductors because I discovered that I really liked the symphonies.
If you have even the slightest suspicion that you might enjoy the symphonies, it is best to bypass this and invest in much better sets instead, like the critically acclaimed 'Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies' by David Zinman (ASIN: B00000IFP6) or the 1963 set 'Beethoven: 9 Symphonien' by Herbert von Karajan (ASIN: B000001GBQ) or even both, like I did.
The Zinman edition is newer (1998) and the first to be recorded using the critical Barenreiter edition, whereas the 1963 Karajan edition has been widely acknowledged as one of the very best edition of the Symphonies ever produced until today. These 2 sets sound sufficiently different from each other to warrant owning both, and either is far, far superior in terms of soundstaging, warmth and lushness compared to this budget version, which appeared clinically dry.
Nevertheless, this set still represents excellent value for money, and is perfectly suitable for the beginner who is unsure whether he/she will appreciate the 9 Symphonies."
Servicable, well-recorded introduction. to the Master.
DJ Rix | NJ USA | 09/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's see. The John Eliot Gardner "period" cycle goes for about sixty bucks, this one for sixteen. I love John Eliot Gardner's Missa Solemnis, & I enjoyed the couple of his Beethoven symphonies I've caught on the radio. So why is it that I have Giulini's 7th, Klemperer's old school booming 4th, Szell's crisp 5th, a treasured complete set on Deutsche Grammophon vinyl by Karl Bohm given to me as birthday gift years ago? What attracted me to the ancient Seraphin Cluytens/Berlin Philharmonic 9th? Probably because I detest "the latest is the greatest because it's the latest" standards of musical purity & enjoy the concepts & idiosyncrasies of conductors from different recording eras & cultures. Good heavens, this music is 200 years old!! It stopped sounding the way Beethoven wanted it to sound the first time the old man stepped up to the podium & couldn't hear the band. I was familiar with good reputations of Ferencsik & the Hungarian Philharmonic in the Eastern European & Russian musical marketplace, particularly with Eastern European music - some of it available here at ridiculously low prices, & almost totally ignored. True, Ferencsik conducts in the Toscanini "It's my ballgame 'cause I brought the ball" tradition. But these are more than servicable, well-recorded interpretations for newcomers want to become familiar with all nine, then move up to more individualist performances of the symphonies that most attract them. It's also an excellent addition to one's portable CD player library. Today, I left the house at the beginning of the 3th, went to the supermarket, & arrived home just as the 8th was ending - all on one CD."