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Beethoven: Missa Solemnis; Symphony No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven, Erich Kleiber, NBC Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis; Symphony No. 3
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #2


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CD Details

All Artists: Ludwig van Beethoven, Erich Kleiber, NBC Symphony Orchestra, Birgit Nilsson, Gosta Backelin
Title: Beethoven: Missa Solemnis; Symphony No. 3
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Urania
Release Date: 12/1/1999
Album Type: Import
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 675754096922

CD Reviews

Great performances but poorly recorded.
RENS | Dover, NH USA | 08/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I would like to give this set 5 stars, but the sound is so murky (in the Missa Solemnis) and dry (in the 3rd Symphony) that it is ultimately difficult to judge the quality of the performances.

As best I can tell, Erich Kleiber leads a solid and sensitive performance of the Missa Solemnis. He takes the Kyrie at an extraordinarily slow tempo, very broad and nuanced. The orchestral playing is adequate but not of the first rank. The soloists are fine, and it is interesting to hear the young Birgit Nilsson.

The performance of the Erioca features the NBC Symphony Orchestra at their best, but the poor reproduction makes it hard to appreciate. If one wants to hear Erich Kleiber's way with the Eroica, one is best off turning to the 1951 recording with the Concertgebouw Orchestra available in the DECCA Legends series, coupled with Beethoven's 5th. The combination of Kleiber, the Dutch orchestra, the Concertgebouw itself and DECCA's sound engineers produced indeed legendary performances captured in clear, detailed, and rich sound.

This Urania recording offers both the Missa Solemnis and the Eroica taken from what sound to be transcription disks of 1948 radio performances. The sound in the Mass is compressed, boomy, and far from clear. The sound in the Eroica is also compressed and very dry, suggesting that the broadcast was from NBC's Studio 8H. Given these sources, the remastering is excellent and there is little surface noise. Some improvement can be achieved by fiddling with the treble and bass controls on the listener's sound system, but don't expect too much.

All in all, these are recorded perfomances worth having if one is an admirer of Erich Kleiber and if one purchases the set at a greatly reduced price.