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Complete Beethoven Edition, Vol. 1: Symphonies
Ludwig van Beethoven, Walter Berry, Herbert von Karajan
Complete Beethoven Edition, Vol. 1: Symphonies
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #5

This 1963 set was conceived as an integral recording, and released as such, rather than piecemeal. It is consistent in terms of sound and interpretation, and the solid performances hold up to repeated hearing. Karajan may ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ludwig van Beethoven, Walter Berry, Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
Title: Complete Beethoven Edition, Vol. 1: Symphonies
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Release Date: 10/14/1997
Album Type: Box set
Genre: Classical
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaCD Credits: 5
UPC: 028945370125

Synopsis

Amazon.com
This 1963 set was conceived as an integral recording, and released as such, rather than piecemeal. It is consistent in terms of sound and interpretation, and the solid performances hold up to repeated hearing. Karajan may not have been as highly individualistic an interpreter as some in the generation that preceded him, but he possessed the same kind of authority--as these readings show. They emphasize tautness of line, grip, momentum, and mechanical precision, and convey exceptional energy without the roughhewn qualities some interpetations emphasize. The highlight of the set is a suave, darkly handsome account of the Eroica,. The only disappointment is a senselessly rushed Pastorale. The Berlin Philharmonic, which had chosen Karajan as its conductor for life just six years before the sessions began, plays with extraordinary discipline, power in reserve, and an understated but convincing sense of expression. One notes already the superb string ensemble and excellent work in the winds that would come to be seen as the orchestra's stock--in-trade, even if the horns are still rather weak and the trumpets thin. Here is the well-dressed, darkly handsome Beethoven of the portraits painted circa 1800, in performances that are dashing and determined but never in danger of careening out of control. The sound is good for the vintage: balanced, reasonably detailed though not close, and clear. DG's latest remastering has brought out as never before the original recordings' warmth and atmosphere. --Ted Libbey

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CD Reviews

Major Improvement to an Historic Cycle
07/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a digital (ADD) remastering of the original recordings from 1961-63. Much of the noise has been cleaned up and the signal/noise ratio and dynamic range are dramatically improved over the earlier release. Some residual tape hiss persists, but the dynamics of the instruments and voices really start to shine. There are a few instances of heavy distortion during loud passages - probably the original microphones or tape being overdriven. Nevertheless, this is a formidable, definitive, historical set for the collector. An excellent vintage, if a bit fortified."
The must have for the classical music or Beethoven lover.
08/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"von Karajan did many things very well. This is one of them. I have the older version of this set on CD. I also have some of the originally released records and cassettes of the 1960's Karajan Beethoven Symphony cycle. He has recorded these a number of times. The 70's version, well, I did not like the sound. The 80's recordings were digital, but heavily mixed, and the sound and performance not up to the 60's version.This version is the complete set of Beethoven's nine symphonies.Performance is historically classic...wonderful. Recording is excellent, better than many new ones. Karajan is a master at Beethoven. He also has two recordings out of Beethoven's Triple Concerto (one with Rostopovich, one with YoYo Ma)...both wonderful. These symphonies are a must for anyone interested in classical music. I have purchased many renderings of Beethoven's Ninth. All but this Karajan 1960's versions have gone to the used CD shops. This is what all recordings of Beethoven should be measured by.I don't like Karajan with Mahler, or some other composers, but with this set, he is close to perfection.And the price is a bargain.Five stars easily."
Masterly Control
Paul Harben | Sydney, NSW Australia | 02/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I came to the 1961-63 cycle by way of Karajan's mid-80s digital Gold accounts. I am bowled over by the sheer beauty and controlled excitement in the 3rd; and the 7th has striking, gloriously judged tempi. My favourite 9th from Karajan is still the 1977 performance, however, in it's new guise, this reissue glows with full choral power as never before. The "single-bit" format seems to restore some of the Berlin strings' lustre and sheen. The balance and spatial enhancement is real. A marvelous effort by DG. At almost double the price of the first CD transfer I still think it is worth the outlay. Enjoy anew this must have set."