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Sym 9: Choral / Fidelio Ovtr - Essential Classics
Beethoven, Cvo, Szell
Sym 9: Choral / Fidelio Ovtr - Essential Classics
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Beethoven, Cvo, Szell
Title: Sym 9: Choral / Fidelio Ovtr - Essential Classics
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 8/6/2002
Genre: Classical
Style: Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 696998995925

CD Reviews

Brilliant Performance
Music Lover | United States | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Something that bothers me is the way people on this site criticize the recordings of the great conductors of the 20th century as if they were done by amateur musicians. Bohm, Karajan, Szell, Solti, Bernstein, Furtwangler, Ormandy, Klieber, Jochum, Toscanini, Klemperer, Walter; these were the great men of the greatest age of recorded music. These were the giants and legends struggling to find meaning in Beethoven when Beethoven still mattered to everyone. Now very few people care about classical music (at least in the United States), and interest in it is seen as elitist. Maybe part of the reason is that a lot of the people who listen are pompous and try to tell everyone not what's good and what's not, but rather who is good and who's not (i.e. "Bernstein is the most overrated conductor of the 20th century" or "Toscanini's conducting isn't emotionally searching").
Okay, that's my diatribe against the jerks on this site who try to dissuade you from making up your own mind. Now to this recording. I'm 24 now, and Beethoven has been my favorite composer since my father gave me a copy of Muti's cycle 11 years ago. My father grew up with the cycle by Szell and I used to listen to his childhood cycle on his record player. Even at a young age I knew there was something very special about Szell. If you like the 9th taken at swift tempos, than you will love this recording. If you like it played more slowly, this is not the recording for you. I like it both ways once I adjust my mind and try to go along with the conductor's vision. Szell's conducting is austere yet magisterial. This is Beethoven the king as compared to Furtwangler's romantic hero Beethoven. One thing I appreciate about Szell is the precision he demands of his orchestra. Everyone is playing together at the maestro's tempo and on the maestro's page. The recording is good for its age. All the instruments are clear (I especially love the percussion in the second movement). Overall, this is a wonderful recording of the greatest of all symphonies by the greatest of all symphonists. The price is also very attractive. Bravo maestro Szell, bravo Cleveland Orchestra, and bravo Sony."
Brilliant Beethoven
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 01/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the 1950s and 60s, CBS/Columbia (now Sony Classical) had the great fortune to have three of America's best orchestras and their conductors on their recording roster -- Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. Nearly a half-century later, only Leonard Bernstein remains a name that even the non-classical music world knows. But in the world of the compact disc, this is a wonderful thing, because while Leonard Bernstein analog stereo recordings sell at mid-price, classic performances by Ormandy and Szell are regulated to the budget line. Well, my friends there is justice in the world because the vast majority of these "budget line" recordings are not only amazing, but some are still considered definitive more than 40 years later! One such definitive performance is this Szell recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and in fact the whole cycle is still something at which to marvel. Never did something of such high quality come at such a small price. Enjoy!"
Great performance, horrid sound
J. Gillon | North Carolina | 03/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The Szell cycle on LP was my inaugural classical music purchase in the early 70s. I know these are great performances, but the sound quality here is no better than my vinyl discs produced when I abandoned them in the mid 80s. If you're just looking for a great, brisk 9th, try Gunter Wand and the NDR. If you're looking for a complete set, you can spend the extra $ and get the more recently remastered Szell cycle (ASIN: B0002CHK6I - I haven't heard these iterations but reviews suggest they're a huge improvement over previous remasterings). Or you can save some money and purchase the world class Zinman/Tonhalle cycle for a fraction of the price.

Five stars for the wonderful memories. Two stars off for really poor audio quality."