The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

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RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

Hello everyone!

As I don't feel the urge to look for another medium to collect and listen to classical music than the good old lp record, my field of view may be narrow and somehow old fashioned for which I may be too young as well - but looking up to my dad's record collection was and still is one of the highlights of my early childhood. so I probably didn't dig as deep into the subject as one could have, but I quite enjoy things the way they are. nevertheless I own eleven complete beethoven cycles with several additions here and there. to me they seem as a good starting point. that's why I'd love to give it a shot and add my first and incomplete list (there still wait four beethoven symphonies for me to be explored):

3rd: Klemperer & Philharmonia (from his cycle and even if I'm not a true Klemperer's fan because of his slow tempi this is the only Eroica that gets me)

5th: Kleiber jun./VPO and/or Karajan/BPO from the second cycle. The latter one is one of my first memories listening to classical music as a child

6th: Karajan/BPO (2nd cycle) and/or Wand/NDR SO. these two are completly different, but I enjoy them both at their times.

7th: Kleiber/VPO and not as often: Bernstein/NYPO

The last one to me is a 'no-brainer':

9th: Bernstein/VPO - hands down. (up to this day I bought and listened to 28 different interpretations and only Schuricht/O.d.l.S.d.C.d.C.Paris came to what some might call 'close')

as I'm not a native speaker I like to apologize for my poor English.

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

 I perceive Leonard Bernstein as a media persona first and foremost. Growing up here in the states, Leonard Bernstein dominated the airwaves in the way that Yo Yo Ma and Lang Lang do today. But the point that I wanted to make is that it hasn't been until recently that a number of recordings from behind the 'Iron Courtain' are finally being released to us here in the west. I would assume that Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, had excelllent orchestras and conductors who could also do justice to the Viennese repertoire. Any insights with respect to recordings by the USSR, etc...?

goofyfoot

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

Yes, there is one!  Try to listen  Radio Kamer Filharmonie conducted by Philille Herreweghe performed in Concertgebouw http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6w-oEQ_QqGA.  I've never hear better performance of Symphony no. 6 "Pastoral"

This is not that far away from heven.  I try to compare many recordings.  Not even close!

 

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

Russian Beethoven:

Apart from a few one-offs, there is a Fedoseyev cycle (spelled "Fedosseyev" on the cover), and Pletnev's more recent go. Mravinsky recorded a partial cycle - 1 and 3-7 - available in the West only patchily.

(I also have a mixed cycle by obscure conductors and the Georgian SIMI orchestra released through bargain label Prism Classics.)

'Art doesn't need philosophers. It just needs to communicate from soul to soul.' Alejandro Jodorowsky

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

I think that in this theme its neccesary to distinguish between technical or academic perfection and emotion, and in that sense if you are looking for "perfection" there is Haitink, Bôhm, Colin Davis or Hans Schmidt-Isserstedts integrals, but if -against that- you are looking for drama, tragedy, in other words....emotion, you need to search in other way. I think that the appropiate is to seek a balance between both elements,  and in that sense I think that Josef Krips-London (an integral inexplicably forgotten here!)is for my taste the most regular of all, but also are the Chicago Orch-Fritz Reiner recordings (incomplete in all case), Schuricht-Paris Conservatory Orchestra, Leibowitz-Royal Philharmonic Orch, Leinsdorf-Boston, etc. In conclusion, the ideal is to find an integral that combines adecuately perfection and emotion, and I think that Barenboims, Bernsteins, Harnoncourts versions, for example, doesnt meets that requirements adecuately. Excuse my english, please. Best regards oscar.olavarria

 

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

The very fine German label Tacet has released an intriguing and very well recorded (in SACD) cycle with the Polish Chamber Philharmonique Orchestra under the baton of a conductor called Wojciech Rajski. For those who dare...it may be worth exploring.

Parla

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

and in your opinion that would be the perfect Beethoven symphonies cycle, dear Parla??, well...I think that at least effectively it could better than Barenboims or Thielemann cycles! oscar.olavarria

 

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

I never meant or even implied that, dear Oscar, but I tend to like the way you think.

I just mentioned this recording as the one recently available and, possibly, worth exploring as something different coming from the "Eastern" Europe orchestras and very well recorded.

Parla

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

The rule one should follow in this game is: No repeat of orchestra or conductor across the cycle. Makes it a more entertaining challenge.

This is the perfect Beethoven cycle ... 

1: Leipzig Gewandhaus / Chailly [Decca, 2011]

2: Cleveland Orchestra / Szell [CBS, 1957]

3: NDRSO / Wand [RCA, 1985]

4: London Classical Players / Norrington [EMI, 1989]

5: London Symphony Orchestra / Dorati [Mercury, 1962]

6: Bavarian State Orchestra / C. Kleiber [Orfeo, 1983]

7: Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of NY / Toscanini [HMV, 1936]

8: Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Harnoncourt [Teldec, 1991]

9: Philharmonia / Mackerras [Hyperion, 2005]

RE: The perfect Beethoven Symphony Cycle

"More entertaining" might be...As for "challenge", I doubt, since you see it as a..."game".

Parla

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