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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies [Box set]

Ludwig van Beethoven , Herbert Blomstedt , Staatskapelle Dresden Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $19.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Box set, 2012 $19.95  

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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies + Mozart The Symphonies
Price for both: $50.44

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Staatskapelle Dresden
  • Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (June 26, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B007NCP86E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

'Herbert Blomstedt's Beethoven cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the great ones, as much for the magnificent playing of this finest of all German orchestras as for Blomstedt's effortlessly musical interpretations.' 10/10 for artistic quality and sound quality. David Hurwitz,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven as it should be December 26, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Have you ever listened to a Beethoven symphony that was too smooth sounding? Maybe the accents and dynamic of the score weren't being paid much attention to. The performance was just a performance and not really what Beethoven had intended his audience to experience. Beethoven was quite the revolutionary and after him everything changed. Nothing remained of the old musical word. Yes, it did take some time but not long after his death, his music was being performed at almost every music venue in Europe. That pretty much has continued to this day world wide. Complete recordings of his symphonies abound. And this is one of them. Great in conception and execution and performance. This little white cd box from Brilliant Classics with the nine Beethoven symphonies, conducted by quite possibly the greatest Beethoven conductor of his generation, Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Staaskapelle Dresden, quite possibly the finest Beethoven orchestra anywhere are contained in this little unassuming 5 cd case. These are exciting, engaging awesome performances and if you love Beethoven, you owe it to yourself to get this symphony cycle. The audio is upfront and crystal clear with a wide deep sound field. Alas, no booklet is included but after all this time who needs one. Not to be missed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Beethoven Set June 27, 2013
By JohnK
Format:Audio CD
This modestly-priced 5-CD set of Beethoven symphonies is my current favorite. Herbert Blomstedt, an underrated conductor who has spent much of his career in central Europe, always seems to pick just the right tempo for each movement and gets his superb orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, to rise to all the big moments in these familiar scores. The analog recordings from the late 1970's are excellent, with the woodwinds realistically balanced in the orchestra (not spotlit as in many other cases). There are no notes included in the set, nor are there any overtures. Though there are many other options for these symphonies, this set is a superb reference - and it comes at bargain price to boot!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plush renditions, superb in the slow movements March 1, 2014
Format:Audio CD
Herbert Blomstedt, the Swedish conductor, become the Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 1975, where he stayed until 1985. This was unusual given that Dresden was in the DDR -- East Germany. More unusual, Blomstedt was (and remains) a devout Seventh Day Adventist. He was leading the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the same period (1977-1982), so he must have been quite busy. According to the Berlin Classics liner notes the SD, which chose Blomstedt, "was never looked upon very favourably by the ruling party."

The Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the world's oldest (founded in 1548) and finest symphony orchestras. It was certainly in prime condition from 1975 to 1980 when this Beethoven cycle was recorded. The recordings were made in the acoustically excellent Lukaskirche in Dresden. So the sound is magnificent. Blomstedt's interpretations, however, are not very exciting. The tempos are slow, and tend to sound sluggish when more dynamism is called for in the fast movements. It is in the slow movements that Blomstedt and this fine orchestra shine. The Adagio of the Third, for instance, is very moving in stark contrast to the more famous Karajan/BPO 1962 recording. In the Ninth, the Molto vivace is clumsy where it should be dazzling and light on its feet, but the Adagio is one of the finest I've heard, just incomparably lovely.

For Beethoven in a similar traditional vein I prefer Gunter Wand's cycle with the NDR Hamburg orchestra, recorded in the late 1980s.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a neophyte, but sounds great to me... January 18, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am new to listening to classical music, so please don't take my review too seriously. Nonetheless, I wanted to say that I have listened to these recordings of Beethoven symphonies and thoroughly enjoyed them. Despite being analog recordings, the sound quality is very high. I will also say that I researched reviews of these Blomstedt/Staatskapelle Dresden recordings broadly across the web, and nearly everybody states this is the best of bargain-priced versions and perhaps as good as many of the more expensive, more famous recordings.

The box contains 5 cds in cardboard sleeves, with no notes, or anything, but I'm not sure why one would pay extra for notes with so much information available on the Internet.

Anyway, a purchase well worth the money.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Recorded between 1975-1980. All are ADD; none were recorded digitally. NO BOOKLET INCLUDED! Each symphony's track listings are on each sleeve. Good dynamics. Clean interpretations. Music is somewhat compressed such that dynamic range isn't as wide as today's recordings. Peaks are a bit congested. Notes on some of the individual symphonies are given in the order presented, e.g. Symphony 1 is couple with 3 on the same disc.

#1. Played well without being romanticized with retards, etc. More like something from the Classical Period as it should be. I've heard better Firsts.

#3. The Eroica is not particularly special. In fact, the orchestra sounds like a smaller ensemble but perhaps it was scaled down to a size more appropriate to Beethoven's time. An alternative explanation could be layed at the feet of the recording engineer. At any rate, it doesn't sound very heroic or intense. The 2nd Movement and the Poco andante of the 4th Movement are lovingly and beautifully played. The 3rd Movement Scherzo and Trio are played with less urgency than commonly heard. Oddly, the 4th Movement sounds a little more like a full-sized orchestra.

#2 & #4. Full orchestra sound arrives with the 2nd Symphony. Very well played in a more Classical style as still appropriate. The 1st Movement gives a glimpse of that melodic and rhythmic motif later to be heard in the Ninth Symphony. I suspect that since these two symphonies were recorded later than the 1st and the 3rd, they benefitted from the engineer's learning curve. The Second's Larghetto is sweetly played. The final movement is perfect in every way aside from the mild congestion on peaks that occurs and is so common in recordings from the days before DDD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published 1 month ago by ROBOCOP
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Choice
There are many Beethoven complete symphonies sets available. But this one has the sound quality and superb performances I was looking for at the best price. Read more
Published 3 months ago by wildwielder
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-performed
Great set! Valuable in the Music Appreciation college class I teach! I recommend it to anyone studying "the progress of "THE NINE"
Published 3 months ago by Richard T. Shanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Good collection
I enjoyed the performances and am glad to have them all in one set. The larger case was cracked - but I can get over this. The music was worth the tape/glue.
Published 4 months ago by Monty
5.0 out of 5 stars everything I expected
This CD is an excellent recording of Beethoven's symphonies...very enjoyable. Would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Beethoven.
Published 6 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is an amazing CD collection with everything on it. I really thought the price was more than fair and the collection is great. Thank you.
Published 7 months ago by johnnychuck2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Beethoven
Fantastic value. Great sound and orchestra ranks with the best on these Beethoven symphonies. The power of the Ninth symphony along with the superior sound places it alongside the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve Boder
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Beethoven
Fantastic value. Great sound and orchestra ranks with the best on these Beethoven symphonies. The power of the Ninth symphony along with the superior sound places it alongside the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve Boder
5.0 out of 5 stars Now my favorite Beethoven
After a lifetime of listening to these great symphonies by other orchestras and conductors, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly this is becoming my favorite version of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gerald L Freeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rank
Grammophone Magazine gave this set a 10/10 for performance and sound quality. I agree. Excellent and at a budget price, too.
Published 13 months ago by ken100
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