on January 22, 2012
1. I can add nothing to the reputation of this composer, who many consider to be the greatest of all time.
2. The music on the CD itself, by a variety of performers, ranges from pretty good to passable, with the performance of the symphonies being the weakest link.
3. Awesome Bargain! Grab it quick in case Amazon jacks the price back up. In fact, grab all of the "Supreme Classical Masterpieces" selections if the holes in your library for a composer are enough to justify the price. At this price, it takes only the tiniest hole to make the justification.
The title is a little misleading, though. Though there are 100 individual pieces of music this is achieved by breaking up each major work into its constituent pieces and counting each one. In some cases the entire work is included - a symphony, for example - while in others only part of the work is included - only the overture from "Egmont," for example. Altogether, there are 31 works in this collection. Here they are if you wish to see them conveniently, in order on the CD:
1. Egmont Overture
2. Sonata No. 5 in F Major for Violin and Piano
3. Sonata No. 9 in A Major for Violin and Piano
4. Sonata No. 3 in A Major for Cello and Piano
5. Piano Trio in B Flat Major
6. String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor
7. Große Fuge in B-Flat Major
8. Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major for Piano and Orchestra
9. Concerto No. 3 in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra
10. Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra
11. Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major for Piano and Orchestra
12. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra
13. Triple Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello, Piano
14. Coriolan, Op. 62_ Overture in C Minor
15. Sonata No. 8 in C Minor for Piano, Op. 13, Pathétique
16. Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 26
17. Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor for Piano, Op. 27
18. Sonata No. 21 in C Major for Piano, Op. 52
19. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor for Piano, Op. 57
20. Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 81
21. Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
22. Symphony No. 1 in C Major
23. Symphony No. 2 in D Major
24. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major
25. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major
26. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
27. Symphony No. 6 in F Major
28. Symphony No. 7 in A Major
29. Symphony No. 8 in F Major
30. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
31. Bagatelle in A Minor, Für Elise
And a more functional arrangement, if you wish to quickly index to your library:
1. Symphony No. 1 in C Major
2. Symphony No. 2 in D Major
3. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major
4. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major
5. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor
6. Symphony No. 6 in F Major
7. Symphony No. 7 in A Major
8. Symphony No. 8 in F Major
9. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor
10. Sonata No. 3 in A Major for Cello and Piano
11. Sonata No. 5 in F Major for Violin and Piano
12. Sonata No. 8 in C Minor for Piano, Op. 13, Pathétique
13. Sonata No. 9 in A Major for Violin and Piano
14. Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 26
15. Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor for Piano, Op. 27
16. Sonata No. 21 in C Major for Piano, Op. 52
17. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor for Piano, Op. 57
18. Sonata No. 26 in E-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 81
19. Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra
20. Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major for Piano and Orchestra
21. Concerto No. 3 in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra
22. Concerto No. 4 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra
23. Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major for Piano and Orchestra
24. Triple Concerto in C Major for Violin, Cello, Piano
25. Piano Trio in B Flat Major
26. String Quartet No. 4 in C Minor
27. Große Fuge in B-Flat Major
28. Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123
29. Egmont Overture
30. Coriolan, Overture in C Minor
31. Bagatelle in A Minor, Für Elise
on December 28, 2011
At its current price of 2 dollars, this has to be one of the great bargains in the history of classical music. Most of the performances are excellent especially the Emperor Concerto, Missa Solemnis and Violin Sonatas. However, if you are buying this set to get the symphonies, I would look elsewhere. The Tbilisi Symphony is a good orchestra if you are listening to them in person. On a recording however, all of the deficiencies become crystal clear and it becomes quite obvious that this is a basically a mediocre orchestra. It is especially obvious in the finale of the Beethoven 7th. They simply cannot play this music with the precision it requires.
My suggestion is this: Buy this set and then later buy the Josef Krips recording of the symphonies for 6 dollars. It is one of the finest recordings of the Beethoven symphonies ever made and the 1960 sound is more than adequate.
on May 20, 2012
If you need to fill holes in your Beethoven collection, or you're looking to replace that lost or broken CD. Or, if you've never bought a Beethoven CD or MP3, then this is the collection for you - at $1.99 you can hardly go wrong. You can't beat the price with a stick and you get hours and hours of quality music by the greatest composer of all time. Beethoven was a genius, his music powerful and unforgettable. You'll find all nine of his symphonies here, plus sonatas and other piano music, and other orchestral and chamber pieces. This music is beautiful, powerful, lyrical, and breath taking. You'll find yourself humming snatches of melody - I know I do. In the car, at home, in the shower, doing the dishes, I find myself humming the melody of a sonata or a selected part of one of my favorite symphonies. You will too, you'll see!
I've read in other reviews, that the quality of the work on the symphonies is lower. As a classical pianist myself, I can see what they're saying, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the symphonies on these MP3s when I'm not in my pickier moods. For example, last night when I was making dinner, I decided a little Beethoven would work just fine, so on went Symphony no. 5, soon I was dancing round the kitchen - mixing, stirring, conducting, singing. It was wonderful! At that moment I wasn't into the exactitude of the execution of the performers - I was into the spirit and the energy of the different movements being played.
FOR THE MUSIC PURISTS: Use this to fill holes in your collection - it's so cheap, it's almost like stealing. There's so much here that you can't go wrong, even if some aren't perfectly executed.
FOR EVERYONE ELSE: Use this to build your collection. There are at least 8 other MP3 downloads like this one which would start the basis for a lovely classical music library. If you get to the point where a piece doesn't sound right, or bothers you in any way, go out and explore alternatives. There are tons out there. What I like, you may not, and vice versa. For example, the only people I like play Rachmaninoff are Rachmaninoff and Mischa Dikter. Yet, I'm told a lot of people play him well - I just don't agree. It's all personal taste. Take recommendations, but figure out what you like yourself.
At $1.99 each, that makes it under $18.00 to have 1800 tracks of 9 classical masters, ranging from Bach to Debussy. You can't even buy a family of 4 fastfood for that little. Or you could buy 18 tracks on i-tunes, not 1800. I can tell you, I did it, and it's been the soundtrack to the greater part of my life since I did so. It especially makes wonderful background music while reading anything from fiction to nonfiction - and of course making dinner. You can't beat this deal - just buy this! Buy all of them! Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Composer Compilation
on March 24, 2013
The price for this collection is just rediculously cheap. I have all of the works in this collection on CD and by performers of my personal, discriminating choice. The reason that I bought this collection is for convenience. I thought that it would be nice to have the versatility and portability to be able to listen to music of my choosing while using my Kindel Fire as a reader and the cost of the collection is next to nothing. I enjoy very much being able to listen to these works in the background while reading. The performances are very satisfactory. I am amazed, jealous and very thankful that today people have such vast collections of the world's finest music available at dirt cheap prices. I have spent a life time searching and acquiring my music collection at significant expense (and nevermind the evolution from LP to Reel-to-Reel to CD)
on April 15, 2013
These are not exactly "great performances" and like any music, it's the performer who elevates the music. These ARE competent performances of satisfactory quality and make for a great way to learn which pieces of a composer catch your fancy.
I would then suggest looking for stellar performances of your favorite pieces.
I have enjoyed learning more about each composer at a budget cost nevertheless, the few pieces in my existing music collection that I already loved, invariably compared favorably to those in these collections; were far superior in overall production quality (instruments more balanced, solo's more rich in range of sound -fuller more brilliant sound), and superior performance (there's a reason recordings are made around a performer who may excel at a specific instrument, genre or composer).
on October 9, 2013
In general, I've been pleasantly surprised by the musical, artistic and sound quality of the "Rise of the Masters" download series.
Unfortunately, this Beethoven collection falls well short of the mark. I say that based on the limp and willingly undramatic renditions of the 9 Symphonies under the direction of Jansug Kakhidze. These recordings have appeared on numerous CD labels that tend to push HD sound or a budget price point, as opposed to artistic vision. Well, what good is HD sound if the performances lack any drama?
There are other strange choices in this set, like Freddy Kempff's version of the "Pathetique" Piano Sonata, which takes the first movement repeat all the way back to the Adagio beginning of the Sonata, rather to the double bar of the Allegro molto e con brio. Yes, his playing is quite good and energetic, even if his pedaling at the close of phrases can be inelegant, and one does hear a well-considered version of the sonata overall. But that repeat is discombobulating.
The price is right, but the performances are not.
Can't recommend this one higher than 2 stars.