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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7,8 & 9 [Blu-ray]

19 customer reviews

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(Mar 29, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 and 9, including a one-hour-long documentary for each symphony, which include legendary footage of performances from Karajan, Bernstein, Bohm, Jarvi and more!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Christian Thielemann, Weiner Philharmoniker, Annette Dasch, Mihoko Fujimura, Pitor Beczala
  • Directors: Michale Beyer, Agnes Meth, Christoph Engel, Ana-Monica Pandelea
  • Format: Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 326 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047QRXZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,791 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Clive S. Goodwin on April 11, 2011
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This review pertains to all the nine symphonies, in my case 3 blueray discs (purchased separately).To begin with, the bluerays are actually cheaper than the regular dvds, because each dvd release takes up 2 discs. On each blueray, you get 3 symphonies plus a very interesting analysis on each one given by Christian Thielemann,(the conductor) and Joachim Kaiser, the eminent musicologist. SO, if you have a blueray player (if not, get one just for this set!) the whole thing will set you back less than $90.(I bought mine from Classical Music Superstore).

The dts master audio captures the detail, nuances and Vienna Phil. playing to an unprecedented degree.You will hear and see details of the score you've never heard before. The video is beyond reproach, with very intelligent pinpointing of players plus the considerable skills of Thielemann's conducting style. He has the reputation of being rather stolid on the podium, but I found his manner enthusiastic and empathetic (including becoming momentarily airborne on occasion!)The Vienna Philharmonic remains a fabulous group, except they need to hire more female players! The audience was very attentive, with nobody asleep, as far as I could discern(blueray lets you see these details!)

I have listened to Beethoven interpretations for 50 years, through Klemperer, Karajan and then the whole "original instuments" metronome maniacs. These new readings actually bear more resemblance to Willem Mengelberg's, in the 1930's. What I mean here is that Thielemann uses rubato, both subtle and extreme, accelerates and puts the brakes on, brings down the playing to a whisper when he deems necessary, and just basically rethinks the whole thing. Other reviews have picked out favorites - I just loved them all.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By V.J. Williams on June 16, 2011
My purchase of this, the 7th - 9th Symphony in Blu-ray was inspired almost solely by the reviewers here. Thank you, Mr Goodwin! My frame of reference for Beethoven's 9th was the Von Karanjan 1977 live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic, and the principals Anna-Tomova-Sintov, Agnes Baltsa, René Kollo and José van Dam. I do admit to being very partial to this recording, but the idea of foraying into Blu-Ray was attractive and then I found this Thielemann.

I was, to say the least, blown away and kept gasping at every nuance that bespoke emotion impossible to explain. I will feast on this recording - excellent clarity of sound!- for years to come, I hope. Will anything better be produced? Time will tell. I can say here and now, anything recorded after this magnum opus will for me, at any rate, always be measured against this unbelievable experience of the Beethoven 9th, especially.

The "Discovering Beethoven" conversations are even more worth purchasing this set. It reminded me of the documentary special feature on the movie "The Mission" by director Roland Joffé which I enjoyed more than watching the film itself. Well, with the Beethoven Symphonies, I enjoyed the documentaries as much as I did the performance.

I admit here that Piotr Beczala is a very special tenor and so I enjoyed the choir and pricipal singers in the "Choral" symphony and again, an impressive line-up that competes well with the singers in the 1977 DVD recording.

This has been such an experience, so I've ordered the 4,5,6th symphonies on Blu-ray and looking forward to experience the best that Thielemann, the Vienna Philharmonic and Blu-ray has to offer.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chhan Thuan Kiat on July 29, 2011
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I can think of 3 pertinent reasons a music lover seeking to acquire his first Beethoven cycle should seriously consider making this Thielemann/Kaiser./ VPO collaboration on 3 Blu ray discs his first choice, though I'll admit the jaded aficionado may be harder to convince.
Firstly, on purely technical considerations, this is the finest recorded cycle of the symphonies, bar none. The detail and dynamic range of the audio are just great, especially the lower frequency range which gives the basses and cellos that extra growl and makes the tympani just that bit more exciting. The Vienna strings have never sounded better and the clarity of the horns and woodwinds is simply superb. Audio imaging or sound stage is just as impressive as the excellent high def picture quality.
Secondly,Thielemann and the VPO prove themselves equal to the best of the competition and the competition is stiff. Of the 3 discs, I feel the third (7th,8th and 9th), the best. The 7th is done with verve and compelling propulsive rhythm, at a fast clip though not as frenetic as some recent conductors, Thielemann taking special pains with some delightful phrasings, rubato and exciting dynamic transitions. The allegretto is finely judged and very well done and so is the rousing finale. The 8th, often considered lightweight, is especially charming and piquant, the phrasings and orchestral sound very pleasing ( and you thought Ludwig a dour, humorless chap !) and really refreshing. I thought the 9th very good, with stirring orchestral playing in the first three movements and a glorious choral utterance in the last with the soprano and tenor in very fine voice ( better than Abbado but perhaps Karajan' s vocal forces have the edge here). In the second disc ( 4th, 5th, 6th ), I particularly liked the 6th.
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7,8 & 9 [Blu-ray]
This item: Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7,8 & 9 [Blu-ray]
Price: $39.99
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