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Beethoven: Symphonies / Overtures [Box set, Import]

Ludwig van Beethoven , Jos van Immerseel , Anima Eterna Orchestra , Klaus Schredl , Bart Meynckens , Anne-Kristiina Kaappola , Annelies Coene , Elisabeth Hermans Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $34.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 46 Songs, 2013 $49.49  
Audio CD, Import, Box set, 2008 $34.90  

Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: Symphonies / Overtures + Schubert: The Complete Symphonies + Debussy: La Mer / Images / Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Price for all three: $90.61

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Product Details

  • Performer: Klaus Schredl, Bart Meynckens, Anne-Kristiina Kaappola, Annelies Coene, Elisabeth Hermans
  • Orchestra: Anima Eterna Orchestra
  • Conductor: Jos van Immerseel
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (April 8, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • 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: Zig Zag Territories
  • ASIN: B0014WSWTY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent achievement July 22, 2008
By Chyron
Format:Audio CD
Here is a Beethoven symphony cycle (again) on period instruments (again). So why should it stick out in the midst of dozens of other cycles ? Yet it does stick out.
These symphonies by Jos Van Immerseel and his small-scale orchestra Anima Eterna are all fresh, full of tintillating life. In fact, the orchestra is perfectly modelled on the size of the symphony orchestra in Beethoven's time, everything has been done in an effort to recreate the sound that Beethoven sought to create and that he would have heard (or wish to hear)himself. The details about the research and the production are explained in a well-written multilingual booklet included in the box.
The sounds. These symphonies are a wealth of sounds, I have never before heard the percussion so clearly and the same goes for practically every individual instrument and yet the music flows and sings with all instruments together, dynamically and harmoniously : this is pure heaven.
I'm very fond of Beethoven's symphonies and I have some two dozen complete cycles in my collection but this one goes straight to the top as one of the very, very best.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Astounding rendition of the Symphonies July 21, 2008
Format:Audio CD
When Hector Berlioz discovered Beethoven Symphonies through the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire in Paris (in 1828), he wrote: "At another point on the horizon, I saw the immense Beethoven rising. The jolt this gave me was almost comparable to the one I had received from Shakespeare. He opened up a new world in music for me, just as the playwright had revealed to me a new universe in poetry."

This would be a very accurate description of what I felt when I listened to this rendition of these Symphonies. And I know them, and enjoy them, and I have the Karajan, Bernstein and Gardiner recordings. I thought there could be no more surprises, no new recording to improve what has been made until now. But I was wrong.

Jos van Immerseel and Anima Eterna get these compositons right. We can really feel them as fresh, vibrant, alive music - highlighting that "inevitability" that Bernstein used to praise about Beethoven.

If I had to choose only one recording of the Symphonies to take with me, I would choose this one (and this one is the one I have in my iPod, to take with me all the time!)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A period collection to stand with the best of that ilk January 30, 2009
Format:Audio CD
While nothing in the Jos van Immerseel-Anima Eterna collaboration on Beethoven's symphonies and overtures gave me reason to dump Roger Norrington's first batch, with the London Classical Players, from my personal mountaintop of period couplings, it gave me plenty to chew on and think about and, occasionally, great musicmaking. For the uninitiated, Immerseel is the keyboardist-cum-conductor founder of Anima Eterna, a band of 45 or so players that use period instruments, some originals and others copies, and gut strings. Unlike recent Beethoven recordings by Haitink, Vanska and Norrington that used modern instruments and period-induced style, this set stays true to period mantra by using old instruments.

My experience with Immerseel as chamber musician, soloist and conductor tells me he is a musical moderate, not a dogmatist in the Norrington mold. His interpretations of the symphonies tend to moderate, with only No. 7 being what I would call full blown in your face conducting. The performances are generally satisfying. I would say Symphonies 1,2,4, 5 and 8 are all good or better and 7 is one of the best performances I've ever heard. Commonplace interesting musical details leap out at the listener on every disk, as well. The overtures are lively and the marcia alla turca section from the Ruins of Athens sounds different than any version I've ever heard because of the Turkish band Immerseel put together to play it.

But I grade Beethoven sets on how the forces do with the magnanimous triplets -- Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 and 9. Here, I would say Immerseel is not always at his best. The Eroica lacks the gravity most adhere to it while 6 starts a little fast for my taste, even though I was humming along by the end. Symphony No.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big sound from small forces, and yet... September 12, 2012
Format:Audio CD
Another original-instrument performance of Beethoven's symphonies. What makes these different from the many other such cycles currently available on disc centers around three points, as set forth in a fascinating explanatory essay by Immerseel found in the booklet: 1) These not only use "original instruments," but instruments specific to the Vienna of Beethoven's time, allegedly different-sounding from and pitched higher than those used in other cities in Europe. 2) Extensive research into musical performances in the Vienna of that time, leading to an orchestra size ranging from the high thirties to the low forties (as opposed to the sixty or so players used in other original-instrument cycles). 3) Eschewing the idea of creative "interpretation" of the music, in favor of the "declamation" practices of the time, based on a strictly literal following of the composer's tempi and dynamics.

So, does it succeed? On the first two points, quite well indeed. Under Immerseel's direction, Anima Eterna produce a "big" sound that belies the small number of players -- in terms of sonic impact, what we hear on this set is every bit the equal of the "big orchestra" sound of Beethoven cycles from leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic or Chicago Symphony. The sound of the Viennese "instrumentarium" is also mostly a smashing success, with richly colored woodwinds and quicksilver strings. Only the brass disappoints a bit; granted, all Classical-era brass instruments pale somewhat when compared to their modern equivalents, but the horns in Anima Eterna, in particular, don't quite hit a smooth pitch at far too many moments in this cycle, the solo passage in the third movement of the Ninth being a prime example.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if not outstanding results...
I purchased this set because of some positive press reviews.
I am slightly disappointed. I don't think there is one single set that perfectly embraces all the Symphonies and... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Roger J Gersbach
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars- There are several sets better than Immerseel
Several of these symphonies are interpreted kind of oddly in at least 2 or 3 movements at least. The only really great movement was the last movement of Beethoven's 5th. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. A. Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars A Horticultural Experiment
I have a black thumb. I destroy flora. Last spring, I wanted to avert the usual result with my tomatoes (there's a small green-house out the back). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Beethoven
These recordings are just fantastic. The Beethoven symphonies have been done over and over, what makes this so special is the original orchestrations on period instruments using... Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars An especially good and convincing set on period instruments
This set, well recorded between 2005 and 2007, comes with an informative and thorough booklet in several languages, but each one taking up about 30 pages of text. Read more
Published 13 months ago by I. Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars My Choice
Well, I have to say this this is perhaps the best Beethoven symphonic cycle I've ever heard. I know that it is the best set of period instrument renditions of these symphonies that... Read more
Published 16 months ago by J. R. Trtek
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat
I've heard many recordings of Beethoven's symphonies from Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra on 78rpm records to some of the best known conductors and orchestras... Read more
Published on January 27, 2012 by Moshe of Haifa
5.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT HESITATE!
I bought this as a "pig in a poke" having no idea what to expect except for the sterling reviews. I must say I agree with all of the good things said about the recordings. Read more
Published on October 25, 2011 by John B. Dozier
5.0 out of 5 stars Immerseel Beethoven Symphonies
My absolute favorite set of Beethoven Symphonies, brimming with style, fire and life, and the best recording of an orchestra that I own.

Simply fantastic!
Published on January 1, 2011 by Michael E. Eschman
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal comparison of various recordings of Beethoven's symphonies
In this review I will try to compare various complete recordings of Beethoven's nine symphonies plus Carlos Kleiber's CD with Symphonies number 5 and 7 (on DG). Read more
Published on March 12, 2010 by Rasmus Oerndrup
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