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Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Schubert: Symphony No. 5 / Böhm, Vienna Philharmonic Orch.
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Top Customer Reviews
The stubbornly slow and rigid tempos are something to admire and allow for plenty of detail that otherwise might go unnoticed, and yet, is a Pastorale that makes it possible for one to read a book or check upon one's e-mails ideally paced?
I also agree with other reviewers here that the 2nd movement is made to sound or rather "feel" similar to the 1st, which I find, to say the least, surprising - is so little contrast among the first two if not three movements really what Beethoven had in mind? On the other hand, I am sure many listeners will find the leisurely "walking pace" of the 2nd movement "Scene by the Brook" to be of singular serenity.
Orchestral precision is truly fine, especially in terms of details, and the Viennese lean-texturedness is just at the opposite side of the spectrum than Karajan and his Berliners (at his later worst, not his earlier best). Winds and strings, although the former do not necessarily have more "glow" (as David Hurwitz seems to be claiming) than in other top recommendations (see further below), are certainly worthy of praise.
The recording has always been somewhat bass-shy, so much so that the concentration on Bohm's "plastic (pliant?) middle voices" (as one German critic said in 1972) becomes, well, inevitable. It's still well-balanced enough and nicely transparent, but a more physical bottom end might even have improved one's view of the interpretation, hard to tell. The "Storm" of the 4th mouvement nonetheless sounds very believable.Read more ›
This is the definitive 'Pastoral'. I own three versions and have heard several others and none even come close. It feels like a perfect balance between tempo, dynamics and recorded sound. The VPO play from the heart, under one of Vienna's greatest conductors with tremendous energy and accuracy. The sound is what I have come to expect from DG's Originals: a superb analogue tape recording transparently transferred to CD. It hails from an era that brought together old-school conductors, mature technology and attention to detail, in an environment with lighter commercial pressures. The result is simply delightful.
Boehm's style is not suited to all music - but this is a perfect match. He also deteriorated with age; his 1981 9th Symphony recording is very weak, but that he managed it at all is incredible. The double set consisting of the Eroica and Ninth is well worth having, as are most of his Mozart performances.
On top of everything else, this CD is an absolute steal. It is without doubt 'required listenning' even for those who have a passing interest in Beethoven.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the greatest pieces of music going...the peace that come with certain movements always brings me joy, and to have it on the Kindle Fire is even better.Published 22 months ago by Carol Layton
This review is from: Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastorale Schubert: Symphonies, No. 5) (Audio CD)
As such it joins Pollini's Chopin Etudes, or the Alban Berg's Mozart on... Read more
It is difficult and rare in classical music to have perfection. However, in this case, perfection is there. Read morePublished on September 12, 2013 by Sylang
I just received this "Originals" disc. I have this very same recording on an earlier DG reissue (with Staatskapelle Dresden and overtures on it). Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by cooksinger
Everyone raves about Beethoven No 5 but No 6 to me is the best of all his symphonies and this recording is just magic.Published on February 3, 2013 by Helen Zizikos
Regarding the Pastoral, it is the best of his complete VPO set and at least tied with the #4 (see my review) And the BPO Schubert #5 is one of the best in his DG Schubert... Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by Jon Miller ('Kirk')
This is the sine qua non performance of this symphony. The critical thing here is the tempo. Many conductors take it far too fast (Carlos Kleiber, otherwise a fine conductor, is... Read morePublished on January 6, 2013 by Diatonic
Bohm & the Vienna worked so well together. The Beethoven is perfect & the Scubert is not far behind. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by Bohmfan