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  • Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies [Box Set]
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Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies [Box Set]

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Audio CD, March 7, 2005
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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies [Box Set] + Beethoven: The 5 Piano Concertos + Beethoven: The 9 Symphonies
Price for all three: $73.38

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Staatskapelle Berlin
  • Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (March 7, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Label: Teldec Classics
  • ASIN: B00076YOPY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,165 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

A good buy for excellence.
donna wirt
It's as if the listener is reading the score of every part himself.
Motti Morell
As you've probably guessed, I like it a lot.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Fidelio on October 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I remember this set getting some very positive press back when it first came out, but already having a number of cycles, I gave it a miss at the time. Now that it has been issued in budget format, I finally took the plunge, and . . . WOW. I'm amazed at the strength, color, and sheer conviction of these performances. There's no doubt in my mind: this is one of the all-time great cycles of Beethoven's nine symphonies. It certainly doesn't hurt that these performances are caught in vivid, clear, and dynamic sound (I think they were originally released on the now-abandoned DVD Audio format; the CD transfers are excellent).

Let me dispel a certain refrain one hears about this cycle, which is that Barenboim approaches these iconic works in a manner reminiscent of the great conductor Wilhelm Fürtwängler. It is certainly true that Barenboim has not adapted himself (like Abbado or Rattle) to the "historically informed" performance style made popular by Norrington, Brueggen, Harnoncourt, and Gardiner. This is unrepentant and unreconstructed mid-twentieth-century "German"-style Beethoven, but the presiding spirit is not so much Fürtwängler as it is Otto Klemperer. Klemperer did not push and pull the tempo as Fürtwängler did, and Barenboim, like Klemperer, tends to set a basic pulse and stick with it. There are no dizzying, sudden accelerations and decelerations, although Barenboim allows for very natural variations of tempo as the musical rhetoric demands. Fortunately, Barenboim typically sets his basic tempi a notch or two faster than Klemperer, whose approach could sometimes (even often) become bogged down and heavy. Think of this cycle as Klemperer 2.0: massive, clear, faster than version 1.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Motti Morell on January 26, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Audiophiles invest tens of thousands of dollars on high-end component audio systems so they can hear the subtlest details in the music.
This performance of Beethoven symphonies by Barenboim and the BSO accomplishes this feat on any sound system.
It's an unbelievably High-Definition performance, and not only because of the superb Teldec sound engineering. Barenboim's unequalled reading makes you notice every note in every part of every instrument. I've heard many excellent performances of Beethoven's symphonies, but never like this. It's as if the listener is reading the score of every part himself. It's that transparent.
I know the music by heart, having heard it so many times. But listening to Barenboim and the BSO, it's like getting to know the music for the first time, like never before.
Karajan's 1960 Beethoven cycle ticks like a Mercedes-Benz: all parts move together very tightly and precisely. Carlos Kleiber's 5th and 7th are the most energetic and vivacious. Furtwangler's beethoven is the most majestic and noble. But Barenboim is the one I play over and over. He treats every note with the utmost care and precision, every note a precious gem. He doesn't rush it like modern conductors, but rather lets the listener relish every phrase to full satisfaction. It's fast when the movement calls for it, but in the slow movements he slows down while maintaining the tension (much more difficult to maintain tension when playing slow than when playing fast). The tempo feels so right. And in many passages he sort of pauses for a split second, to emphasize and rivet your attention so that you don't miss a single note or nuance. It adds an air of nobility, like in Furtwangler's readings. It also adds an air of great reverence to Beethoven's music.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on June 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I started investigating and listening to classical music in late 2000 and into 2001. This Barenboim Beethoven cycle was recorded in 1999 and first released in 2000, so I must have just missed hearing about it and the acclaim it received. Fortunately I have now discovered it, and this 2004 reissue, which was lost in Amazon's cloud due to faulty labelling. This is a true Brilliant-style box, no jewel cases, six discs in cardboard sleeves and an excellent 108-page booklet.

With the emergence of the HIP (historically informed performance) movement, some Beethoven listeners have come to prefer the sleeker, faster style that was apparently the way the works were originally performed, which can be heard in the cycles led by Gardiner, Harnoncourt (see my review), Mackerras, Norrington and Zinman. Some conductors, like Claudio Abbado, have embraced the movement and recorded new cycles in the stripped-down style. My recommendation for this new school of interpretation is Vanska's cycle with Minnesota (see my review). But Daniel Barenboim is not part of that movement.
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