Best Beethoven Symphony Recordings

A Listmania! list by John Kwok (New York, NY USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "This is an idiosyncratic listing of the best recordings of Beethoven symphonies I've heard - or rather, in one instance, heard of - ranging all over the map from traditional accounts to fleet, period instrument-influenced performances, often using the new Barenreiter Edition of Beethoven's symphonic scores."
Symphony 9
1.  Symphony 9 by Ludwig Van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Truly phenomenal account of the 9th Symphony from Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra, which is one of the highlights of Haitink's latest, LSO Live cycle."
$17.69   Used & New from: $7.74
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphony No 7: Triple Concerto
2.  Beethoven: Symphony No 7: Triple Concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "One of my favorite performances of both Beethoven's 7th Symphony and Triple Concerto with Haitink conducting the LSO; one of the highlights of his latest LSO Live cycle."
$17.58   Used & New from: $8.63
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Symphony No 3 Leonore Overture No 2
3.  Symphony No 3 Leonore Overture No 2 by Ludwig Von Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Quite possibly the best recorded version of the 3rd Symphony, with impressive sound from the London Symphony Orchestra, from Haitink's critically acclaimed LSO Live cycle."
$17.36   Used & New from: $3.88
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
4.  Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 by L.V. Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Widely regarded as Abbado's best recording of the 9th Symphony, using the Barenreiter Edition, but recorded before his second DG cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker."
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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
5.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 by Kleiber
The list author says:
  "One of the most impressive recordings in the "DG Originals" series. Kleiber and the Wiener Philharmoniker give two sensational performances of these symphonies."
$10.39   Used & New from: $2.00
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Symphony 3: Eroica / Symphony 4
6.  Symphony 3: Eroica / Symphony 4 by L.V. Beethoven
The list author says:
  "One of the finest performances from Abbado's second DG cycle using the Barenreiter Edition, and among the greatest recordings of the Beethoven 3rd Symphony currently available."
Used & New from: $1.53
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 ~ Abbado
7.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 ~ Abbado by L.V. Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Spellbinding performances of both symphonies from Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker from their recent Deutsche Grammophon cycle."
$21.66   Used & New from: $14.00
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Symphonies, Nos. 6 & 2 Beethoven
8.  Symphonies, Nos. 6 & 2 Beethoven by Bernard Haitink
The list author says:
  "Fine, elegant performances of the 6th and 2nd Symphonies by the London Symphony Orchestra under Haitink's inspired direction, that's part of his critically acclaimed LSO Live cycle."
$17.77   Used & New from: $2.41
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Symphonies 1 & 5
9.  Symphonies 1 & 5 by L.V. Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Exceptional performances of the 1st and 5th symphony (An unusual coupling, yet one that makes sense since one work is in C major; the other in C minor.) from Haitink and LSO in his critically acclaimed LSO Live Beethoven symphony cycle."
$17.62   Used & New from: $10.87
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Symphonies 4 & 8
10.  Symphonies 4 & 8 by L.V. Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Distinguished performances of both symphonies from Haitink and the London Symphony Orchestra that are the glorious conclusion to his LSO Live Beethoven symphony cycle. However, his choice of tempi in the 4th Symphony isn't nearly as brisk as Abbado's or Zinman's, who've also used the same Barenreiter Edition score."
$17.78   Used & New from: $11.17
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Beethoven Symphony No. 6 "Pastorale" / Walter, Columbia Symphony (SACD)
11.  Beethoven Symphony No. 6 "Pastorale" / Walter, Columbia Symphony (SACD) by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "One of the truly great recordings of the Beethoven 6th Symphony, and a long-time personal favorite of mine."
$35.87   Used & New from: $19.95
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphonies no 3 & 4 / Zinman, Zurich Tonhalle Orch
12.  Beethoven: Symphonies no 3 & 4 / Zinman, Zurich Tonhalle Orch by Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Two of my favorite performances in Zinman's cycle, which was the first to the use the Barenreiter Edition in its entirety."
$19.52   Used & New from: $0.01
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5
13.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Fine performances of both symphonies from Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra using the Barenreiter Edition, but not as insightful as those from Haitink, Abbado or Zinman."
$21.12   Used & New from: $2.83
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphony No.3 Overtures 'leonore Iii' '
14.  Beethoven: Symphony No.3 Overtures 'leonore Iii' ' by Harnoncourt
The list author says:
  "Splendid "Eroica" symphony from Harnoncourt's cycle with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe."
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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 and 8/2 Overtures
15.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 6, 7 and 8/2 Overtures by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "From Bohm's Wiener Philharmoniker cycle, featuring one of the most expansive, exciting accounts of the 6th Symphony I've heard."
$17.98   Used & New from: $8.73
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5; 'Egmont' Overture [United Kingdom]
16.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5; 'Egmont' Overture [United Kingdom] by Harnoncourt
The list author says:
  "Two more superb performances from Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which rank among the best recordings of either symphony I've heard."
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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2
17.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 by Harnoncourt
The list author says:
  "Harnoncourt's spellbinding interpretations of these two early Beethoven symphonies are still my favorites, with excellent playing by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe."
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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 / Schumann: Manfred Overture
18.  Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 / Schumann: Manfred Overture by Los Angeles Po
The list author says:
  "Giulini's tempi are among the slowest for this symphony, but he offers an exciting performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic."
$14.28   Used & New from: $0.99
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastorale / Leonore Overture No. 3
19.  Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastorale / Leonore Overture No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "The artistic highlight of Dohnanyi's cycle with the Cleveland Orchestra, which has received ample praise from critics and fans alike."
$8.56   Used & New from: $0.01
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphonise Nos. 1 + 6
20.  Beethoven: Symphonise Nos. 1 + 6 by Wand
The list author says:
  "Wand's interpretation of the 6th Symphony is widely acclaimed as one of the best digital recordings. This is the only critically acclaimed recording of the 6th Symphony which I have yet to hear."
$17.68   Used & New from: $2.98

Syms 4-6
21.  Syms 4-6 by Boston Symphony Orchestra
The list author says:
  "Kubelik was the first major conductor to use different orchestras to record an entire Beethoven Symphony cycle; these are fine, often overlooked, performances."
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4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphonies 6, 8 & 9; Carlo Maria Giulini; London Symphony Orchestra
22.  Beethoven: Symphonies 6, 8 & 9; Carlo Maria Giulini; London Symphony Orchestra by Shelia Armstrong
The list author says:
  "Giulini opts for rather slow tempi, but love especially his mesmerizing interpretation of the 6th Symphony; the others are just as fine with the LSO in superb form."
$14.18   Used & New from: $1.99
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos, 4, 5, 6 - Pastoral, & 7 ~ Sawallisch
23.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos, 4, 5, 6 - Pastoral, & 7 ~ Sawallisch by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Superb performances of these symphonies from Sawallisch's 1990s cycle with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra."
Used & New from: $11.99
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7,  8 & 9
24.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7, 8 & 9 by Helen Donath
The list author says:
  "Elegant performances from the Wiener Philharmoniker (7th Symphony), The Cleveland Orchestra (8th Symphony) and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (9th Symphony) is this two-disk set that's from Kubelik's 1970s Deutsche Grammophon cycle in which he recorded all of Beethoven's symphonies using different orchestras."
Used & New from: $5.49
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 (Penguin Music Classics Series)
25.  Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 (Penguin Music Classics Series) by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Vladimir Ashkenazy demonstrates that he is a superb interpreter of Beethoven's 5th and 7th symphonies in this splendid, critically acclaimed recording."
$17.99   Used & New from: $0.42
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica / Egmont Overture
26.  Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica / Egmont Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
The list author says:
  "Karajan's best recording from his third - and last - cycle for Deutsche Grammophon. Still one of the most impressive accounts of the Beethoven 3rd Symphony available."
$16.25   Used & New from: $2.65
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Bernstein in Vienna- Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4, 6 & 9 (Classic Performances)
27.  Bernstein in Vienna- Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4, 6 & 9 (Classic Performances) by Leonard Bernstein
The list author says:
  "Among the finest performances in Bernstein's Wiener Philharmoniker DG cycle recorded in Vienna in the 1970s."
$6.85   Used & New from: $0.96
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Author

John Kwok (New York, NY USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: former classically-trained musician (studied piano, clarinet, violin)
Last updated: 5/6/07
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