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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: December 18, 2012
  • Label: eOne Music
  • Copyright: (C) 2012 Vanguard Classics
  • Total Length: 15:40:54
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00AOMZHSO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,137 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

You get 150 HOURS of music for 99 cents.
Julie Masters
Overall, this is an amazing set that outshines, in my view, the previous "Big Box" sets eOne has previously released, impressive as those have been.
T. Fisher
I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys classical music.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By N. Podaci on December 18, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I need MP3s of the late string quartets, so I bought this. String Quartet 15 is supposed to contain the "Heiliger Dankgesang," I think as the third movement. The movement I was expecting isn't here. Is it missing, or did one (or more) pieces get mislabeled? I am hoping someone more knowledgeable than me can either confirm that there was a mixup, or that there is another explanation.

UPDATE: As one of the commenters noted, Track 101 is from another work. It is the same as Track 81, from SQ 13. I also have found that the fourth movement of SQ 15 was split so part of it is the first approximately 47 seconds of Track 103. And I have found that Tracks 84 and 97 are the same. Dear Bach Guild, please fix this!

UPDATE #2 (12/29/12): Track 101 is now the correct third movement of SQ 15 (Correct track is 17:44; old incorrect track was 8:49). However my Cloud Player still has the incorrect track. I will wait for the other glitches and mis-labelings to be corrected before going through the exercise of contacting customer service to get the correct Track 101. As pointed out by other reviewers: The Waldstein piano sonata is out of order and not of good sound quality; Tracks 162-165 are mis-identified. Also Tracks 83 and 84 can be discarded if you have downloaded them.

UPDATE #3 (1/20/13): I contacted Customer Service to get the updated Track 101 (Third movement of SQ 15, "Heiliger Dankgesang." It is one of the "Most Moving" movements in all of Beethoven, so if you purchased this MP3 album prior to 12/29/12, please contact Customer Service to get this. I think that the other issues have not be corrected, but they aren't as jarring as not having the "Heiliger Dankgesang" in SQ 15.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sol L. Siegel on December 19, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Here we have hours and hours of Beethoven's best music, in performances ranging from good to superlative, mostly in good sound. What more do you want?

Well, there are a few glitches:

(1) As noted by another poster, the third movement of the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, isn't there. The third movement of the Quartet No. 12, Op. 127, has been inadvertently duplicated in its place. (Quartet No. 12 also has two extra movements: the last two movements of Quartet No. 13 have been duplicated and added to it.)

(2) The piano sonata listed as No. 26 is actually Sonata No. 12 in A-flat, Op. 26 ("Funeral March"). The Sonata No. 26 ("Les Adieux") is not included.

(3) The two tracks of the Piano Sonata No. 21 ("Waldstein") are reversed.

Hopefully Amazon will make the third movement of Quartet No. 15 available at some future time. For my own part, I can replace it out of my CD collection. I would have paid 99 cents just for Bruce Hungerford's wonderful performance of the little Op. 79 piano sonata, which hasn't been available since its original LP release. So unless that particular quartet is crucial, I'd jump on this release.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By T. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The folks over at The Bach Guild division of eOne Music have outdone themselves this time to celebrate Beethoven's birthday in 2012. (Actually, December 17 was the date of his baptism, as his birthdate is uncertain -- but who's counting?).

This collection from the vaults of Vanguard Records is sure to please. It is full of both familiar "greatest hits" -- mainly in the symphonies and piano sonatas -- as well as delicious Beethoven rarities and pieces off the beaten track that even people with serious classical music collections will no doubt be dying to hear.

The highlight of the set for me is the collection of Piano Sonatas performed by Bruce Hungerford, a remarkable pianist who died in a tragic accident in 1977, before he could finish his recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas for Vanguard. What he did complete is an amazing legacy of powerful, expressive performances that rank among the best recorded. (For a previous release of these recordings, see here.)

Then we have the late string quartets performed by the Yale String Quartet. Again, amazing performances that were certainly among the best available when recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and still just as satisfying. Fantastic in sound and performance quality. Their "Grosse Fuge" -- which in my mind counts as the first place "modern" classical music made a stand, almost 90 years before Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- is amazingly fluid and really must be heard. The Yale Quartet gives the late quartets emotional and musical depth on par with anyone -- these performances stand the test of time.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Szpila on December 18, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I am not purchasing this set because I already own multiple recordings of most of this music, however I just wanted to mention that at $0.99 this set is a no-brainer. The Yale String Quartet renditions of Beethoven's later String Quartets are alone worth the price of the set. Those are truly magnificent. Even when the price jumps up, the inclusion of those tracks will still make the price a bargain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Upstate Bookworm on January 21, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As many have noted, this set is an incredible bargain, especially for 99 cents. 15 hours of great music in good to excellent performances in pretty good sound is hard to beat, especially since these are full pieces rather than snippets. I'm especially impressed, so far, by Hungerford's sonnets for piano (which I'd always wanted to hear), Matthews performances of the piano variations, Abravanel's Creatures of Prometheus (a very interesting and hard to find piece), and the Yale Quartet's set of the late string quartets.

But, as the helpful reviews by N. Podaci and Sol L. Seigel have noted, there are a handful of glitches, the most important of which (omission of 3rd movement of SQ 15) was corrected by Customer Service, but the other ones not. Here's a quick guide to how to fix those glitches. In iTunes, you can make these changes by right clicking on a track, choosing "Get Info" from the pop-up menu, and then making the appropriate edit. First of all, reverse the order of the two movements of the Waldstein Sonata. Track 45 should be track 46, and vice versa.
Second, delete tracks 83 and 84. These are labeled as the last two movements of the Op. 127 String Quartet but they are really duplicates of the last two movements of the Quartet Op. 130. As you can see, track 82 is correctly labelled the "Finale" of Op. 127. Next, rename tracks 162-165. This piece is really Sonata No. 12, Op. 26 ("Funeral March"), not, as indicated, Sonata 26 ("Les Adieu"). You can google online for the correct tempo indicators for the four movements of Sonata No. 12. (Sonata 26 has only 3 movements!)
Once you've made these changes, you'll have a correctly labeled set of Beethoven masterpieces and all for less than a buck. I think its worth taking a couple of minutes to make it right. Enjoy!
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