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Symphonies 4 & 5 & 6 (2011)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.99
Price: $36.58 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Multi-Format 1-Disc Version $32.68  
DVD 3-Disc Version $36.58  

Frequently Bought Together

Symphonies 4 & 5 & 6 + Discovering Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 1 2 & 3 + Beethoven, Symphonies 7, 8, 9 / Discovering Beethoven
Price for all three: $109.74

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 130.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0047QRXYO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,960 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Christian Thielemann conducts the Vienna Philharmonic. Also included is Discovering Beethoven - Documentaries about Symphonies Nos. 4,5, & 6 with Joachim Kaiser. Included is legendary performance footage of Karajan, Bernstein, Jarvi, Boehm, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Step Back February 15, 2011
Format:DVD
The critic, Mr. Kaiser, is knowledgeable about the symphonies and about the past and present culture of his beloved Germany. Mr. Thielemann in the interviews comes across as thoughtful, expressive and easy going, smiling at times, in contrast to his quite serious demeanor on the podium.

The symphony performances seem both classical and romantic. The enclosed booklet states that Thielemann, along with Barenboim and Jansons, "form a vanguard of a counter-movement that seeks to restore to the Classical and Romantic repertory the sort of musical riches and unprecedented expressivity that we associate with a conductor like Wilhelm Furtwangler". This sounds good to me. He is discounting the period practice movement of the last twenty years. He is seeking to compare himself to the performances before 1990. That is exactly what I intend to do. His performances are classical in being relatively small scale (moderately reduced orchestra size) and played in a refined manner more than dynamically powerful. They are romantic in that the conductor takes liberties with tempo variations and phrasing. To me the 'lighter' ones: 1,2,4,6 & 8 come off well. The heaven storming ones, the quintessential Beethoven: 3, 5, 7 & 9 are good but not great.

The opening movement of the 3rd (Eroica) is refined but does not have the surging dynamism and sharp contrasts of the best: Karajan (BPO/'63), Cluytons (BPO), Bernstein (NYPO), or Levine (Met). The outer movements of the 5th are better but still not as exciting as the best: Karajan (BPO/'63), Kleiber (VPO), Reiner (CSO), or Giulini (LAPO). The outer movements of the 7th are pretty good but not as lively and spirited as the best: Karajan (BPO/'63), Bernstein (VPO), Davis (RPO), or Szell (CO).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars buy it February 22, 2011
By DocGaw
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Good performances, excellent sound, great orchestra and hall. Minor problem is shifting of video to different soloists every few seconds. Very distracting but I guess that's necessary to keep the television audience's attention.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Performance July 7, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I developed a love of Beethoven in the late 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. I had the original Everest recordings (from 35mm film) with Joseph Krips conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. I wore that set of records out. I just couldn't stop listening to them. I tried to replace them but for some reason the early DVD set of the same recordings lacked the quality of the original vinal records.

In the late 1980s I purchased the symhonies with Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was like falling in love all over again. I have high expectations when it comes to Beethoven.

After reading some of the reviews on Amazon I decided it was time to return to Beethoven.

Boy, am I glad I did.

These Blue Ray Format Recordings are fantastic. Thielemann is amazing. It is like falling in love for the first time. They are the same Symphonies, but they are completely new.

I have purchased and listened to all three discs. I don't know that much about Beethoven, but I know what I like.

Not only are these recordings artistic, they are technically as good as any recording I have seen or heard.

Now I'm just waiting for Thielemann to do a Blue Ray set of the Brahm's Symphonies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
This is, on the face of it, a very generous and tempting coupling of Beethoven's middle three symphonies all on one disc. The recording company, C Major, is in my opinion one of the very best working today. As a result we get unfailingly excellent surround sound and high quality visuals with sympathetic and knowledgeable camera work. So what of the actual performances?

Thielemann is very much his own man in this important respect. What we have here is 'big band' Beethoven with a large modern orchestra. There is no effort made to reproduce in any way the sound world that Beethoven inhabited. The textures presented here are fuller and more luscious in contrast to the sparer and rawer sounds that 'authentic' instruments deliver. Thielemann favours a well upholstered sound world and for this he is much appreciated by his Viennese audiences. It will also appeal to all listeners at home who find the 'authentic' approach rather too lean for their taste.

Thielemann goes further than just the sound world though and adopts a 'Romantic Period' approach to expression that would fit easily with Berlioz (think of his Fantastic Symphony)and the later Romantics. This is achieved by extensive variations of speed and dynamics, none of which can be found in the score. Indeed by contrast, Beethoven's own instructions for speed, with very fast and steady metronome markings, have often raised doubts about the feasibility of performances at that rate. This has now been answered by the authentic movement who can give lithe performances possible at those speeds with their reduced orchestras and playing on more flexible older instruments. It must be said that Thielemann's approach works better in these middle symphonies than the first two especially.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars highly entertaining concerts August 3, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
The whole 9 symphonies of this series are of a very high picture and audio quality that will make your music system shine .
Not only do you get a nice performance in stunning sound quality, but through the booklets and the interiews with the conductor, you gain a lot of insight in this production.
This makes this series a good introduction to classical music for both newcomers and music lovers, as well as the HDfreaks who are looking for classical releases on blu ray, without getting ripped off by buying the amateurish productions of surround music artist Alexander Jero which are artificially upmixed to 7.1, but do contain all keywords (7.1 DTS HD Master Audio) in every title so as to appear first on any search for HD classical music.
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