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Symphonies 7 & 8

L.V. Beethoven Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)


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Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2009 $3.69  
Audio CD, 2010 $8.37  
Audio CD, 1990 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto; vivacePablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra12:39Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: II. AllegrettoPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 9:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: III. Presto; Assas meno prestoPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra10:52Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 7 In A Major, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brioPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 7:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Symphony No. 8 In F Major, Op. 93: I. Allegro vivace e con brioPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 8:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Symphony No. 8 In F Major, Op. 93: II. Allegretto scherzandoPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 3:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Symphony No. 8 In F Major, Op. 93: III. Tempo di MenuettoPablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Symphony No. 8 In F Major, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivacePablo Casals;Marlboro Festival Orchestra 8:11$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000270N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,508 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven for the first time November 6, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Listening to this recording is like discovering well-known music again. The only competetive version of the 7th symhony is Toscanini's old one with the New York Philharmonic (better than the later NBC version) - but the sound is mediocre. Karajan's 7th with the Vienna Symphony is only nearly as good (why didn't he make more recordings with this orchestra with whom he obviously had great affinity?). Casals' 7th has got the best orchestra, the most "urgent" atmosphere as it is a live recording, and the best sound. The real surprise, however, is Casals' account of the 8th symphony, so vivid and brisk as never before. He opts for the same tempi as Gardiner does in his recent DG version. The difference is that Casals has got rhythm as well. Sony, please, release more recordings with this great musicien.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Conducting and Playing December 2, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It seems this wonderful CD is only available via third party sellers. Despite this I'm compelled to tell anyone who might happen to come across this review that here is an example of what great music making is all about.
Maestro Casals leads a festival orchestra of about 50 players in the Seventh and 40 in the Eighth, but what they lack in numbers they more than compensate for in intensity. Every note played here conveys commitment and meaning. Consider, for example, the bass line in the second movement of the Seventh, these people aren't just keeping time but playing like soloists in counterpoint to the upper strings-extraordinary! I can only imagine what playing for a legend must have been like. The sound is not first class but more than good enough. This belongs in every orchestral collection, I hope it becomes more widely available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I was present at the performance of the Beethoven Seventh when I had the summer off in college. As many eyewitnesses have testified, Casals came alive on the podium. He sat in the wings when he wasn't conducting, and one often heard his vocal praise whenever the music moved him (often a growling, Spanish-inflected "bee-yoo-tee-ful"). His great age made him seem enfeebled until he rose with stick in hand and the band of Marlboro musicians who adored him suddenly responded. Everything was incredibly heartfelt -- as both of these Beethoven sympphonies display -- and the old man's lapses of concentration were trivial comapred to his astonishing musical presence.

The four-star reviewer offers a demurral I find unconvincing. A few coughs are barely worth mentioning, but the implication that this was bucolic, unsophisticated music-making is a more serious charge and far from right. Every musician in the catch-all Marlboro orchestra was either a young virtuoso or an old hand who led a section in one of America's greatest orchestras. True, Casals approached music spiritually rather than technically, but he wasn't a child. As far as tempi go, the four-star reviewer finds them slow when they are nothing of the kind particularly in the Eighth. Only Toscanini and our current crop of HIP conductors are notably faster. Casals wasn't Knappertsbusch. to my ears, only the Scherzo and finale of the Seventh seem a bit broad. I used to think there was a certain rough-and-ready quality to this Seventh, but I no longer find it so. Quite the opposite. Casals' rivals now sound too polished and urbane to me, most of them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven Symphony #8 in F Major - Pablo Casales July 18, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This performance is required listening for anyone who is serious about classical music; it is by far the best recording I've ever heard of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony. The opening movement, Allegro vivace e con brio (fast, lively and zesty), truly lives up to the composer's instructions. What makes it stand out is not merely the tempo, which is breathtaking, but the precision and control, which are extraordinary. This performance actually sounds like the product of a single mind, with every note attacked by every instrument at the same instant. At the end of the first phrase of the first movement, there is a tiny pause, after which the orchestra takes up the second phrase of the opening theme, again with absolute precision. To pick up the musical thread after a hesitation of that sort, with such clarity, is simply extraordinary. This is the playing of a fine ensemble that is completely in tune with the musical statement that its conductor is trying to express.

The Marlboro Festival Orchestra is smaller than the major symphony orchestras that are represented on the majority of Beethoven symphony performances; that is a partial explanation for the combination of speed and clarity that Casales is able to bring out. But other performances by small orchestras don't come any closer to this one than the big orchestras with famous conductors do; something rare and special is going on here. It's worth noting that this is a live performance, though the audience is so silent that you might well think they held their breath through the entire work. (This is true on the LP version as well, not simply some trick of digital remastering.) They must have known how very lucky they were to be present at such a moment.
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