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on October 17, 2014
Have the Herbert Kegel set also and while it's very nice in the big, standard late Romantic style this set is a revelation. Not period instruments but period tempos (Beethoven's own metronome markings). It really shows how performance interpretation standards have changed over time in regard to these works (and, by implication, to much of the literature; remember the story of Mozart telling performers taking the slow movement of one of his piano concertos too slowly - "Andante! Andante! I write andantes, not adagios!")

Mr Ferencsik's ripping through these symphonies at such breakneck speed is tremendously exciting and, while it's only natural, at such speeds, that some detail is occasionally lost, the orchestra acquits itself most admirably throughout.

Certainly glad I took a chance on these.
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on September 25, 2001
Let's see. The John Eliot Gardner "period" cycle goes for about sixty bucks, this one for sixteen. I love John Eliot Gardner's Missa Solemnis, & I enjoyed the couple of his Beethoven symphonies I've caught on the radio. So why is it that I have Giulini's 7th, Klemperer's old school booming 4th, Szell's crisp 5th, a treasured complete set on Deutsche Grammophon vinyl by Karl Bohm given to me as birthday gift years ago? What attracted me to the ancient Seraphin Cluytens/Berlin Philharmonic 9th? Probably because I detest "the latest is the greatest because it's the latest" standards of musical purity & enjoy the concepts & idiosyncrasies of conductors from different recording eras & cultures. Good heavens, this music is 200 years old!! It stopped sounding the way Beethoven wanted it to sound the first time the old man stepped up to the podium & couldn't hear the band.
I was familiar with good reputations of Ferencsik & the Hungarian Philharmonic in the Eastern European & Russian musical marketplace, particularly with Eastern European music - some of it available here at ridiculously low prices, & almost totally ignored. True, Ferencsik conducts in the Toscanini "It's my ballgame 'cause I brought the ball" tradition. But these are more than servicable, well-recorded interpretations for newcomers want to become familiar with all nine, then move up to more individualist performances of the symphonies that most attract them. It's also an excellent addition to one's portable CD player library. Today, I left the house at the beginning of the 3th, went to the supermarket, & arrived home just as the 8th was ending - all on one CD.
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on September 24, 2016
I mean...who doesn't love Beethoven?
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on May 11, 2016
Perfect, thank you!
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on July 22, 2006
Beethoven is my favorite composer. No matter how upset or tired I am, his music calms me down, just like a big, gentle hug.

But the cheap CDs have poor quality. And the good ones are too expensive for me. When I found this collection, with such a good price on Amazon.com, I couldn't believe it. Shortly after I purchased it, I received it. The quality is great. I am enjoying it. Thank you

Hoda
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After a recent piano concerto, I was taken down memory lane to my childhood just by listening to the music. Since then, I am listening to a lot more classical music. Beethoven's collection is a very nice collection, and I do recommend it.
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on June 18, 2004
I only listened to the 6th symphony before I wrote this, but I can presume it shows Janos Ferencsik's feel of Beethoven's music. I've had a couple of other versions of Beethoven's complete symphonies: Toscannini and someone else on CD whom I can't remember (my CD collection was burnt up in a house fire). They were both excellent, and have shown me what Beethoven's symphonies should sound like. But Ferencsik conducts the 6th as if he doesn't have a true artist's feel for Beethoven's intended interplay of the various instruments. Sometimes inappropriate secondary instruments come to the foreground when they shouldn't, giving a clumsy feel to the whole. In general he gets it right, but there are many occurrences that make me say to myself, "Ah, well, the complete symphonies for $13.89, an excellent orchestra, and very good sound fidelity. It's still a great deal!" One more excellent example of the importance of the man with the baton.
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on January 22, 2013
This is the best choice! it's good quality and resonable price. mailing is fast too! I like it a lot!
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on May 14, 2007
I just got this for my brother-in-law as a gift and he loves it!
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on December 19, 2005
Dad and I are novices to classical music, but this set sounds great to us! I tend to go for quality over quantity, but the Hungarian Philharmonic gives me no reason to buy a more expensive set of Beethoven's works, especially when there are so many more composers' sets to buy. I also like having all nine symphonys in one compact set. My one gripe about this set is that one of the five CDs has a flaw in the surface, which causes my player to repeat over and over... Maybe a more expensive set (with implied higher quality CD stamping?) would have been the way to go; it's a hassle returning items when they don't work. Hence, 3 stars rather than 4.
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