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Beethoven: Complete Symphonies Box set

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 21, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This complete cycle of Beethoven's nine Symphonies is a landmark event for Decca, for Maestro Chailly, and for the Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he has been Kapellmeister since 2005. The cycle showcases the finesse and musicality of the legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra - from the Haydnesque elegance of the first two symphonies, to the grandeur and drama of the choral Ninth Symphony

From the Artist

These acclaimed performances were recorded live in the Gewandhaus over the last three years, in preparation for the highly-anticipated complete cycles that Maestro Chailly and the orchestra will give in several major European cities in October and November 2011 - performances which will provide the platform for launching these important new recordings

This set of the nine Symphonies will also include selected Beethoven Overtures

  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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8:00
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2
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6:26
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6
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9
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Digital Booklet: Beethoven: The Symphonies
Digital Booklet: Beethoven: The Symphonies
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Disc 2
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9
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Disc 3
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Disc 4
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7:00
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2
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6:38
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3
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8:24
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4
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5
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10:45
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9
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10
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Disc 5
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6:05
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2
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3
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4
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5
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Decca Records
  • ASIN: B005CYLSW8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,450 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DAVID A. FLETCHER on December 12, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll amend this review later with more blow-by-blow detail. Suffice it to say now, though, that this new Beethoven cycle from Chailly and the GOL will firmly be in the top tier for many serious listeners and collectors, as well as the novice who may have a few of the symphonies by various performers, but not yet a complete set/cycle.

Amongst many followers of musicological fashion, the de rigeur of the new Del Mar/Baerenreiter urtext has dominated discussion of current Beethoven performance practice, so it's worth noting that Chailly has used the "old" Peters Edition, but with an exactitude that has eluded--usually by design--several generations of conductors. Performing traditions have added layer upon layer of editorial gloss--"Karajan always drew out this figure," "Furtwangler started this accelerando two beats before the mark," that sort of thing--and indeed, Chailly's game was to seek out and examine the mark-ups by several of his musical mentors, weigh the evidence....and then land squarely on the side of Beethoven's "original" text (specifically the Peters edit thereof).

Brave words from a reviewer, and an even braver stand for a conductor--a rather facile postion that seldom survives scrutiny. Nevertheless, this is precisely what Chailly has done over the term of this multi-year studio cycle (no live relay patches here....hooray!). Many was the time that I went running to my miniature scores to see if what I'd heard was there--it's that startling at times--but rarely did Chailly come up short vs. the dynamic markings or the repeats (pretty much ALL of them). More importantly, though, was his attention to Beethoven's "controversial" crochet indications: startling tempos to match the eyebrow-raising dynamics.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is rare these days for the major labels to invest in projects of this magnitude, a Beethoven cycle from the most important conductor active today and one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Everything about this release had an air of importance about it and it nice to see that there can still be excitement (whether genuine or manufactured) for yet another Beethoven cycle. But the question at the end of day is whether the cycle is a success. And the answer to that is, of course, yes and no.

There is no question that Chailly is a brilliant musician and that his band is a spectacular ensemble. There are too many fine ensemble moments to catalogue individually, but the sparkling allegretto from the Eighth, the ferocious trio from the Fifth's scherzo, or the entirety of the Pastorale bespeak just how magnificent this ensemble really is. The strings rich and plush, the winds idiomatic, and the brass, horns especially, offering biting commentary on these tried and true war horses. Tutti passages never sound routine as Chailly unearths a kalidscope of colors from his players, such as in the andante from the first or the magnificent Konig Stephan overture.

What is most thrilling about this set, however, is that Chailly has a lot to say about this music, nearly all of it good. Chailly's intelligence is evident in the amalgam of styles on display here. Clearly, any cycle from the Gewandhaus must pay homage to its place in the history of the German tradition, and in that sense, Chailly's big string section and dramatic flair are in keeping with the interpretations from Karajan, Wand, and Blomstedt.
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4 Comments 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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It appears that we are all searching for the best set of 9 Beethoven symphonies. I quit doing that way back when. I found myself second guessing everything I heard. The only question now is, did I really enjoy what I heard. In the Chially case, YES! I have somewhere around nine sets of these symphonies and I find something pretty fantastic in each one. Some are faster, some are slower, some are this or that. I do recommend this set because the sound is great and because Chially does have something a little different to say. He has a right to bring his level of expertise to the table and it is fun to criticize, however, few of us are true music experts. I just like classical music and all I can say is that I recommend this release. But, if you are one who likes to find something wrong with all Beethoven releases maybe this might be construed to be a repeat of what you already have. I have Karajan, Harnoncourt, Wand, Cluytens, Norrington, Zinman, Haitink, P. Jarvi, Krivine and bits and pieces of others. I like them all. Add Chially to the list and what I find is a great deal of enjoyable listening. I hope your palate for Beethoven will be enhanced a little by this release.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
It is rare these days for the major labels to invest in projects of this magnitude, a Beethoven cycle from the most important conductor active today and one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Everything about this release had an air of importance about it and it nice to see that there can still be excitement (whether genuine or manufactured) for yet another Beethoven cycle. But the question at the end of day is whether the cycle is a success. And the answer to that is, of course, yes and no.

There is no question that Chailly is a brilliant musician and that his band is a spectacular ensemble. There are too many fine ensemble moments to catalogue individually, but the sparkling allegretto from the Eighth, the ferocious trio from the Fifth's scherzo, or the entirety of the Pastorale bespeak just how magnificent this ensemble really is. The strings rich and plush, the winds idiomatic, and the brass, horns especially, offering biting commentary on these tried and true war horses. Tutti passages never sound routine as Chailly unearths a kalidscope of colors from his players, such as in the andante from the first or the magnificent Konig Stephan overture.

What is most thrilling about this set, however, is that Chailly has a lot to say about this music, nearly all of it good. Chailly's intelligence is evident in the amalgam of styles on display here. Clearly, any cycle from the Gewandhaus must pay homage to its place in the history of the German tradition, and in that sense, Chailly's big string section and dramatic flair are in keeping with the interpretations from Karajan, Wand, and Blomstedt.
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