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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7

3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
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  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Pastorale / Leonore Overture No. 3
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Editorial Reviews

Beethoven Symphony No. 5 Op. 67 Symphony No. 7 Op. 92 Christop von Dahnanyi The Cleveland Orchestra
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7:06
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9:12
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4:46
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8:15
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5
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11:35
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7:42
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8:21
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra
  • Conductor: Christoph von Dohnanyi
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CUR
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ryan Richards on April 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
...and here it is: I like Dohnanyi's interpretations of these two symphonies *even better than Kleiber's.* Gasp! Yes! Granted, it's true that Dohnanyi doesn't "punch" the brass or timpani in either of these symphonies the way Kleiber does, meaning the sound doesn't leap out at you with the terrifying growl of Kleiber's rendition. But "punch" doesn't equal "vision," and that's where Dohnanyi scores a million points with me. No matter how many times I listen to Kleiber's recordings of these symphonies, I can't shake the feeling that the orchestra's just going through the motions, playing what's on the page without thinking about how it sounds or what it means. Kleiber's Beethoven blasts out of the speakers, yes, but aside from his incredible first movement of the Fifth, it sounds empty; it's not trying to communicate anything. Some moments even sound anemic, and when did anyone ever associate anemia with Beethoven? In contrast, from the very first moment of the Fifth under Dohnanyi's baton, you know you're on a musical ride that's *going* somewhere--Dohnanyi can hear the message the music is trying to speak, and uses the notes as a vehicle to let that message shine through. Other reviewers have blasted this CD for its fast tempi. Historically, Dohnanyi's penchant for speed has sometimes worked against him; however, these two symphonies provide the perfect vehicle for his preferred conducting style. The Cleveland Orchestra just never lets up, and while initially these symphonies may sound rushed to those used to more ponderous interpretations, their constant forward momentum gives them a manic intensity I haven't found anywhere else.Read more ›
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By A Customer on December 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know how anyone could vote to the contrary; this is the best recording of these two symphonies ever. The sound is full and powerful, and the technique is undeniably brilliant. It's true that Dohnanyi has a penchant for taking pieces up-tempo, but the orchestra's technique is so crisp and clear that it works here. The finales of these two symphonies, in particular, usually come out sounding bland and anemic on other recordings; here, they're fiery, energetic portraits of a passionate composer, played by a worthy orchestra. How can you go wrong?
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Many people will compare this recording with Kleibers classic recording of the 5th. Well there is no comparison. Kleibers recording has proved the test of time and will live on as the all time greatest 5th. Dohnanyi's 5th lacks passion and intensity. Insightful? Not in my opinion. Although the sound is crystal clear and the Cleveland orchestra plays beautifully the tempo's feel too rushed and sound too shallow for the 5th. Where is the drama? The last movement with its triumphant motive looses tremendously with the fast tempo. Stick with the classics for this one, ultimately you'll be more fullfilled. Now the 7th.... Beethoven regarded the 7th symphony as one of his greatest musical achievements, and indeed it is. Written in 1812 it was first played for wounded soldiers. Uplifting, high spirted music in an otherwise war torn Europe. This is a fine recording of this great symphony. Dohnanyi's interpretation is very good, very crisp and energetic, up tempo with lyrical phases and perfect, precise rhythms. His style works quite well here. The Cleveland Orchestra plays with absolute perfection. From the opening Adagio Molto-Allegro Con Brio to the complex rhythms and tension in the final, the music flows with an energy and vision deserving of Beethoven's masterpiece. A worthy accomplishment, that I would place in the top three 7th's on recording. Unfortunately, this recording only deserves 3 stars because of the sub par 5th.
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The Beethoven Fifth under Dohnanyi starts off without much accent or digging in, and you think it's going to be a typical reading from him: middle-of-the-road, tame and unimaginative. Somewhere in the first movement, or maybe the second, you'll take the CD off the turntable and file it away for donaiton to the public library. That's been my reaction to well over a dozen Dohnanyi recordings from as many composers, including such expensive duds as a Salome, Fidelio, and Rheingold.

Something different happens here. His readings of both the Fifth and Seventh Sym. are middle-of-the-road, yet there's something quite cheerful about them. Dohnanyi keeps up his buoyant tempos in eery movement of the Fifth, and the Clevelanders sing along. No angst, no sturm und drang. The Seventh runs in the same vein, and all at once you smile. "This sounds--healthy." I have nothing to elaborate, except that Telarc provides clean, full, natural sonics. Those same adjectives apply to the interpretations.

Will wonders never cease? The only Dohnanyi recording I've ever kept. (Oh, tell a lie. I kept his Wozzeck, too.)
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By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
In this recording, Dohnanyi and the Clevelanders go for clarity, insight and energy ... and they achieve them wonderfully. Maybe the other reviewer from Wichita was seeking something more hystrionic (like, say, Bernstein), whereas this CD is for Beethoven lovers (and newcomers) who are more interested in musical insight (Dohnanyi's trademark) and technical precision (Cleveland's trademark). Don't miss these performances, captured in Telarc's glorious, expansive sound.
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