Some great Eroicas

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Heck148
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Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:53 pm

I've been listening to some of my favorite Eroicas recently - reminding myself of why this is such a great work, and how some conductors and orchestras put forth the greatness so convincingly...

Toscanini/NBC/1949
Reiner/CSO/'54
von matacic/CzPO '59


Bernstein/NYPO/'64
Szell/CleveO/'57

The first 3 head the list for me - Toscanin '49, Reiner and von Matacic...Toscanini and Reiner esp, really drive the work home....there is great momentum, fleet tempi, and an unbroken forward propulsion in both performances- wonderful clarity in the orchestral playing, no "mush", all the vital solos project thru the sometimes thick texture. The climaxes have tremendous punch, and the softer, "down-times" between never go slack or get logy - they are immediately spinning up the energy and tension for the next outburst - it's very thrilling, and it presents the genius of Beethoven so clearly.
von Matacic is excellent too, outstanding - a slightly slower tempo, maybe not driven as hard, but still great momentum, clarity, drama and energy. there is also a certain elegance which is most fitting....the CzPO sounds superb, and plays with great precision with wonderful solo and ensemble work...
the two opening chords on Matacic and Reiner are wonderful - tremendous socko power!! real attention-getters -
all three conductors do a great job with mvts I and II... very powerful and dramatic. I give Reiner a slight edge in III, his scherzo really rips along - great horn trio. Toscanini is plenty quick too, tho. Matacic is a little more relaxed, but still very precise and excellent.

All 3 do well with the difficult last mvt - which sometimes comes off a little weak after the first three - but Toscanini and Reiner make it hang together and develop most logically and persuasively. tremendous climaxes, with corresponding release, before the next rush...
having played this great work many times, I realize how difficult it is too bring this off convincingly...the Eroica is long, demanding and requires full concentration throughout, it never lets up. it's way too easy to fall into a sort of mezzo-mezzo mode - nothing really soft, nothing really loud - everything at a comfortable, but lackluster mono-dynamic...

I add Bernstein and Szell in there, also - because these are fine performances. however head-to-head, I think AT, Reiner and Matacic are consistently better - more riveting, more thrilling...better clarity...also - both Szell and Bernstein are on the slower side, which isn't bad, but when compared to the others, I think the generally speedier tempi hold together better - there is more propulsion, momentum...both Szell and Bernstein get some terrific playing from their orchestras, and these are most worthwhile performances - but when I want to hear the Eroica at its best, its mightiest, its most impressive - I'll go with the Toscanini '49, Reiner and Matacic...you can't miss...

Barry
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Barry » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:06 am

Good topic. The Eroica has been my favorite or at least one of my top three symphonies for many years.

My two favorite recorded performances are the ones with Furtwangler conducting from Dec. 8, 1952 with the BPO and the live 1953 VPO performance that was part of the EMI Great Conductors of the Century series. The tempos are slow, especially by current-day standards, but Furtwangler could carry slow tempos better than any other conductor when he was on, and he was certainly on these two nights. In both performances, there is a constant feeling of building tension until the next great climax is reached. Furt's wartime recording with the VPO was another great one.

Other favorites are:

Mengelberg (I've heard a couple by him that I liked very much, but don't have the performance dates handy)
Scherchen's recording that was out on Westminster
Bernstein/NYP Sony
Klemperer/Philharmonia mono recording on EMI
Karajan/BPO live on a Sony DVD from the BPO's 100th anniversary concert

One of my favorite concert experiences also involved the Eroica, with Eschenbach conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. He had his share of problems here, but that was the single best performance I heard him conduct during his entire five-year tenure. I liked it so much that I went back to hear it again a few nights later and it was even better the second time. Parts of Eschenbach's live Beethoven cycle in Philly that season had HIP touches, but this Eroica most definitely did not. It was very much a performance in the Furtwangler mold.
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by val » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:40 am

Me too, I think that Toscanini with the NBC and Reiner with the Chicago Orchestra gave the best versions of Eroica.

But Klemperer with the Philharmonia gave an extraordinary version of the Marcia Funebre, perhaps the best I ever heard.

Other versions I love: Erich Kleiber with the VPO, Monteux with the VPO and Paul van Kempen with the BPO.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:05 am

AT's '49 Eroica is probably my favourite Eroica. As mentioned, the drive in the first movement sets the scene for the rest of the work. Two other versions that really appeal to me are:

Leibowitz/RPO. It's in the same mold as Toscanini's and it's also in stereo. I frequently play this instead of the TA.

Monteux/COA - a totally different approach but it works so well.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Seán » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:05 am

Reiner/CSO
Cluytens/BPO
von Karajan/BPO (1962)
and perhaps
Vänskä/Minnesota Orchestra
Seán

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by bombasticDarren » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:59 am

Toscanini (NBC Symphony Orchestra, RCA)

Karajan (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, DG) (1962)

C. Davis (Staatskapelle Dresden, Philips)

Gardiner (Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Archiv)

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by CharmNewton » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:55 am

Albert Coates/Symphony Orchestra (probably the L.S.O.), perhaps the fastest Eroica on record. Recorded in 1925 or 1926, the sound is dated but Coates is a great conductor and he gets the most from his players. It's unfortunate that Coates didn't record with orchestras in America. His records sold very well here.

Monteux/Vienna Philharmonic was the first recording I heard that used Beethoven's orchestration, which is most noticeable by not having the repeat of the trumpet melody at the end of the first movement. Monteus's Beethoven generally is quicker and lighter with great clarity of inner voices.

Nice to see a good word for Colin Davis' recording with the Dresden State orchestra. Excellent sound and orchestral playing and Davis conducts with a firm grip. This orchestra reminds me of the Chicago Symphony in the way they wear their pride on their sleeve and their excellent ensemble playing.

I am not familiar with Toscanini's 1949 recording, but have great fondness for the 1953 broadcast performance. The 1939 performance is also outstanding. The sources used in the Arturo Toscanini Edition (and I believe a BBC Music Magazine bonus disc) were the broadcast acetates rather than the 78 RPM pressings, improving the sound to very listenable. If you see this performance in a second-hand shop for a pittance, don't pass it up.

Reiner's 1954 recording with the Chicago Symphony is the best I've ever heard, combining drama, excitement and outstanding orchestral playing. One day the stereo master tapes will surface.

John

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Fergus » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:14 am

Seán wrote:Reiner/CSO
Cluytens/BPO
von Karajan/BPO (1962)
and perhaps
Vänskä/Minnesota Orchestra
Interesting that you put the Cluytens ahead of the von Karajan version Seán....I would too, mind.

Heck148
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:41 am

CharmNewton wrote:Monteux/Vienna Philharmonic was the first recording I heard that used Beethoven's orchestration, which is most noticeable by not having the repeat of the trumpet melody at the end of the first movement.
Sorry - I have to have the trumpets play both parts of the phrase [the Eb and Bb7] - I'm sure Beethoven would have wanted that in his day. it's completely anti-climactic without the F-Ab-Bb in the trumpets - once you hear Toscanini, Reiner or Matacic deliver this great climax, there is just no substitute. it sounds wimpy without it.
both Monteux and Solti have fine recordings, but they are marred by this omission...

Also - it is well-known that I don't have too much use for original instrument recordings - and for this great work - the shortcomings of original instruments are all too apparent - they simply don't have the projection, the sonic power to compete with the best of modern instruments. It's true that the texture can be pretty thick in this great work - but the greatest conductors do sort it out, and produce remarkable clarity with modern instruments.
I am not familiar with Toscanini's 1949 recording, but have great fondness for the 1953 broadcast performance. The 1939 performance is also outstanding.
yes, both very excellent performances. Eroica was an AT specialty. overall tho - the '49 is tops, for its remarkable drive, drama, intensity.
Reiner's 1954 recording with the Chicago Symphony is the best I've ever heard, combining drama, excitement and outstanding orchestral playing. One day the stereo master tapes will surface.
that would be great - the existing [mono] one was unavailable, unreleased for a really long time - I didn't find one until the early 90s, IIRC. the sound is really quite good.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by stenka razin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:56 am

Toscanini at the head of a very long list of great 'Eroicas'. 8)
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by CharmNewton » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:06 pm

Heck148 wrote: that would be great - the existing [mono] one was unavailable, unreleased for a really long time - I didn't find one until the early 90s, IIRC. the sound is really quite good.
It might seem surprising to us (at least us on this forum) today, but during the 1970s and 1980s Reiner's reputation among critics outside of Chicago wasn't that high. That ought to remind us of what a lot of critical opinions are worth. :) If I could have recordings of only one conductor, it would be Reiner. No other conductor on record in my opinion has such total command of note-to-note detail without losing the overall shape of movements. The excellence of CSO helped him acheive the results we hear. I'll show a little hometown pride and say I don't of a better orchestra

This Eroica lapsed into limbo after its original LP release. It might have become more familiar if the stereo tapes hadn't gotten lost.

John

Heck148
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:17 pm

CharmNewton wrote:It might seem surprising to us (at least us on this forum) today, but during the 1970s and 1980s Reiner's reputation among critics outside of Chicago wasn't that high. That ought to remind us of what a lot of critical opinions are worth. :)
amongst musicians, his reputation remained at the highest tho - the 60s, 70s were my "training years", early professional years as a musician. Reiner was always held in very high regard, in my circles anyway...
If I could have recordings of only one conductor, it would be Reiner. No other conductor on record in my opinion has such total command of note-to-note detail without losing the overall shape of movements. The excellence of CSO helped him acheive the results we hear. I'll show a little hometown pride and say I don't of a better orchestra.
I agree completely - Reiner's discography is of absolutely outstanding quality and consistency. no other conductor has such a consistently high level of output.

Here's an interesting article by Ray Still, that appeared several years ago in the IDRS Journal - which supports your point:

<<Incidentally, it is strange to me that the critics in this country
are still unable to evaluate the greatness of Fritz Reiner.
How do they account for the permanence in the catalog of
almost all of the Reiner records made in the short ten years
or less that he was here?
I see so many lists of conductors
and he is seldom mentioned. Just listen to the breadth of his
repertoire on CD and in each category he has few peers!
People like Maazel, Muti, Mehta, Slatkin, Masur, Von
Dohnanyi, Ormandy, and a host of others should not be
mentioned in the same world.

Ray Still (40 years first Oboe, Chicago Symphony)
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.>>

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:19 pm

Toscanini/NBC 1949
Reiner
Solti analog/Chicago
HVK/Berlin 1962
Gardiner

I'm not really much of a fan of HIP Beethoven either, but Gardiner gives it a mighty effort. Would that Beethoven could have heard the likes of Toscanini or Reiner!

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:11 pm

stenka razin wrote:Toscanini at the head of a very long list of great 'Eroicas'. 8)
in my mind Toscanini is the Tail, not the Head... :wink:
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Chung
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chung » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:42 pm

Cluytens, BPO
Szell, CO
Bernstein, NYPO
von Karajan, BPO (1962)
Wand, NDRSO

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by ContrapunctusIX » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:58 pm

Karajan/BPO (62)
Schmidt-Isserstedt/VPO
Cluytens/BPO
Szell/CO
Leibowitz/RPO
Steinberg/PSO
Bohm/VPO
Reiner/CSO
Van Kempen/BPO
Fricsay/BPO
Monteux/VPO
Bernstein/NYPO

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by bombasticDarren » Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:59 pm

I should have listed Szell too :roll: :oops:

Seán
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Seán » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:10 pm

CharmNewton wrote: It might seem surprising to us (at least us on this forum) today, but during the 1970s and 1980s Reiner's reputation among critics outside of Chicago wasn't that high. That ought to remind us of what a lot of critical opinions are worth. :)
and perhaps the great Georg Solti is suffering the same fate now. I trust my ears.
Seán

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Seán » Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:13 pm

Fergus wrote:
Seán wrote:Reiner/CSO
Cluytens/BPO
von Karajan/BPO (1962)
and perhaps
Vänskä/Minnesota Orchestra
Interesting that you put the Cluytens ahead of the von Karajan version Seán....I would too, mind.
At present, I am inclined to prefer Cluytens in most of the symphonies. I haven't had time to listen to the Toscanini or Bernstein recordings yet.
Seán

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by stenka razin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:24 pm

Seán wrote:
Fergus wrote:
Seán wrote:Reiner/CSO
Cluytens/BPO
von Karajan/BPO (1962)
and perhaps
Vänskä/Minnesota Orchestra
Interesting that you put the Cluytens ahead of the von Karajan version Seán....I would too, mind.
At present, I am inclined to prefer Cluytens in most of the symphonies. I haven't had time to listen to the Toscanini or Bernstein recordings yet.
Sean, Toscanini is like a thunder bolt. The sparks fly and Beethoven is catapulted to the stars. His NBC set is one of the greatest achievements in recording history.8)

P.S. I have other Toscanini Beethoven Symphony sets, but, the RCA reissue is a must have at that low price. Staggering performances. Amazon at present is selling it for a song, my friend. 5 CDs for just $13.99...........!8)

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Seán » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:29 pm

stenka razin wrote:
Sean, Toscanini is like a thunder bolt. The sparks fly and Beethoven is catapulted to the stars. His NBC set is one of the greatest achievements in recording history.8)

P.S. I have other Toscanini Beethoven Symphony sets, but, the RCA reissue is a must have at that low price. Staggering performances. Amazon at present is selling it for a song, my friend. 5 CDs for just $13.99...........!8)

Image
Mel, thanks for the thought. I do have the Toscanini set, it arrived last week and I haven't had time to listen to any of it yet.
Seán

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:43 pm

A wild card to add to your mix - Andrew Manze on Harmonia Mundi...
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Fergus » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:35 pm

Chalkperson wrote:A wild card to add to your mix - Andrew Manze on Harmonia Mundi...
That is very interesting Chalkie....I have Manze directing music by Geminiani and Handel and I really like those discs :idea:

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Wallingford » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:10 pm

....another wild card, Ormandy's RCA stereo disc.

....also Krips/LSO, Gruner-Hegge/Oslo PO.

Mustn't forget Weingartner, either. Perhaps the most authoritative old Austrian of them all, and yet he's often swept aside or forgotten.
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:29 pm

Wallingford wrote: Mustn't forget Weingartner, either. Perhaps the most authoritative old Austrian of them all, and yet he's often swept aside or forgotten.
really - Weingartner and Toscanini are generally credited with creating/inspiring the "literalist"/go back to the score approach to conducting, which is by far th epredominant style at present. ...Weingartner's performances are always very logical, straight ahead, very musical.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:31 pm

yes - soon we will have the mandatory mentions of the Konwitschny, Swarowsky, Leinsdorf, Hollreiser class recordings... :lol: :lol: :roll: :P

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chalkperson » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:41 am

Heck148 wrote:yes - soon we will have the mandatory mentions of the Konwitschny, Swarowsky, Leinsdorf, Hollreiser class recordings... :lol: :lol: :roll: :P
And Sir Simon Rattle's sumptuously thrilling and truly awesome recording with the (once) World Class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:05 am

My first "Eroica" was Scherchen on Westminster with the Vienna Phil. Wonderful! Newer performances I love now are Bernstein/NY Phil. and MTT/Orch. of St. Luke's. Both take the repeat of the Allegro con brio, which not all symphonies profit by! This one does.

I'm not all that thrilled with non-hi-fi/mono recordings because the dated sound is too distorted and tinny, thus clouding the string-tone as well as interpretive nuances. They ARE interesting from the historical standpoint for me, but there are sooo many fine Beethoven conductors/orchestras out there who have (and have had!) the advantage of better sound.

Tschüß,
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Istvan » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:19 am

Seán wrote:
CharmNewton wrote: and perhaps the great Georg Solti is suffering the same fate now. I trust my ears.
Not in this house he isn't and I would highly recommend his 1969 "Eroica" with the LSO on BBC Legends. The disc also includes some Wagner excerpts with Birgit Nilsson, recorded at a Prom in 1963.
Cheers

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:37 am

Jack Kelso wrote: I'm not all that thrilled with non-hi-fi/mono recordings because the dated sound is too distorted and tinny, thus clouding the string-tone as well as interpretive nuances.
not applicable to the Toscanini, Reiner and Matacic recordings, which transcend the sound quality issue - all are quite well-recorded in very clear sound....I don't know what playback equipment you are using, but these recordings stand up well.
by contrast, I have the Abbado/BPO Eroica recorded 3/00 for DG. well-played and conducted, in fine sound - but the performance simply lacks the punch, the drama, the thrill of the aforementioned recordings. the BPO sounds slick, polished, but lacks the drive, the bite of the NBC or CSO on the earlier ones.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Donaldopato » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:05 am

I wish to add the Ferencsik Hungarian Philharmonic (aka Hungarian State) Symphony Orchestra Eroica once available on ultra cheap Laserlight discs but now hard to find. "Old school" Beethoven at its best. Not flashy or fast but a solid, deeply felt performance.

Does not displace Reiner in my book, but I have long enjoyed this wonderful set of recordings.
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Wallingford » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:23 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:My first "Eroica" was Scherchen on Westminster with the Vienna Phil. Wonderful! Newer performances I love now are Bernstein/NY Phil. and MTT/Orch. of St. Luke's. Both take the repeat of the Allegro con brio, which not all symphonies profit by! This one does.
The Munch/BSO stereo disc takes the first movement repeat.
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Never mattered we were always ok
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chung » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:57 pm

Donaldopato wrote:I wish to add the Ferencsik Hungarian Philharmonic (aka Hungarian State) Symphony Orchestra Eroica once available on ultra cheap Laserlight discs but now hard to find. "Old school" Beethoven at its best. Not flashy or fast but a solid, deeply felt performance.

Does not displace Reiner in my book, but I have long enjoyed this wonderful set of recordings.
I have that release on Laserlight and unfortunately am turned off by the funny engineering job. It sounds in some parts too dry and in other parts cramped, although Ferencsik does a decent enough job with the 3rd (I do prefer his recording of the 5th though).

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Wallingford » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:46 pm

Hans Pfitzner did a superlative one on Polygram/Brunswick 78s.....now available on Naxos CD.
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That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by gfweis » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:15 pm

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I not only have trouble ranking the Eroica's I like best, but I even have trouble deciding whether I like the faster, propulsive approach, or the monumental approach. I quite appreciate the wonderfully paced '49 Toscanini and the Reiner, but they actually wouldn't be my top choices in the that style. Those would the Koussevitzky/BSO, the Steinberg/PSO, the earlier Kleiber/ACO (1950, I believe), and the Szell. I very much like both of Monteux's, with the VPO and the LSO. I think they represent something of a middle road between the two approaches. For about two decades the Monteux/VPO was my favorite Eroica, and I still love it. Recently I have been getting more meaning out of the piece when done in the monumental way. The 1944 Furtwangler/VPO, according to John Ardoin, is "not only Futrtwangler's noblest and most compelling Eroica, but one unrivaled on disc." Perhaps that is right. Sonic limitations (even in Maggie Payne's "reconstruction") make it hard for me to be as categorical as Ardoin, but it does really grab me and doesn't let go. It has great momentum, even at slower tempi. (Of course it's also true that the Koussevitzky grabs me and won't let go, even given its rhetorical pauses and ritards, etc.---they really work for me!) Finally, the Rowicki/Warsaw (pretty much in the monumental vein: 15'37/17'05/6'22/13'21) sounds perfect when I'm listening to it. Not only can I not turn it off; I'm not even aware of time passing.

P.S. I liked Heck148's joke about the "mandatory mentions" of Konwitschny, Swarowsky (very fine conductor...did he do an Eroica?), Leinsdorf, and Hollreiser. I feel compelled to come to Leinsdorf's defense here, however: I think he has a very fine Eroica. It has large accents, and great grip. I think in its own way (the slower way) it's rather exciting. Some might say it's "heavy" I suppose, but I would say it has "weight" (same idea with a different connotation). It also occurs to me to say that Leinsdorf seems to me always to have been fundamentally lyrical, and he is so here.
Greg Weis

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:25 pm

gfweis wrote: I feel compelled to come to Leinsdorf's defense here....Some might say it's "heavy" I suppose, but I would say it has "weight" (
"stodgy, logy" are the adjectives that spring to mind for me... :lol: :lol:

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Seán » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:16 pm

I almost forgot to mention the wonderful Kleiber/VPO recording.
Seán

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Jack Kelso » Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:40 am

I forgot to mention the fantastic recording of Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt/Vienna Phil., one of the best I've ever heard! Also great is Pierre Monteux!

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by rwetmore » Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:04 am

I'd like to hear the Reiner. I have the Szell and find it a bit too straight laced for my taste.
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:28 pm

rwetmore wrote:I'd like to hear the Reiner. I have the Szell and find it a bit too straight laced for my taste.
yes, Szell is quite good, but it's a bit too...restrained...I guess is the word..

I also don't like the broadly phrased, legato articulation versions - von Karajan would be typical of this approach...
Reiner and Toscanini are remarkable for the drive, the power, the constant forward energy...

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by JackC » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:16 pm

OK, here's one that I really like that no one has mentioned so far Barbirolli with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

I remember buying it because Martin Bookspan mentioned it in his book 101 Masterpieces of Music - which listed his favorite recordings.

I don't know that it is my "favorite" but it's special. It's more broad and expansive than AT, Reiner or Szell, but tells an epic human drama for sure.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by rwetmore » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:21 pm

Heck148 wrote:
rwetmore wrote:yes, Szell is quite good, but it's a bit too...restrained...I guess is the word..
That describes the whole Szell set. Yes they are generally very good, but they never quite "take off" and get into the zone so to speak. To me, they're a bit stiff and lacking in fire and flourish.

IMO, 1 is excellent, 2 is very good, 3 is very good, 4 is good, 5 is very good, 6 is very good, 7 is very good, 8 is good, 9 is very good.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."
- Aldous Huxley

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing has happened."
-Winston Churchill

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one!”
–Charles Mackay

"It doesn't matter how smart you are - if you don't stop and think."
-Thomas Sowell

"It's one of the functions of the mainstream news media to fact-check political speech and where there are lies, to reveal them to the voters."
-John F. (of CMG)

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:51 am

re Szell/LvB:
rwetmore wrote: 2 is very good, 3 is very good, 4 is good, 5 is very good, 6 is very good, 7 is very good, 8 is good, 9 is very good.
yes, Szell was very excellent with the Beethoven symphonies - 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 are very fine
#7 is great, one of the very best...
Leonore #3, Fidelio Ov & King Stephen are remarkable also.

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:16 am

rwetmore wrote:
Heck148 wrote:
rwetmore wrote:yes, Szell is quite good, but it's a bit too...restrained...I guess is the word..
That describes the whole Szell set. Yes they are generally very good, but they never quite "take off" and get into the zone so to speak. To me, they're a bit stiff and lacking in fire and flourish.

IMO, 1 is excellent, 2 is very good, 3 is very good, 4 is good, 5 is very good, 6 is very good, 7 is very good, 8 is good, 9 is very good.
That pretty much describes for me Szell in general: his approach to other composers' symphonic output is also VERY tight, yet extremely well-played.

If it's going to be tight I prefer more tension and drama, otherwise I want the music to breathe.

Tschüß,
Jack
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Holden Fourth » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:32 am

gfweis wrote: I very much like both of Monteux's, with the VPO and the LSO. I think they represent something of a middle road between the two approaches. For about two decades the Monteux/VPO was my favorite Eroica, and I still love it.
Monteux has three Eroica's extant with the VPO (as you mentioned), the RPO and finally the famous Concertegebouw performance. Is there also an LSO recording?

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by gfweis » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:51 am

Thanks. That was just a slip. I meant to say ACO, not LSO.
Greg Weis

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by rogch » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:09 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Heck148 wrote:yes - soon we will have the mandatory mentions of the Konwitschny, Swarowsky, Leinsdorf, Hollreiser class recordings... :lol: :lol: :roll: :P
And Sir Simon Rattle's sumptuously thrilling and truly awesome recording with the (once) World Class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra... :lol: :lol: :lol:
It is actually with the Vienna Philharmonic. I wonder why i get the impression that new recordings are not given much of a chance in this forum these days....
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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Heck148 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:24 am

rogch wrote: I wonder why i get the impression that new recordings are not given much of a chance in this forum these days....
Maybe because they just don't measure up to the very best ones of the past....

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:24 pm

rogch wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
Heck148 wrote:yes - soon we will have the mandatory mentions of the Konwitschny, Swarowsky, Leinsdorf, Hollreiser class recordings... :lol: :lol: :roll: :P
And Sir Simon Rattle's sumptuously thrilling and truly awesome recording with the (once) World Class Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra... :lol: :lol: :lol:
It is actually with the Vienna Philharmonic. I wonder why i get the impression that new recordings are not given much of a chance in this forum these days....
I enjoy many fine new recordings and especially SACD's, the Rattle comment was just a flippant remark about a Conductor who I consider to be highly overrated, I have never heard his Beethoven and never intend to... :wink:
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: Some great Eroicas

Post by rogch » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:24 am

The Rattle set has both its ups and downs. The third though, is the best recording in the set. The orchestral sound is a bit more polished than in some other symphonies. Not too polished though, and that probably is intentional. It's full of energy and the orchestral sound is very transparent. The whole recording actually sounds a little dangerous and daring, and that is how this symphony was experienced when it was new.
Roger Christensen

"Mozart is the most inaccessible of the great masters"
Artur Schnabel

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