Can someone point out the difference?

Locked
weirdboy

Can someone point out the difference?

Post by weirdboy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:48 pm

Hi everybody. I am looking to buy beethoven symphonies. I have looked all over the internet, but i am still left confused. It has come down to Kleiber (5th and 7th), Karajan's ( all 9) and Muti (all 9 symphonies). I hope an experienced listener can point out the differences between these works, or even suggest some other ones. This would the start of my classical music collection that i can listen to alone or with friends.

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:11 pm

Well, you may get more confused by us 'experienced listeners' disagreeing amongst ourselves. Some rave about Kleiber, others do not care for him (like me). For an initial box set I like the Klemperer, which inlcudes the Beethoven piano concertos. I rarely listen to the Karajan, and am not familiar with the Muti recordings, preferring Fricsay, Furtwangler, Jochum, Reiner, Szell and Leibowitz. For low-priced recordings, Szell is often the best pick.

Welcome, and I hope you hang around awhile. Discovering classical music is one of life's great joys to be savoured.

david johnson
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:04 am
Location: ark/mo

Post by david johnson » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:19 pm

i have the kleiber and the karajan. you will like either. since your new to this, just mix and match. get a box later.

dj

gfweis
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:02 pm
Location: Aiken, SC

Post by gfweis » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:25 pm

Except for not being familiar with the Leibowitz, I want to say that I am in abundant agreement with what Brendan has said here. I might lean toward recommending the Szell set for you for right now, Klemperer to come next. The contrast will really open up the symphonies for you, giving you a stereoscopic view, so to speak. (I should admit that I too do not know any of the Muti Beethovens, but his Brahms cycle with the Philadelphia Orchestra, available in a cheap Philips Trio box, is excellent.) BTW, my first Beethoven set was the (long saved-up for) Karajan lp box 40+ years ago. I kept it for about 30 years, but had long before that lost any taste for it.
Greg Weis

Barry
Posts: 10228
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:05 pm

david johnson wrote:i have the kleiber and the karajan. you will like either. since your new to this, just mix and match. get a box later.

dj
I recommend just the opposite. Get a box of fairly standard performances to learn the symphonies, then branch out and try different approaches like Furtwangler, Mengelberg, Kleiber, Liebowitz, Toscanini, etc. if you like. And if that Karajan set of all nine is the one from the early 60s, that's a perfect place to start (better than the Muti set, which has a few good performances, like 4, 7 and 9, but which is mediocre overall). It's probably the most popular set of Beethoven symphonies every made. That certainly doesn't mean that everyone on here will like it, but that's the case with virtually any recording.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

GK
Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:04 am
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Post by GK » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:51 pm

One warning on Karajan. Don't buy his latest set made in the 1980's. Most listeners find that the sets made in the 1960's and 1970's are far better and the former is a real bargain.

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by ch1525 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:42 pm

I really like the Karajan cycle from the 60s.

I've got all but the 9th on the way in the mail from his cycle in the 80s.

I think interpretation-wise, the cycle from the 60s is the best, but I've heard the sonics in the 80s set are fantastic.

I still need to expand my collection in terms of acquiring different interpretations of the Beethoven Symphonies, though.

Haydnseek
Posts: 1211
Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 7:59 am
Location: Maryland, USA

Post by Haydnseek » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:57 pm

I've been listening to Bernstein's DG set again after years of neglect. The Vienna Philharmonic sounds terrific, especially their magnificent strings, and Bernstein had a special feeling for Beethoven, I think. I have the LPs but I know it's been reissued as an inexpensive slim CD box for about US$32.00.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Post by Ralph » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:20 pm

I agree with much of the above and add that the Zinman cycle on Arte Nova is excellent. The Toscanini cycle was released on CD for the second time several years ago with the sonics considerably improved from the first.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Gary
Posts: 1802
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:16 am
Location: Houston, TX

Post by Gary » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:39 pm

Image


Image
"Your idea of a donut-shaped universe intrigues me, Homer; I may have to steal it."

--Stephen Hawking makes guest appearance on The Simpsons

Gregg
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:16 am

Post by Gregg » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:27 pm

My two cents would be for the Szell set for starters, it's a matter of taste. Szell or Karajan either would do to get an introduction to the symphonies on a very high level.

I don't know that I follow similar advice for Brahms. Bruno Walter was my first set, and I still love it, even though many consider it affected. I have moved on to Furtwangler (or moved back?) and others. I don't have a modern set that I love.


Gregg

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 17478
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Lance » Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:15 am

My only comment here is to acquire the 1960s (bargain-priced) 1960s von Karajan set if it's going to be von Karajan. Everything seemed perfect when those recordings were made.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:33 am

Szell, no. Hate his smoothed over, flaccid recordings. He was so precise, that he made everything boring.

Ken
Posts: 2511
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 6:17 am
Location: Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen

Post by Ken » Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:23 pm

Buy Toscanini! He'll get you through all nine in an hour and a half! ;)
Du sollst schlechte Compositionen weder spielen, noch, wenn du nicht dazu gezwungen bist, sie anhören.

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:01 pm

I'd go for a pick and choose assortment, I suppose -
Walter, Toscanini or Szell if you must have a complete set...

I've never enjoyed Karajan - way too smoothed over, rounded off and flabby sounding....

RebLem
Posts: 9056
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:29 pm

OK, here's my brief recommendations

4 indispensible sets--Monteux (for 4 & 6), Solti (for 1, 2, 6, 7, & 8 ), Szell (for 6, 7, 8, & 9), and Toxcanini (for 6 & 9).

Now for each symphony:

1 & 2--Solti
3--Keilberth if you can find it, Karajan 63, Klemperer, in that order.
4--Klemperer, Monteux, in that order.
5--Zander, Reiner, C Kleiber, and Karajan 63 in that order.
6--Szell, Solti, Toscanini, Monteux, in that order.
7--Solti, Szell, Zander, Mravinsky in that order.
8--Szell, Solti, Casals in that order.
9--Zander, Tennstedt, Szell (esp first two movements), Toscanini (esp last movement), Furtwangler 1951, Furtwangler 1942, Mengelberg (but for the 3rd movement only; the rest is not noteworthy).
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by ch1525 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:31 pm

I just got a shipment of CDs at my PO today that included all of the Beethoven Symphonies except No.9 as conducted by Maestro Herbert. It is the cycle from the Karajan Gold edition that he recorded in the early 80s.

I quickly popped in the 5th and 6th symphonies disc in my car on the way home, and I have to say that I was blown away by how good the recording quality was. It sounded sooooo good. Now I've just listened to the first 2 movements of the Fifth so far, so I can't comment too much on the interpretations, etc. Just that the sound is superb. So if you really value good sound, acoustics, etc, you should check this cycle out for sure!

Mark Antony Owen
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:46 pm
Location: Hampshire, UK

Post by Mark Antony Owen » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:33 pm

I'm not going to make any recommendations about particular sets (which, I agree, are a good first step for a beginner), but I will raise the issue of sound quality.

For the inexperienced classical music listener, it can (but not always does) come as a bit of a surprise that what they hear in recordings can sometimes be rather 'noisy'. Unlike with pop music, where different tracks are generally recorded separately and then the whole lot mixed down to produce the finished product, in classical recording, all the musicians - in orchestral works at the very least - need to play together. As you can imagine, everything from shuffling of players in their chairs to the squeaking of strings or pressing of keys CAN be picked up during recording. Especially if the mics are very close to the performers.

Anyway, don't be surprised if you hear these minor 'imperfections' (I put this word in inverted commas because, of course, they're not imperfections at all), particularly when listening through headphones; they are to be expected. And if you're listening to a live recording, expect someone thoughtless devil to cough (and for this to have been impossible to remove in production!) right in the middle of a lovely quiet passage. :lol:

Another thing to be aware of is that, if you get very old sets of recordings - those designated as 'historical', which I think means pre-1955(?) - then expect a lot of hiss and crackle; and sometimes, a 'flatter', less dynamic soundstage than you'd get with a modern recording. As a VERY general rule, the nearer you get to today, the better the sonics - but take this with a pinch of salt, as it's not always the case.

Myself, I can't stand poor sound quality, which is why I'm making you aware of this. But I'm unusual: most classical lovers can look past such petty distractions to the performance. I find this difficult; and if you're an anal retentive like me, you might have similar problems! :lol:

Best of luck, and welcome.
"Neti, neti."

Formerly known as 'shadowritten'.

ch1525
Posts: 991
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 3:53 pm
Location: New Orleans
Contact:

Post by ch1525 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:52 pm

Good point, Mark.

It really does always seem to be at the worst point when some jerk decides to cough during a live recording. They save all their coughs for the Adagio it seems!!! I don't know what's wrong with people. I can sit through an entire Mahler symphony and make absolutely no sound whatsoever. Don't even get me started on people with peppermints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another thing that drives me crazy is people flipping through their programs like mad during a performance. Just listen to the darn music!!!!!!!!!! What do they need to be reading the program for so much? There isn't a quiz at the end!!!

I can't believe how noisy the audience can be sometimes at the New Orleans Friends of Music concerts that are regularly held at Dixon Hall at Tulane University. They record all of the performances for later broadcast on WWNO, our Classical Music/NPR station here. And, what do ya know, doesn't it always seem like the noisier people end up sitting closer to the mics?!?! :o

Heck148
Posts: 3514
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:56 pm

RebLem wrote:OK, here's my brief recommendations

4 indispensible sets--Monteux (for 4 & 6),
Monteux's #2 and 7 are excellent also - both LSO.

any LvB symphony recorded by Reiner is 1st rate as well. He actually recorded them all, tho not all are readily avaialble commerciallly, they are very worthwhile to track down...

available commercially -

1,2,3,5,6,7,9 - all with CSO except #2 - with PittsSO

#8 - live concert - available on CSO archive set.

#4 - live concert - was available on CSO archive set, now NA, or OOP.

there is also a #2 with CSO available on DVD/or video-cassette

CharmNewton
Posts: 1926
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:37 am

I own the Muti set, and believe it interpretively one of the best available. Performances range from excellent to compelling. This si Beethoven with passion. The orchestral playing is tops.

I have the first CD edition (mid 1980s), which needs a boost in the treble but then sounds excellent. Later masterings may be an improvement (I haven't heard them nor have I read any comments that would confirm such an improvement).

This is one of the overlooked gems in the Beethoven symphony discography.

John

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1407
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Post by Holden Fourth » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:14 am

I'm going to go against all the others and recommend a set that is midstream in approach, is superbly played, is by one of the best orchestras in the world and conducted by a man who knew what he was doing. There is not a dud performance in the set and two of them are superb while the rest rate highly. As a bonus it's super cheap.

You'll find it here and the customer reviews say it all. This was my first Beethoven set when it was in LP form and it helped me shape my opinions about LvB symphonies. Yes, I've since moved on but I still got the set when it came out on CD. The 6th is a classic, the 9th is very good and I really like the 7th and 2nd. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned it.

Fugu

Post by Fugu » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:53 am

Paul Kletzki's is quite good on Supraphon if you can find it.

jserraglio
Posts: 4525
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:21 am

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 ~ Andre Cluytens/Berlin Philharmonic

Costs less than $17.00 + $2.50 s & h, new.

You could pay more and do a lot worse. Cluytens' interpretations wear well and his post-Furtwangler Berlin Phil. Orchestra sounds sweet and awesome--their HvKarajan fussiness set in later.

In stereo, late 50's, natural wide-ranging sound.

This is the set I turn to when I want to hear Beethoven and fogeddabout the conductor--warm performances, superb playing--I turn to it more than any other.

CharmNewton
Posts: 1926
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 9:10 pm

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:48 pm

jserraglio wrote:Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 ~ Andre Cluytens/Berlin Philharmonic

Costs less than $17.00 + $2.50 s & h, new.

You could pay more and do a lot worse. Cluytens' interpretations wear well and his post-Furtwangler Berlin Phil. Orchestra sounds sweet and awesome--their HvKarajan fussiness set in later.

In stereo, late 50's, natural wide-ranging sound.

This is the set I turn to when I want to hear Beethoven and fogeddabout the conductor--warm performances, superb playing--I turn to it more than any other.
Seeing a clip of Him conducting the second Daphnis and Chloe Suite, Cluytens had one of the most engaging smiles I've seen from a conductor. It communicated a love of music and a joy in making it. I still have my Cluytens set on LP and it indeed has worn well.

John

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests