Beethoven's 5th

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by batriq, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    What is the best Beethoven's Fifth recording and performance you have heard? Me and my wife are trying to find the one we like best. We're starting with those in the front pile here (these are all from my father-in-law's collection):
    [​IMG]
     

  2. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    I can't tell what some of the orchestra/conductors are in your collection, but from what I do recognize, I really like the Georg Solti / Chicago Symphony for recording quality, and the Toscanini for interpretation. My favorite Beethoven #5 (and #7) is with Benjamin Zander, for both recording and interpretation. You can get a good taste of it here:



    Edit: nice collection, btw!
     
  3. ginsbu

    ginsbu Rando

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    I recently got to hear Carlos Kleiber's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time and was quite impressed with it. Generally, I like John Eliot Gardiner's performances of the symphonies on period instruments with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, but Kleiber's fifth is something special.
     
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  4. n3rdling

    n3rdling Friend

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    Lots of good ones but Kleiber is my go to for 5 and 7.
     
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  5. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    Toscanini (1939)

    [​IMG]

    Kleiber would be my second choice. His 7th would be my first choice, followed by Toscanini (1936).

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ginsbu

    ginsbu Rando

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    Going a bit OT here, but for 7 Kleiber is good but I prefer Gardiner. Kleiber's performance is nicely paced, but IMHO too full, smooth, and rounded off—much of this is just due to modern instruments along with a larger ensemble, as I've heard the same in many other performances (I don't want to pick on Kleiber unfairly here). Gardiner's rendition, with a smaller ensemble playing period instruments, is more spare, incisive, and dynamic. Where Kleiber's Allegretto is very rich and liquid, for example, Gardiner's is hauntingly desolate.

    OTOH, Gardiner's performance of the Fifth, while sounding good, is paced wrong: too rushed, except for the Scherzo which is too slow. Kleiber just has a wonderful feel for the Fifth.

    For a very different experience of the Fifth, try Glenn Gould playing Liszt's piano transcription—it's wild!
     
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  7. antifocus

    antifocus Friend

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    I quite like Carlos Kleiber's, it is ruthless and colorless that I enjoyed weirdly in some way.
     
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  8. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Totally agree on this.
     
  9. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    Thank you all for the responses! Here are some of the details of the collection (it's a little ridiculous). We've listened to the first two so far:

    Herbert Kegel, Dresdner Philharmonie - Recorded 1982/83 - Delta Music GmbH 2003 - SACD
    Herbert Kegel, Dresdner Philharmonie - Recorded 10/18/1989 Suntory Hall Tokyo - NHK Altus Music 2003

    Josef Krips, London Symphony Orchestra - Madacy Entertainment 2006
    Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra - Recorded 1966 - Sony Music Japan 1995
    George Szell - Recorded 8/6/1961 by Austrian Radio - Andante Naive Paris 2005
    George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra - Recorded 10/23/64 - Sony Classical GmbH 1991
    George Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker - Recorded 1959 Decca - Universal Classics Japan 2007
    Otmar Suitner, Staatskapelle Berlin - Pilz GmbH 1990
    Otmar Suitner, Staatskapelle Berlin - Recorded 8/28/81 - Nippon Columbia 1984
    Richard Edlinger, Zagreb Philharmonic - Naxos Classical 1997
    Wolfgang Sawallisch, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Recorded 1991
    William Furtwangler, Wiener Philharmoniker - Recorded 1955 - EMI 2000 - Mono
    Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra - Recorded 3/22/52 Carnegie Hall - BMG 2003
    Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra - Recorded 1939 - Disco Trading Austria 1987
    Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra - Recorded 12/1939 - Music and Arts 2007
    Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra - Recorded 1939 - Fono Enterprise Italy 1996 - Mono
    Toscanini, NY Philharmonic - Recorded 5/1/42 Carnegie Hall - Naxos Historical 1998
    Klaus Tennstedt, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Kiel - Recorded 3/20/80
    Roger Norrington - Recorded 1988 Abbey Road, London - EMI 1989
    Russian - Recorded 29/1/72 Moscow - 2006
     
  10. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    I can post impressions if people are interested ... these are just our fun impressions, nothing serious. Basically, listening, joking and coming up with adjectives:

    Herbert Kegel, Dresdner Philharmonie - Recorded 1982/83 - Delta Music GmbH 2003 - SACD
    Great recording. This SACD is superb and lists source material and equipment used. The performance is bombastic and too loud, but somehow lacks bass at the same time.

    Herbert Kegel, Dresdner Philharmonie - Recorded 10/18/1989 Suntory Hall Tokyo - NHK Altus Music 2003
    Another great recording. The performance is slowwww tempo, ceremonious. This is a chill 5th if that's possible.
     
  11. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Yeah, keep the impressions coming.

    I misspoke on the Georg Solti, I haven't heard that 1959 recording; I have Solti's Beethoven cycle recorded in 1990, which I like a lot and I think is well recorded.

    Anyway, all good stuff!
     
  12. Clear Water

    Clear Water Friend

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    Are you sure about this date? If so, I'd love to figure out where it came from, since it means it's a live recording. Pretty sure the commercial version is from 1963. I'm quite partial to Cleveland's rendition of the oboe cadenza in the 1st movement.
     
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  13. batriq

    batriq Friend

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    You're right. The 2nd, which is on the same CD, is from 1964. The 5th is recorded on 10/11 and 10/25, 1963.
     
  14. Peti

    Peti Acquaintance

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    It seems I'm late for this with my reply but who knows, maybe someone will read it in the future:

    I have owned both the aforementioned Georg Solti and George Szell versions of this symphony. I thought to myself, these fellow Hungarian conductors should be owned by me! :)

    And I quite liked them, that is, until I have got to hear the Kleiber version of the Vienna Symphony. This recording is indeed special, but you will find just as many enthusiasts as folks who don't like it. Many will say that Kleiber's style is too "nervous", congested, etc. It's quite educative to read some of the negative reviews on amazon! :)

    [​IMG]

    My only gripe with this release is the quality of the sound. It's an old analog recording which sounded to my ears best via vinyl. I have had the SACD, but I have stuck with a vinyl rip, nevertheless.

    The best sound quality, to my best knowledge, is the Michael Tilson Thomas' version with the San Francisco Orchestra, recorded in high definition (24-96, if I recall right), and it sounds much much better than the viennese record from 1975.

    This version is not too far from Kleiber's, by the way but Thomas' conducting is more spacious, a little bit slower compared to Kleiber's first take on the Fifth. So, to each his own. At the end of the day I have both in my collection.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: images were inserted
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  15. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

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    I like Riccardo Chaillys cycle with Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The fifth is great.
    Also, the quite recent fifth with Simon Rattle and the berliners is really well performed. The whole cycle is highly recommended.
     
  16. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Another vote for Kleiber's 5th:
    [​IMG]

    I'd stay away from Gustavo Dudamel's and perhaps Herbert von Karajan's. The one by Bruno Walter is disciplined, but not much more than that -- somewhat of a textbook interpretation by a music professor. But Carlos Kleiber's comes with some magic in it...
     
  17. New Reformation

    New Reformation Almost "Made"

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    Dang! I didn't expect to find a fan club here at SBAF for a kids movie from over a decade ago....

    [​IMG]

    Oooooooohhhhhhhhh....

    I'll just see myself to the door.

    __________

    But seriously, I am grateful to have a place where I can glean knowledge about which classical recordings, conductors and orchestras to look for in order to find sensational interpretations/performances. Amazon reviews are awful if you are looking for something other than a superficial review, or pretentious people who rail against any sort of performance that evidences a pulse. I can see more threads like this one dealing with other pieces or composers [Best collection of Bach's organ works, best performance of Holst's Op.32 (AKA "The Planets"), etc.].
     
  18. digitaldave

    digitaldave Rando

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    Could you elaborate more on why you suggest staying away from Karajan's version(s)? I have a copy of his Beethoven symphony cycle from 1984 that I got many yeas ago, and I've also recently got a copy of his 1963 cycle, but haven't listened to it yet.
     
  19. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    We've discussed this a little in the snobs' den (see this and next page):
    http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/classical-snobs.75/page-13#post-124027

    In short, Karajan's interpretations can at times feel "bombastic" which may be accompanied with a feeling of the sound being "muddied". I suppose this is one of those "I know it when I see it" things. To realize what a "clean" interpretation sounds like you could compare it with Bruno Walter's 5th, which to me sounds pretty much "as expected", intuitively as what I'd expect the 5th should sound like.

    Perhaps in the 1963 boxset the 5th is the least inspired, and the others are overall pretty good. But I for one would still go for Bruno Walter's 1958 recordings of the nine symphonies...
     
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  20. digitaldave

    digitaldave Rando

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    Thanks for the reply. I need to have a listen to the 1963 version, but haven't had a chance yet. However, I've also got a Bruckner box set by Gunther Wand and the Köln Radio Symphony Orchestra to work through first, but Bruckner is completely new to me, so the Karajan may have to wait for a while...

    Edit: I'll see if I can get a copy of the Kleiber version as well.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017 at 2:59 PM

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