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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6 "Pastorale"

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Customer Reviews

GREAT recording but the iTunes version is defective!

I purchased and downloaded this album (Bruno Walter conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral") from iTunes and was shocked that iTunes has cut off the tail ends of both the 3rd and 4th movements. This was a legendary recording of Beethoven's Symphony No.6, and it's unforgivable that iTunes is selling a defective version of it. Throwing good money after bad, but hoping for a complete version of this symphony (is that too much to ask of iTunes?), I purchased and downloaded the 1960s recording of George Szell conducting the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. That was even worse, in that iTunes cut off the ends of four of the five movements.

Other Review is Absolutely Right - GREAT Recording, SHAMEFUL iTunes

This is one of the GREAT recordings of Beethoven's 6th Symphony, but the reviewer who notes that Apple has CUT the end of two movements is absolutely right. Outrageous.

Outstanding Recording, a must have for Beethoven fans

Bruno Walter's rendition of Beethoven's 6th symphony is perhaps the greatest ever recorded, even when you conside that the Columbia Symphony Orchestra was not on the same level the major American and European orchestras of the day. Though on this disc, one hardly notices the fact many considered the CSO to be lesser orchestra.

Walter's reading of the score comes off sounding like a piece of literature or poetry, but that is a great thing and perfectly blends with the music to creat a benchmark recording. George Szell and Wilhelm Furtwangler also recorded memorable renditions of the 6th symphony, with George Szell's recording having a superior orchestra.

Furtwangler's legendary performance is not readily available and was done in mono, so Walter's only real competition comes from George Szell. Given that both Szell and Walter recordings are available for bargain prices on the Sony label, you could easily get both. In fact George Szell's entire Beethoven cycle is something to consider buying, as its well worth the bargain price and most of it is still available. Though I would still encourage you to get this recording as well.

The 4th symphony on this disc is good, but there are better. You are mainly getting this disc for the 6th symphony, with the 4th as a nice bonus. I recommend looking elsewhere if you want a benchmark 4th, though Walter's recording did just fine for me. I have Osmo Vanska's entire Beethoven cycle, and have compared his 4th to that of Walter's and its a trade off between better playing / sound quality and superior conductor.


Genre: Classical

Bruno Walter Schlesinger was born in Berlin on September 15, 1876. He began to play piano at an early age, and entered the Stern Conservatory of Berlin at age eight. He studied with Ehrlich, Bussler, and Radecke. He made a public appearance as a pianist at age nine. At age 13 he heard a concert by Hans von Bülow and decided to become a conductor. This was intensified by attendance at a performance at the Bayreuth Festival in 1891. He became an opera coach at the Cologne Opera in 1893 while still...
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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6 "Pastorale", Bruno Walter
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Apr 12, 1995

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