LSO Live - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9
Bernard Haitink & London Symphony Orchestra
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Fresh, lively, Beethoven as it should be
Beethoven has set the standard for the symphonic form, and there are countless versions of his sypmphonies on recording. The debates over what set the "standard" continue (and most certainly will continue to do so...). This set, I think, is remarkable as it continues the good tradition Haitink and the LSO have started to establish with the Brahms cylce: a fresh, lively, but never hurried or pretentious approach to music that still best comes to live not in a studio, but in life performances. There just is something special about that performance aspect - the recent DGG releases have made that abundently clear (think of the Abbado Mahler sets or the recent NY Phil iTunes special releases!). Personally, I count the Gardiner set as the most wonderful (modern) recording. This set, has, however, the advantage of the live performance without ANY of the previous disadvantages of live recordings. The sound is more than superb, the balance and stage as well-crafted as the music behind it, and there is no sound from the audience, just poor joy from the music. This one is a great buy for anybody who wants to discover classical music at its best, in a digital (computer/iPod compatible) format, as well as for those, who want to add to their existing set a wonderful, inspired and refreshing update on material that will never grow old.
Terrific Beethoven cycle
These are lively, rhythmic, and dramatic performances. The phrasing is great--you can practically hum along. If you are new to Beethoven, this is one of the best choices you can make to get introduced to this music. For classical music veterans, the sound of Haitink and the London Symphony is just staggeringly wonderful. Remember, though, that all iTunes downloads are compressed at 128k, which takes something out of the sound quality. I prefer eMusic, which has these same performances cheaper, and at a higher bit rate. Or better yet, get it in the store for the pretty packaging and the full bit rate! Anyway, Haitink is one of the great Beethoven interpreters, and the LSO is one of the greatest orchestras of the world and it sounds gorgeous here. All of these performances are LIVE -- this set is part of the London Symphony's current program to record the sound of a live orchestra, before an audience, without all the fancy studio tampering, so that you hear the music just as it was first experienced in the 1800s. They are hoping to preserve the subtly more energetic performance that results, which is done too seldom. I think they succeed. (They did blot out the applause, FYI.)
Perhaps the Greatest Set of Symphonies Ever Written, but...
I adore and love each one of these symphonies, and greatly respect the LSO, but for me the Berlin Philharmonic is THE recording to buy, specifically the Karajan recordings. That aside, these symphonies are near perfection, and well worth purchasing. This is a really great value.
Nacido/a: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 04 de marzo de 1929
Años de actividad: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s