The Best Recorded Performances of Beethoven's Symphonies


#1

I am looking to fill out my collection of Beethoven’s nine symphonies on CD or hires. I have the what I think are the best performances of the 5th and 7th symphonies in both Red Book and 24/96:

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Agree or disagree?

What about 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9? If you could only have one recording of these symphonies, which ones would they be?

Thanks!!


#2

Too difficult, please ask an easier question such as: “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around…”

:wink:


#3

There will never be agreement about a “best” performance, particularly when so many are available.

That said, I highly recommend the complete series of Beethoven symphonies by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra. I bought mine as 92/24 downloads and the sound quality as well as the performances are superb. They are available on SACD and CD, which I have no personally heard. Also very good are the San Francisco Symphony recordings from Blue Coast records (2, 5, 7, 9).


#4

I’d recommend sticking with the European orchestras. Look for Staatskapelle Berlin/Barenboim, COE/Harnoncourt, Zurich Tonhalle/Zinman, Vienna/Bohm or Rattle. HIP/original instrument versions from Orchestre Reveolutionnaire/Gardiner, Orchestra of the 18th Century/Bruggen. These are all complete sets.

The only American orchestra set worth acquiring is the Cleveland/Szell set on Epic/Sony. “Cracklin’ with energy”

Do I have to pick just one? OK, today I’ll go with the ‘99 Staatskapelle Berlin set on Teldec/Warner. An amazing band with a distinct, rich “old school” tone led by Barenboim who brings his Furtwangler-inspired style of conducting. Tempo, balance, rubato, technical precision, architecture, dynamics, energy…it’s all there!

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#5

The last thing I need is another set of Beethoven symphonies but for $10.02 plus shipping on Amazon I will take a listen.

Thanks xainharris.


#6

$10.02?! Wow.


#7

It is now $10.69 from Zoverstocks on Amazon.

Or $14.69 from Amazon itself with free shipping if you have Prime.

https://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphonies-6CD-Daniel-Barenboim/dp/B071S7YCR1/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1513362213&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Staatskapelle+Berlin+beethoven+Barenboim


#8

Amazing. What a delight.

I have had great experience buying used, and there are used versions offered slightly cheaper.


#9

I ordered and look forward to hearing it.
Also, just started listening to the 62-63 H. Von Karajan Beethoven cycle. Very nice indeed!


#10

The 5th by Kleiber is beautiful!


#11

This, IMO, is the best HIP/period instruments version of the 9 symphonies and includes the overtures too. Don’t see any cheap ones out there though.


#12

This is the one for me, no matter if on vinyl or SACD, it’s the best IMO.

http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/80021/Paavo_Jarvi-Beethoven_Symphonies_Nos_1-9-180_Gram_Vinyl_Record

Vinyl folks should get the vinyl, the mastering is definitely superior imo.


#13

Very nice sound and performances.