Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

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Masters of Classical Music

Masters of Classical Music

20 documentaries on 5 DVDs in a luxury DVD Box

Excerpts from

Bach, J S:

Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6 BWV1046-1051 (complete)

Freiburger Barockorchester, Gottfried van der Goltz


Concerto for Orchestra, BB 123, Sz.116

Recorded live at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, 1 May 2003

Berliner Philharmoniker, Pierre Boulez


Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado


Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14

Berliner Philharmoniker, Mariss Jansons


Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77

Recorded live at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo, 1 May 2002

Gil Shaham (violin)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado


Symphony No. 8 in C minor

Wiener Philharmoniker, Pierre Boulez


La Mer

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim


Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado


Symphony No. 94 in G Major 'Surprise'

Berliner Philharmoniker, Mariss Jansons


Symphony No. 5

Lucerne Fesitval Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Das Lied von der Erde

WDR Sinfonieorchester, Semyon Bychkov


Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64

Recorded live at the Gewandhaus Leipzig, May 1997

Frank Michael Erben (violin)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Kurt Masur


Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551 'Jupiter'

Recorded live at the Konzerthaus, Berlin, 13 November 2005

Kammerorchester C.P.E. Bach, Hartmut Haenchen



Berliner Philharmoniker, Daniel Barenboim


Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759 'Unfinished'

Berliner Philharmoniker, Daniel Barenboim


Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Martha Argerich (piano)

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly

Strauss, R:

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64

Recorded live at the Semperoper, Dresden, 22 September 1998

Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Giuseppe Sinopoli


The Rite of Spring

Berliner Philharmoniker, Bernard Haitink


Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado

Twenty famous masterpieces by the most important composers in history are brought closer to the viewer through first class concert broadcasts. Examples from the musical scores help the viewer to follow the themes and rhythms and to understand the overall structure of the work. Each introductory feature is clearly andinformatively designed. Thus the viewer goes on a journey back to the time and place of composition and isinformed about the life of the composer whilst receiving a complete introduction to the work

Discovering Masters of Classical Music includes : Bach Brandenburg Concertos, Mozart Symphony No. 41, Haydn Symphony No. 94 “Surprise”, Beethoven Symphony No. 5 and No. 9, Schubert Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”,Berlioz Symphonie fantastique, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Violin Concerto in E-minor, Schumann Piano Concerto,Brahms Violin Concerto, Bruckner Symphony No. 8, Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, Dvořák Symphony No. 9, Debussy La Mer, Mahler Symphony No. 5 and Das Lied von der Erde, Stravinsky Le Sacre du Printemps, Strauss Eine Alpensinfonie, Ravel Boléro, Bartók Concerto for Orchestra

Orchestras: Berliner Philharmoniker, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Sächsische Staatskapelle, WienerPhilharmoniker, WDR Sinfonieorchester

Conductors: Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Kurt Masur, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Gottfried von der Goltz

Hosted by Jeremy Barham, Michael Beckerman, Pierre Boulez, Frank-Michael Erben, Constantin Floros, Hartmut Haenchen, Peter Hill, Armin Koch, Wulf Kunold, Robert Levin, Paul Roberts, Wolfgang Sandberger, Habakuk Traber

Picture format DVD: 16:9 - NTSC

Sound format DVD: PCM Stereo

Region code: 0 (worldwide)

Running time: 600 mins

Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese German

FSK: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

EuroArts - Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music - 2060858

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Claudio Abbado Edition Vol. 2

Claudio Abbado Edition Vol. 2


Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 'Choral'

Jane Eaglen (soprano), Waltraud Meier (mezzo), Ben Heppner (tenor), Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

Rundfunkchor Stockholm, E. Ericson-Kammerchor

The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43: excerpts


Prometheus, symphonic poem No. 5, S99


Serenade No. 9 in D major, K320 'Posthorn'

Marches (2) in D major, K335

Divertimento No. 11 in D major, K251

Hansjörg Schellenberger (oboe)

Symphony No. 23 in D major, K181

Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orchestra in E flat major, K364

Rainert Kußmaul (violin), Wolfram Christ (viola)

Symphony No. 36 in C major, K425 'Linz'


Prometeo: excerpts

Ingrid Ade-Jesemann (soprano), Monika Bair-Ivenz (soprano), Susanne Otto (alto), Peter Hall (tenor), Ulrike Krumbiegel, Mathias Schadock (speakers), Michael Hasel (bass flute), Manfred Preis (bass clarinet), Christhard Gössling (euphonium/tuba)


Prometheus (The Poem of Fire), Op. 60

Martha Argerich (piano)

Strauss, R:

Don Juan, Op. 20

Burleske for Piano and orchestra in D minor, AV85

Martha Argerich (piano)

Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28

Marie Theres'! ... Hab mir's gelobt (from Der Rosenkavalier)

Renee Fleming (Marschallin), Frederica von Stade (Octavian), Katleen Battle (Sophie), Andreas Schmidt (Faninal)

As the endlessly sad news of Claudio Abbado’s passing broke on Monday 20th January 2014, heartfelt tributes quickly poured in from around the world: “a great musician and a generous man” (Sir Simon Rattle); “will always be part of the exalted group of geniuses in the history of the arts” (Gustavo Dudamel); “one of the wonders of the world” (Daniel Harding); “[Abbado’s concerts] weren’t mere performances of pieces of music, they were transformative existential journeys” (The Guardian).

'Sony Classical' is making available immediately the Claudio Abbado Gold Edition: three individual, budget-priced 5 CD box sets of Maestro Abbado conducting the Berlin Philharmonic with pieces by Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Strauss, Schumann and Mussorgsky.

Sony Claudio Abbado Edition - 88697325352

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Live in Rotterdam 2011

Rebecca Nash (soprano), Wilke te Brummelstroete (mezzo-soprano), Marcel Beekman (tenor) & Michael Tews (bass)

Laurens Collegium & Laurens Cantorij, Orchestra of the 18th Century, Frans Brüggen

Frans Brüggen first turned his attention to the music of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies in the 1980s, using period instruments. Now, his quest undimmed, he returns to the glories of Beethoven’s orchestral music for a new cycle being issued in a sumptuous hybrid SACD box set on Glossa. Likewise undimmed is the rapport he shares with his orchestra for one of classical music’s greatest challenges by way of concert performances: Brüggen has long distanced himself from studio recordings.

“the O18C have the same exhilarating zeal now as they did when they made their previous set of Beethoven recordings for Philips in the early 1990s...Brüggen isn't one for attention-seeking effects or eccentricities, but his performances bristle with ideas, making them confrontational in the best sense.” The Guardian, 18th October 2012 ****

“Bruggen’s Beethoven with his crack European ensemble is again a breath of fresh air … every bar crackles with energy and delight. Excellent recorded sound, capturing a natural concert hall perspective.” Classical Music, 17th November 2012

“Brüggen's message, interpreted from uncorrupted texts, gets through, every repeat except one (in the third movement of the Seventh) observed. But he reserves judgement about Beethoven's metronome markings...Brüggen strips (the Ninth) of the overbearing bombast encrusted across generations...This is Brüggen's voyage to the vortex of Beethoven's last symphony. Go with him for a rare emotional encounter.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013

“What makes these new readings so rewarding is the depth and breadth of his conception of Beethoven’s sound world, combined with the clarity of period instruments. Older conductors achieved this with modern instruments, but Brüggen’s accounts of the purely orchestral symphonies have uncommon integrity.” Sunday Times, 10th March 2013

GGramophone Awards 2013

Finalist - Orchestral

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

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Glossa - GCDSA921116

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

In May 2002, in a series of live concerts in the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein, a journey unique in the Wiener Philharmoniker's long and distinguished history reached its conclusion. This thrilling set of symphonies is the fruit of that journey.

The recordings were made 'live' after numerous performances of individual symphonies and complete cycles in Tokyo, Berlin and Vienna. Rattle believes that a live performance has its own rhythm. The conductor 'channelling his unrelenting energy' was something audiences and the critics noticed at the concerts in the Musikverein. “Rattle left all landmark conductors behind him, as he unleashed then tamed, shaped, and painted the musical forces to be heard here...[Beethoven] certainly has his best advocate in Simon Rattle”, claimed Austria’s Standard after one of the recorded concerts.

“The well-known, often played and much-loved Beethoven classics are not just reeled off in expert routine,“ observed the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 2001, “but are thought through and spontaneously rendered at the highest levels. The musicians react directly to the smallest gestures from their conductor. It's not often that one experiences such perfection.” The Berliner Morgenpost said of the cycle's character and capacity to excite: “Rattle goes for clear contours, for rhythm, dynamics and above all physical energy. He doesn't pay tribute to a genius transfigured and endowed with mythical status by 200 years of tradition but presents us instead with a Beethoven for today.”

EMI - 9156242

(CD - 5 discs)


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Beethoven For All: The Symphonies

Beethoven For All: The Symphonies


Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Anja Harteros (soprano), Waltraud Meier (mezzo), Peter Seiffert (tenor), René Pape (bass)

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra & Vokalensemble Kölner Dom, Daniel Barenboim

The release of the complete Beethoven Symphonies under the banner of Beethoven for All will launch a unique recording and performance project for 2012 in which, in his 70th year, the tireless Daniel Barenboim will also release the complete Piano Concertos and Piano Sonatas.

“I think the Beethoven symphonies with the Divan orchestra is different in the sense that there is a terrific amount of energy because of the youth of the people – but there is just as much rigour. The combination of rigour with youthful energy is very strong” (Daniel Barenboim, speaking in the TV documentary on this project).

The Symphonies were recorded in August 2011 in Cologne, the glorious instalment of a worldwide tour that began in August 2010 at the legendary Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and will cover four continents by 2012. The orchestra’s 2012 engagements include a European tour culminating in the performance of all Nine Symphonies at the BBC Proms.

This major international project will be supported by a new TV documentary, TV spots, EPKs, a project website, and special online tools to help you make Daniel Barenboim’s Beethoven for All 2012 a global event.

“These are the most old-fashioned performances of the works that I have listened to in a very long time...Barenboim has fallen under the spell of Furtwangler: several of these performances are virtually carbon copies of Barenboim's great predecessor...In short, despite serious shortcomings' this is a worthwhile and often moving set.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 ****

“he appears to conceive of a Beethovenian performing style derived backwards from the Ninth and, more than that, from Wagner's idea of the Ninth. What distinguishes Barenboim's the courage of its iconoclastic convictions...Barenboim will challenge, perplex or irritate you at every turn.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012

“Hearing such a refreshingly old-fashioned, heavyweight approach to Beethoven still feels like a guilty pleasure. Tempi tend to be broad yet flexible, and the odd-numbered symphonies are the ones which emerge most happily.” The Arts Desk, 28th July 2012

“The lean, tight, firecracker approach to Beethoven, currently fashionable, is not Barenboim’s way. An old romantic at heart, he refuses to give crisp definition even to the motto rhythms launching No 5...Once Beethoven’s kaleidoscope turns gently lyrical, conductor and musicians are more persuasive. The lighter the symphony in gesture and texture, the better the performances become.” The Times, 6th July 2012 ***

Decca Daniel Barenboim Beethoven For All - 4783511

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Erich Leinsdorf conducts Beethoven

Erich Leinsdorf conducts Beethoven


Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Jane Marsh (soprano), Josephine Veasey (mezzo), Placido Domingo (tenor), Sherrill Milnes (bass)

Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chorus Pro Musica, New England Conservatory Chorus, Erich Leinsdorf

RCA Classical Masters - 88691916822

(CD - 5 discs)


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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9


Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano), Kerstin Meyer (alto), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Frederick Guthrie (bass)

The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, Op. 43

Egmont Overture, Op. 84

Fidelio Overture Op. 72c

EMI - 6483032

(CD - 5 discs)


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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Angela Denoke, Marianna Tarasova, Endrik Wottrich & Matthias Goerne

Russian National Orchestra & The Moscow State Chamber Choir, Mikhail Pletnev

“The main difference from any other performances I have is the quite incredible degree to which tempos are pulled around in order to make a particular effect. All told this is a big and bewildering disappointment.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2007 ***

“If you listen to the set chronologically you will be rewarded with marvellous accounts of the first two symphonies. These performances show Pletnev's Beethoven at its commanding, enlivening best. The playing of the Russian National Orchestra… has a relish and impulse, with secure bass-lines and transparent textures. The best performances among the later symphonies are those of the Fourth and the Seventh symphonies. The Eighth, by contrast, is stodgily conducted. The Ninth, once under way, is a fairly swift affair, in the instrumental movements at least. The finale is well done, a performance if discipline and relish, carefully assembled.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2007

DG - E4776409

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Live from The Edinburgh Festival 2006

“A decisive interpretation, reinforced by a near-flawless and totally committed performance, and driven by an energy and vitality that conductors half the age of the venerable octogenarian Mackerras could only dream of emulating.The confidence and challenge intrinsic to the great symphony bounded off the page, flowed through conductor and orchestra and filled the auditorium, whose near-capacity audience was gripped. That grip remained fast for the duration: through the pulsing virility of the first movement and an amazing account of the second where Sir Charles and the SCO at once maintained a swift momentum while creating an illusion of unhurried expansiveness, crept through a stealthily-introduced scherzo and, in a wonderfully controlled flow of tension and release, exploded into a finale whose effect was as cathartic as it was climactic. This Beethoven Five was a seamlessly integrated interpretation and performance which refreshed the best known of all symphonies. That’s why it was special. This performance was suffused with the shock of the new” The Herald (Glasgow)

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Orchestral

Building a Library

First Choice - March 2014

Hyperion - CDS44301/5

(CD - 5 discs)


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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (complete)

(First release 1963)

“This was the first set of the Nine to be planned, recorded and sold as an integral cycle. It was also a set that had been extremely carefully positioned from the interpretative point of view.
Where Karajan's 1950s Philharmonia cycle had elements in it that owed a certain amount to the old German school of Beethoven interpretation, the new-found virtuosity of the Berliners allowed him to approach more nearly the fierce beauty and lean-toned fiery m anner of Toscanini's Beethoven style as Karajan had first encountered it in its halcyon age in the mid-1930s.
Nothing demonstrates this better than the 1962 recording of the Fourth Symphony, fiery and radiant as Karajan's reading had not previously been, and never would be again. The old shibboleth among writers and musicians that the evennumbered symphonies were somehow less dramatic than the odd-numbered ones meant nothing to Karajan. His accounts of the Second, Fourth, Sixth and Eighth Symphonies were every bit as intense as their allegedly sturdier neighbours. Only in the Seventh Symphony's third movement Trio and the Menuetto of the Eighth Symphony – where he continued to follow Wagner's idea of this as an essentially stately dance, a kind of surrogate slow movement – did he deviate significantly from the Toscanini model. And it worked. True, the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony was a touch airless, lacking some of the easy wonderment of Karajan's old Philharmonia recording. But, then, Toscanini himself had never managed to replicate the unique charm of his pre-war English recording with the BBC SO.
The original review of the cycle entered a number of caveats, some of which still pertain, though it's the lack of certain repeats and the non-antiphonal dispensation of the violins that may worry some most nowadays. What so enthused us back then was the urgency of the music-making, its vitality and, ultimately, a fierce sense of joy that had its natural point of culmination in a thrillingly played and eloquently sung account of the finale of the Ninth.
The playing of the new rejuvenated BPO dazzled throughout, as did Günther Hermanns recordings: clean and clear, and daringly 'lit' with a bright shimmer of reverberation. The recordings have always transferred effortlessly to CD and the present reissue is no exception.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Presto Greatest Recordings


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