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Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic [Blu-ray Audio]

Beethoven / Kleiber / Wiener Philharmoniker
Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001935546   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an audio-only (i.e., with no video content) Blu-ray disc playable only on Blu-ray players.

It is also available on standard CD.
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BEETHOVEN Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 Carlos Kleiber, cond; Vienna PO DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4791106 (Blu-ray audio: 85:54)


Carlos Kleiber’s interpretation of Read more Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is considered by many people (myself included) to be the greatest Beethoven performance of at least the last half century. Kleiber’s Beethoven Seventh is also very good, but not quite in the class of his Fifth, probably because the “apotheosis of the dance” does not tolerate Kleiber’s extreme dynamics as well as the Fifth does. In short, Kleiber is equally exciting in the Seventh, but he drives the music a little too hard.


Deutsche Grammophon’s sound for Kleiber’s Fifth was surprisingly good on the original LP. Fine inner detail and instrumental texture were excellent, especially for Deutsche Grammophon, and there was even some credible spatial information. Standard CD improved the dynamics and inner detail at the cost of some harshness in the higher frequencies. SACD softened the highs and improved hall sound. Now, this Blu-ray audio disc takes the already excellent recording to near demonstration level. The buzz of the strings (the opening) and brass is improved, but there is practically no harshness or glare in the high frequencies. Spatial cues are at least equal to the SACD and focal instrumental imaging is better. Finally, I always had the impression that the sound in the fourth movement was more congested than the first movement, especially on the LP. Much of this was attributed to inner groove distortion, but it persisted to a certain extent on the CD. It is largely eliminated for the first time on this Blu-ray audio disc. The sound of the Seventh is qualitatively similar but perhaps not quite as good as the Fifth. These differences are admittedly subtle, but they are the kind of things that are critically important to audiophiles who love music.


I cannot imagine any serious music lover or audiophile with the capacity to play Blu-ray audio discs not having this recording. One of the great recorded performances of the century has finally received full sonic justice.


FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen
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Works on This Recording

1. Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Venue:  Musikverein, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 33 Minutes 22 Secs. 
2. Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Musikverein, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 38 Minutes 36 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beethoven: Symphonies #5 & 7/Kleiber, Vienna Phil July 6, 2014 By L. Hart (Cincinnati, OH) See All My Reviews "I will just say the sound is very very good, but since no chain is stronger than its weakest link, a lot depends on your system and its components. If I try to describe how something sounds, I think it would be like me trying to describe a color. I don't think I can effectively do that. But in any event on my system I think LPs, CDs, SACDs (DSD), LDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs sound very very good, but to me Laser Discs look the worst on Hi-Def TVs, even when up-converted." Report Abuse
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