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Beethoven: Symphonies No 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic

Release Date: 01/23/1996 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 447400   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It is interesting to reflect that in 1974 there was not a single entry under the name 'Kleiber, Carlos' in The Gramophone Classical Record Catalogue. 'Kleiber, Erich': certainly. Among other things, he had recorded a famous Beethoven Fifth in 1953 (Decca, 9/87—nla). I still remember the sinking feeling I experienced—a mere tiro reviewer on Gramophone—when I dropped into the post-box my 1, 000-word rave review (they had asked for 200) of what struck me as being one of the most articulate and incandescent Beethoven Fifths I had ever heard.

In Germany, they would probably have spiked the review. There is, after all, more than a hint of triplet-rhythm in Carlos Kleiber's conducting of the opening motto, a point—eagerly seized on
Read more by some German reviewers—which I had omitted to mention in my 1, 000-word encomium.

The performance doesn't stale, though it is the first movement that stays most vividly in the memory. I had forgotten, for instance, how steady—Klemperer-like, almost—the Scherzo and finale are. (Early Klemperer, that is: the Klemperer of the famous 1956 Philharmonia Fifth or his even earlier Vox recording—5/93, nla—of which The Record Guide—Collins: 1955—wrote, "Klemperer treats the work as if he had just discovered its greatness.")

The recording of the Fifth, always very fine, comes up superbly in the new transfer. What, though, of the Seventh Symphony, an equally distinguished performance though always perceptibly greyer-sounding on LP, and on CD? Well, it too is superb. What the Original-Image Bit-Processing has done to it, I wouldn't begin to know, but the result is a performance of genius that now speaks to us freely and openly for the first time.

In some ways this is a more important document than the famous Fifth. Great recordings of the Seventh, greatly played and greatly conducted, but with first and second violins divided left and right, are as rare as gold-dust. Freshly refurbished, this Kleiber Seventh would go right to the top of my short list of recommendable Sevenths.

It is wonderful to have these two legendary performances so expertly restored and placed together on one disc for the first time.

-- Richard Osborne, Gramophone [5/1995]
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Works on This Recording

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. 
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. 
Notes: Selection recorded November 1975 and January 1976. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op.67: 1. Allegro con brio
Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op.67: 2. Andante con moto
Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op.67: 3. Allegro
Symphony No.5 In C Minor, Op.67: 4. Allegro
Symphony No.7 In A, Op.92: 1. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No.7 In A, Op.92: 2. Allegretto
Symphony No.7 In A, Op.92: 3. Presto - Assai meno presto
Symphony No.7 In A, Op.92: 4. Allegro con brio

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  8 Customer Reviews )
 Revival January 25, 2014 By robin  d. (sydney, nsw) See All My Reviews "How lucky are we to be able to go back to these Outstanding recordings & to be able to compare each of them with other versions. Total control over the or orchestra & having the experience of seeing some of these people & able to attend recent concerts & then to be able to compare is such a delight." Report Abuse
 Great Music - poor shipping January 2, 2014 By Michael Kennedy (Cincinnati, OH) See All My Reviews "I heard this music on our local public radio station and loved other versions of this composer's work, but this version beat them all. However, I liked this CD so much I wanted, and did, pay extra to have the CD shipped to me in two actually ended up taking five days! So, I'm wondering why did I pay extra for faster service and was made to wait?" Report Abuse
 Carlos Kleiber January 5, 2013 By Ralph Cavaliere (No. Massapequa, NY) See All My Reviews "I have both symphonies conducted by an assortment of great maestri and orchestras, including Toscanini with the NBC. Great recording and it rates with the best of them." Report Abuse
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