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Beethoven - Complete Symphonies Vol 1 / Kletzki, Czech Po


Release Date: 05/15/2000 
Label:  Supraphon   Catalog #: 3451   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Now that the record companies' self-imposed "no new Beethoven cycles until 2000" is at an end, can we expect the floodgates to reopen once more? If the results are all of this quality, we can only hope. Rather than foist on the public some up and coming "star" of the New Millenium, Supraphon has wisely returned to the catalog Paul Kletzki's 1960's cycle with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Even among bushels of "big orchestra" Beethoven recordings, Kletzki's stands apart for its uncommon freshness, musicality and clarity. Of course, a major contribution to this is the sound of the Czech Philharmonic, whose fabled skill at making every instrumental line audible adds immeasurably to one's aural perception of Read more Beethoven's scores. The uniquely pungent character of the wind section makes the first symphony's radical opening chord all the more arresting, as it does all the woodwind passages to follow. Kletzki's tempos stay within his generation's concept of "classical", that is to say more moderate than the urgent and highly contrasted style of the authentic performance movement. I must admit though, having heard the first two symphonies by the likes of Gardiner (on Archiv), that the "Romantic" approach when done as well as it is here actually enhances their revolutionary qualities; more so, at any rate, than simply leaving them in the world of Haydn and Mozart.

The two rifle shots that begin the Eroica clearly announce that Kletzki, and Beethoven, have left the Eighteenth century far behind. Like George Szell on Sony Classical, Kletzki combines a fast tempo (though not rushed, like Gardiner) with a weighty, sonorous orchestral texture that enhances the music's "heroic" quality, while his beautifully judged rubato is another throwback to the more Romantic style of Beethoven interpretation. Note, for example, such lovely touches as the slower tempo for the ruminative transitional passage between the recapitulation and the coda. Kletzki leads a somber, but not leaden, funeral march whose climaxes reveal the angst beneath the rather formal surface. The scherzo features exactingly crisp rhythms and beautiful horn playing in the trio, while Kletzki's finale is dancingly joyous. Don't let the vintage put you off: the sound on these Supraphon recordings is full and clear. The Eroica is the real prize, and you get two more very fine symphonies, plus a pretty good Egmont as a bonus.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Symphony no 2 in D major, Op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1801-1802; Vienna, Austria 
3.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
4.
Egmont, Op. 84 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria 

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