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Beethoven: Symphony No 1 & 6 / Szell, Cleveland Orchestra

Release Date: 01/29/2002 
Label:  Sony Classical Essential Classics Catalog #: 89838   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

George Szell brings classical lightness and drive to Beethoven's early symphony, all the while pointing up the composer's daring formal and harmonic inventiveness. In the first-movement introduction Szell achieves authentic-performance-style clarity yet maintains a welcome solidity of orchestral tone (without becoming weighty) before springing zestfully into the allegro proper. Only the finale, although done with much finesse and polish, sounds a bit restrained compared to the quicksilver renditions of Harnoncourt and Gardiner.

Szell's Pastorale is one of the great recordings, full of feeling and sinuous beauty. The first movement glides on one sustained breath, the Scene by the Brook soars gently, the storm surges
Read more powerfully (with ideally balanced timpani), and the finale shines brightly due to the ringing playing of the Cleveland strings. Like Bernstein, Szell milks the great final climax for all its emotional worth. But there's still more: a positively gripping--and ferociously played--account of the Egmont overture follows. Szell heightens the drama right from the terse opening bars on through to the passionate and triumphant close. The remastered 1960s recordings capture the full bloom of the Severance Hall acoustic. This one's a classic, and you should have it.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 25 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Written: 1808 
Length: 41 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Egmont, Op. 84: Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  George Szell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1810; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 8 Minutes 32 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Outstanding! April 9, 2015 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "I am in agreement with Christian B.'s comments about the quality of Beethoven's 6th Symphony, as interpreted here by George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. In fact, I'll go a step further. In my opinion, this recording serves as proof of Szell's legendary reputation as a supreme Beethoven interpreter. With his Cleveland Orchestra in top form, both symphonies (1st and 6th) flow, even explode, out of your stereo speakers in a way very few other Beethoven recordings I have encountered have been able to match. Everything seems perfect- tempos, effective dynamic range, orchestral balance, lustrous tone quality from all sections of the orchestra, and (thanks to Szell's superb control of his forces) continuously evolving interaction between tension and resolution. I'm sure most Arkivmusic patrons have their own favorite recordings of these two Beethoven symphonies, but I think a listen to this majestic version by the Cleveland Orchestra will persuade you that there is always something special and revelatory from the truly exalted recordings of the past. This is one of them for sure!!! Strong recommendation." Report Abuse
 Superb rendering of Beethoven's 6th September 10, 2012 By C. Bryner (Price, UT) See All My Reviews "Is Beethoven's 6th Symphony the most joyous piece of music ever written? I know it's my favorite, and this recording is fantastic. Szell doesn't let the exuberance of the piece get out of hand; he doesn't take liberties with the rhthyms, doesn't rush things, and thus the restraint enhances the explosive moments. He really knows how to build the music to a climax while making every note along the way a thing of beauty. When the horns blast they really blast and it's just how it should be. I am especially impressed with the quality of this recording. It is excellent. Every time I return to this recording I find something new and wonderful. I think Szell's 6th should get the same attention we give Kleiber's 5th!" Report Abuse
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