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Beethoven: Symphony No 3, 5, 7 /Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker


Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  London/Decca Legends Catalog #: 467679   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 3 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dating from the late fifties, these generally fine performances show Solti's consistency as a Beethoven interpreter. In fact, timings are virtually identical to his later versions (give or take a repeat or two). Even in at this comparatively early date, a craggy directness entirely appropriate to Beethoven characterized the conductor's approach, and how many contemporaries at the time took the exposition repeat in the Eroica's first movement? Solti's Beethoven has always been underrated. In some respects it's more satisfying than his ventures into the late Romantic repertoire on which his reputation largely rests. His Fifth Symphony, for example, has all of the drama and flair one could ask for in its outer movements, and his treatment of Read more the Third's epic funeral march is truly gripping, with a hair-raising fugato climax. The Seventh also seethes with energy (terrific finale!), and it's only in the slow movements of both this work and the Fifth where the grip slackens a bit. The grainy quality of the Vienna Philharmonic strings and the very close recording balances (particularly as regards cellos and basses) also contribute to this impression. At this date, the orchestra still lacked their famously alluring tonal qualities, an observation additionally confirmed by some sour wind playing in quieter passages. There are also one or two odd directives from the podium, such as the fussy treatment of the Eroica finale's coda. Still, anyone encountering these performances for the first time will be pleasantly surprised at how exciting, musical, and competitive they remain over 40 years on. It's certainly clear what all the excitement was about, and if Solti's subsequent career only partially fulfilled the promise on display here, he's in good company. I'll take his Beethoven over, say, Karajan's any day. [3/21/2001]

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1958-59 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 53 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1958-59 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 32 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1958-59 
Venue:  Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 36 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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