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Complete Orchestral Recordings on DG / Carlos Kleiber

Kleiber,Carlos
Release Date: 09/09/2014 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 002131960  
Composer:  Ludwig van BeethovenFranz SchubertJohannes Brahms
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 4 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This title contains 3 CDs and 1 Blu-ray Audio Disc.

One of the most charismatic of conductors, Carlos Kleiber passed away 10 years ago, on 13 July 2004. In commemoration of a great artist, Deutsche Grammophon presents a deluxe edition of his Complete Orchestral Recordings in newly remastered versions at 24 bit / 96 kHz, along with a Blu-ray Audio Disc containing all the works and a 70-minute audio documentary (“Carlos Kleiber – a Memoir”), tracing his extraordinary career and ability to inspire the musicians he worked with.

Reviews of earlier releases of the recordings in this set:

Schubert
More distinguished Schubert arrives courtesy of the Vienna Philharmonic under Carlos Kleiber
Read more and a fine 1978 coupling of the Third and Eighth Symphonies. These are lean, intense readings, beautifully played (the Third's sprightly Allegretto breezes past at just 245) though a paltry playing time of 46'14" will not please bargain-hunters. I'd far rather Kleiber's quicksilver Schubert than Karajan's heavyweight, uninflected Mendelssohn (although I felt better disposed towards these lustrous 1971 BPO recordings when they first appeared on CD).

-- Robert Cowan, Gramophone [4/1997]

Beethoven
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 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]

Brahms

"The Brahms Fourth contains many similar virtues as Kleiber washes away a century of accumulated interpretive debris, leaving Brahms' brilliance to boldly sound forth on its own. Kleiber's vital and stirring yet immaculately transparent conducting, along with the Vienna Philharmonic's highly alert and virtuosic playing, make this one of the finest versions ever recorded."

-- Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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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. 
3.
Symphony no 3 in D major, D 200 by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1815; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1978 
4.
Symphony no 8 in B minor, D 759 "Unfinished" by Franz Schubert
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1978 
5.
Symphony no 4 in E minor, Op. 98 by Johannes Brahms
Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1885; Austria 
Date of Recording: 03/1980 
Venue:  Great Hall, Musikverein, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 39 Minutes 41 Secs. 

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