Beethoven: Complete Symphonies

Beethoven: Complete Symphonies
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven
Artist Staatskapelle Dresden
Herbert Blomstedt conductor
Format 5 CD
Cat. number 94289
EAN code 5028421942896
Release May 2012

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About this release

Beethoven’s nine symphonies – composed between 1800 and 1824 – are true cornerstones of the classical canon. Marking an irrefutable turning point in the history of music, they transformed audiences’ expectations of the symphony and influenced the genre’s future development through their experimental, dramatic and expressive weight. Conductors have long been drawn to the profundity of these works: a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies is viewed as one of the ultimate challenges in the repertoire, and the performances in this set are undoubtedly among the greatest to have been recorded, illuminating the skill of the Staatskapelle Dresden and Herbert Blomstedt, one of the most distinguished conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The symphonies trace Beethoven’s development as a composer, from the earlier works that document his emergence from the Viennese tradition, through to his experimental and critically divisive late style. Particularly famed for its landmark status in the history of music is the ‘Eroica’ Symphony (No.3), notable for its innovative approach to sonata form and embodiment of Beethoven’s ‘heroic’ style. Also included are the legendary Symphony No.5, known for its distinctive opening motif and rigorous large-scale structure, the dramatic ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, and the sophisticated Seventh Symphony. The collection is, of course, concluded by the monumental Symphony No.9 – known as the ‘Choral’ Symphony because of its ground-breaking, transcendent finale, sung here by the Dresden State Opera Chorus and a group of acclaimed soloists.

Over 30 years after their initial release, these recordings have remained one of the ultimate Beethoven symphony cycles, a testament to the quality of the performances and Blomstedt’s interpretations. Brought together in a set of excellent value, this 5-disc collection is a must-have addition to the libraries of classical music fans, old and new.

Other information:
- Recordings made in Lucaskirche, Dresden, 1975–1980
- ‘Herbert Blomstedt's Beethoven cycle with the Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the great ones, as much for the magnificent playing of this finest of all German orchestras as for Blomstedt's effortlessly musical interpretations.’ 10/10 for artistic quality and sound quality (David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com)

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21: I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
  2. Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21: II. Andante cantabile con moto
  3. Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21: III. Menuetto & Trio: Allegro molto e vivace
  4. Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21: IV. Finale: Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace
  5. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat, Op. 55 ‘EROICA’: I. Allegro con brio
  6. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat, Op. 55 ‘EROICA’: II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
  7. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat, Op. 55 ‘EROICA’: III. Scherzo & Trio: Allegro vivace
  8. Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat, Op. 55 ‘EROICA’: IV. Allegro molto – Poco andante – Presto

Disk 2

  1. Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36: I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
  2. Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36: II. Larghetto
  3. Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36: III. Scherzo & Trio: Allegro
  4. Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36: IV. Allegro molto
  5. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Op. 60: I. Adagio – Allegro vivace
  6. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Op. 60: II. Adagio
  7. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Op. 60: III. Menuetto: Allegro vivace – Trio: Un poco meno allegro
  8. Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat, Op. 60: IV. Allegro ma non troppo

Disk 3

  1. Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op. 67: I. Allegro con brio
  2. Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op. 67: II. Andante con moto
  3. Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op. 67: III. Allegro
  4. Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op. 67: IV. Allegro – Presto
  5. Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 ‘PASTORAL’: I. Allegro ma non troppo (Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande)
  6. Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 ‘PASTORAL’: II. Andante molto mosso (Szene am Bach)
  7. Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 ‘PASTORAL’: III. Allegro – sempre più stretto – In tempo d’allegro – Tempo I – Presto (Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute)
  8. Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 ‘PASTORAL’: IV. Allegro (Gewitter, Sturm)
  9. Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 ‘PASTORAL’: V. Allegretto (Hirtengesang, frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm)

Disk 4

  1. Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92: I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace
  2. Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92: II. Allegretto
  3. Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92: III. Presto – Assai meno presto
  4. Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92: IV. Allegro con brio
  5. Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93: I. Allegro vivace e con brio
  6. Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93: II. Allegretto scherzando
  7. Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93: III. Tempo di Menuetto
  8. Symphony No. 8 in F, Op. 93: IV. Allegro vivace

Disk 5

  1. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 ‘CHORAL’: I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
  2. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 ‘CHORAL’: II. Molto vivace – Presto
  3. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 ‘CHORAL’: III. Adagio molto e cantabile – Andante moderato – Tempo I – Andante moderato – Adagio – Lo stesso tempo
  4. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 ‘CHORAL’: IV. Presto – Allegro assai – Presto – Recitativo – Allegro assai – Allegro assai vivace (alla marcia) – Andante maestoso – Adagio ma non troppo ma divoto – Allegro energico e sempre ben marcato – Allegro ma non tanto Presto – Maestoso – Prestissimo