10 CD box set celebrating the work of the German Beethoven-pianist of international renown, Wilhelm Backhaus. It contains all of his concert recordings, the most popular sonatas and waltz-variations.
“Nobody plays this music more authoritatively and eloquently,” wrote London’s Sunday Times of Stephen Kovacevich in Beethoven. “He is in his element, responding wholeheartedly to the extreme physicality that Beethoven brought to music … but the wit and delicacy of the playing are also remarkable.”Kovacevich himself has spoken of his love for the “fun and virtuosity” of the composer’s early sonatas, while in the often
Recorded between 1964 and 1968, Paul Kletzki's respected cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven's symphonies on Supraphon rightly should be classified as a historical item for specialists, rather than as a recommended option for anyone seeking a great (and great sounding) modern set. Kletzki was an admired and popular conductor, noted for working with both European and American orchestras, and his interpretations of Beethoven are intelligent and insightful, regarded by some reviewers as among the finest of their time; the performances are still valuable for their musicality and significance among mid-20th century offerings.
Beethoven's nine symphonies were recorded by Herbert von Karajan in 1961-1962 with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - of which he became permanent conductor in 1955 to replace Wilhelm Furtwängler - and released on the DG label in 1963. 1963 October 15, Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the inaugural concert of the Berlin Philharmonie.
The first complete recording by the Austrian conductor - next will be the versions recorded between 1975-1977 (released in 1977, also a high-flying interpretation) and between 1982 and 1984 (released in 1985) - this version of 1963 remains the most inhabited on the whole. Technically remarkable, she is one of the great peaks of her discography.
This album is part of a series of twenty must-have titles from the Warner Classics catalog, featuring their original and well-known iconic covers. Few musical works express man’s metaphysical aspirations more powerfully than Beethoven’s titanic Missa Solemnis. As Otto Klemperer wrote some years before making this recording, “It is enormously difficult to translate into reality a work which doesn’t take reality into account.” He had first conducted the Missa Solemnis in 1927 and it came to define the epic grandeur of his interpretative style.
If you take it for granted that Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was the greatest pianist of the twentieth century and that his performances of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto were the greatest of the twentieth century, then you'll probably want to pick up this disc containing Michelangeli's fabled May 29, 1957, performance in Prague with Vaclav Smetacek and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Although Smetacek is not the deepest, the greatest, or the most sympathetic accompanist Michelangeli ever had, and although the Prague players are not always quite on their best behavior, Michelangeli is as he always is in this work: absolutely definite.
"Leonard Bernstein succeeded superbly in conveying his own intellectually ferocious vision of what the Missa solemnis truly signifies. His 1978 Concertgebouw performance is one of the greatest utterances of Bernstein's Indian summer on the Yellow Label." (Classics Today.com)
One of the most acclaimed musicians of his era, Toscanini was a conductor of the "old school" - aristocratic, perfectionistic and something of an autocrat on the podium. After a brief flurry of interest in Fascism in the 1910s, he rapidly became disillusioned with the movement and indeed became a personal rival of Mussolini, repeatedly antagonising him through acts of artistic defiance such as refusals to open concerts with the Fascist anthem Giovinezza.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his period orchestra, Concentus Musicus Wien, never recorded a complete cycle of the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, and this 2016 Sony release is their only recording of the Symphony No. 4 in B flat major and the Symphony No. 5 in C minor, made almost ten months before the conductor's death. Harnoncourt planned for this to be his last recording before his retirement, so it inevitably has the feeling of a valedictory performance, and one can also hear it as the orchestra's warm tribute to its leader and his sterling musicianship. But beyond the well-deserved accolades, this is a truly fine live recording of one of the most famous symphonies of all time and its somewhat less loved sibling, so the musical value of this singular Beethoven disc is quite high. Because the Symphony No. 4 is often overlooked, it's gratifying that it opens the album, and listeners are well advised to try it first.
"There is no single body of work in the universe of orchestral music that is in any way comparable to this one" (Leonard Bernstein on the Beethoven Symphonies). "He has a way of reminding you what the music can do: no one else today can make the great C major eruption in the Marcia funebre of No.3 blaze like this." - Gramophone