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1812 Overture/Capriccio Italien (+ Beethoven: Well

4.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 29 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000057MW
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,988 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. 1812 Festival Overture, Op.49 (Original Scoring)
2. 1812 Festival Overture, Op.49: Commentary By Deems Taylor
3. Capriccio Italien, Op.45
4. Wellington's Victory ('The Battle Of Vitoria'), Op. 91: First Part: Battle
5. Wellington's Victory ('The Battle Of Vitoria'), Op. 91: Second Part: Victory Symphony
6. Wellington's Victory ('The Battle Of Vitoria'), Op. 91: Commentary by Deems Taylor

Product Description


This disc caused quite a stir when first issued in the early 1960s. With a panoply of infantry in the Beethoven, and bells and cannon in the Tchaikovsky, Dorati goes for maximum impact: just what both pieces need when heard outside the concert hall or arena. Wellington's Victory has often been labelled Beethoven's worst major work--pointlessly if you consider it was written as a quick commission for a new line of mechanical instrument! Take it with a fair pinch of salt and enjoy. 1812 is a better work than many people, including Tchaikovsky, would give it credit for. Again, it's not profound, nor was it meant to be. It sounds fabulous in this latest transfer--40 years just melt away as you listen. The Minneapolis SO is not in the "super league" of US orchestras, but they rise to the occasion as Dorati encourages them to do. You also get a hard and fast Capriccio Italen, and two discussions on how the sessions for the main works were set up. As the results amply demonstrate, it's a slice of recording history to treasure. --Richard Whitehouse

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
All the reviews on this disc cite the power of the cannon fire and the sound of the real bells as the best reason to buy this disc. I would agree. Those elements of the disc are unique and impressive. But I was disappointed with the sound quality of the orchestra performance...it was clear to me that this was a recording from the 50's. I expect more from a classical music recording on disc...freedom from hiss, dynamic range in the music, precise imaging and total clarity from strings to brass. This one didn't deliver for me. I've been spoiled by some great quality CDs...the sound on this was akin to bad FM radio (cannon and bells notwithstanding). Buy the disc if you want to hear the 1812 with a real cannon (and you can't make it to Tanglewood each summer to hear it live), but if you're like me, you'll prefer something that delivers all that modern digital recording can provide.
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Format: Audio CD
This classic, enduring reading of the Festival Overture '1812' and 'Wellington's Victory' is stunning, meticulously researched, and yes, extremely LOUD! The music is powerful, well-performed, and truly captures the spirit of all three pieces. In the end, however, the stars of the show are the Bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon and, of course, the artillery and muskets as authentically realized in both battle pieces. The producers of this landmark LP and disc went as far as to use original, extant artillery pieces that date from the periods which inspired both '1812' and 'Wellington's Victory.' The recordings of the artillery are, in a word, INCREDIBLE! Unlike many versions of '1812,' where the cannons can sound underpowered (Naxos with Leaper) or way too pristine (Telarc with Kunzel), the Mercury engineers capture them in their authentic glory, holding nothing back. The Bells of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Carillon, however, totally steal the show at the end of '1812,' overwhelming the Minneapolis (now Minnesota) Symphony Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Brass Band, and the cannon itself, in a glorious, triumphant storm of sound.
Oh, by the way, the reading of the Capriccio Italien is excellent as well ;).
Deems Taylor's commentary is informative and very interesting, and gives an added appreciation for this disc when one considers the extremes to which performers, producers, and engineers went to put us, the lucky listeners, on the 'front line,' as it were. The winner of no less than TWO Penguin Guide Rosette Awards, this Mercury disc is truly the greatest of the greatest of them all. You absolutely do not want to miss this one!
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Format: Audio CD
This CD contains the most succesful performances of the famous battle musics. Especially 1812 Overture is amazing, terrific, impressive.
In this recording, they were used an original French Cannon made in 1770's and this cannon was used by Frenchs in 1812 war. And, (wowww!) what majestic, gorgeous sound of Bells! And also, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra is very good, especially brass section, even so they were played with Minnesota University Band (because of original version calls brass band)
And there is a brilliant work between two terrific battle musics, this is one of the best performances of "Capriccio italien" recorded with London Symphony Orchestra. And then, there is a battle music again scored for 2 cannons, muskets (or rattles) and large orchestra including 6 trumpets, side drums and tenor drums more than 5... This work divided into 2 parts. The first movement is the battle between Napoleon - Frenchs and Sir Arthur Wellesly - Englishs. And later, in 2nd movement, there is a victory symphony tells that the victory of English. Also, Beethoven used the English National Anthem as the 2nd theme of work.
Also, there are commentaries of Deems Taylor (you'll also remember from Walt Disney's Fantasia). The quality of sound is excellent.
In other words: this is essential, and a must have for any classical music lovers.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
This is it! Besides presenting an opportunity to hear Napolean defeated on two fronts, this recording is the definitive "Wellington's Victory" as Beethoven would have recorded it if he had the technology. Other versions may have crisper fanfares, more accurate articulation, state-of-the-art recording techniques, but they lack the excitement of the real cannon, muskets, and carillon which Beethoven and Tchaikovsky indicated on their scores. I purchased the 1960 LP when I was in high school (which explains the top billing for the "Festival Overture 1812," which was the better known piece) and so decided on a newer recording for my CD purchase. What a shock! What a travesty!! Not only no muskets, the conductor used ratchets. RATCHETS!!! Beethoven wrote the "Battle Symphony" at the request of his good friend Johann Maelzel for his invention, the panharmonicon, a sort of forerunner to the synthesizer. Given Beethoven's offbeat sense of humor and willingness to embrace new technology, it seems that using ratchets rather than a synthesizer ... to approximate weapons fire in a modern recording would be more likely to cause him to roll over than anything Chuck Berry wrote. My only disappointment in this CD is that the surface noise of the master tape was not removed, and is so loud it competes with the pianissimo of the British and French cadences heard as the drummers move from the distance to the front. Still, this the one to buy to fully experience Beethoven's and Tchaikovsky's visions.
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