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Erich Kleiber Great Conductor

E-Ndr Sinfonieorcheste Kleiber Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Symphony No.5 In B Flat Major, D485: I Allegro - Sinfonieorchester Des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
2. Symphony No.5 In B Flat Major, D485: II Andante Con Moto - Sinfonieorchester Des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
3. Symphony No.5 In B Flat Major, D485: III Menuetto. Allegro Molto - Trio - Sinfonieorchester Des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
4. Symphony No.5 In B Flat Major, D485: IV Allegro Vivace - Sinfonieorchester Des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
5. Symphony No.6 In F Major, Op.68 'Pastoral': I Erwachen Heiterer Empfindungen Bei Der Ankunft Auf Dem Lande - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
6. Symphony No.6 In F Major, Op.68 'Pastoral': II Szene Am Bach - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
7. Symphony No.6 In F Major, Op.68 'Pastoral': III Lustiges Zusammensein Der Landleute - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
8. Symphony No.6 In F Major, Op.68 'Pastoral': IV Gewitter - Sturm - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
9. Symphony No.6 In F Major, Op.68 'Pastoral': V Hirtengesang. Frohe Und Dankbare Gefuhle Nach Dem Sturm - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Disc: 2
1. Symphony No.40 In G Minor, K550: I Molto Allegro - London Philharmonic Orchestra
2. Symphony No.40 In G Minor, K550: II Andante - London Philharmonic Orchestra
3. Symphony No.40 In G Minor, K550: III Menuetto. Allegretto - London Philharmonic Orchestra
4. Symphony No.40 In G Minor, K550: IV Allegro Assai - London Philharmonic Orchestra
5. TillEulenspiegels Lustige Streiche, Op.28 - Sinfonieorchester Des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
6. Concert Overture 'Carnival', Op.92 - London Philharmonic Orchestra
7. Spharenklange (Walzer), Op.235 - London Philharmonic Orchestra
8. Der Zigeunerbaron: Ouverture - London Philharmonic Orchestra
9. Du Und Du (Walzer), Op.367 - Wiener Philharmoniker

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven Tribute To A Great Conductor June 20 2004
Format:Audio CD
Erich Kleiber (1890-1956) was both a master of the Viennese classics and a keen advocate of modern music. There are some real gems in this 2-disc set, but I feel that EMI could have been a bit more selective in its choices of both repertoire and specific performances.
CD 1 consists of two "live" recordings: a 1953 Schubert 5th with the North German Radio, and a Beethoven "Pastoral" Symphony from 1955 with the Czech Philharmonic. The Schubert is rather similar to the classic Fritz Busch recording with the Winterthur Symphony (badly in need of CD transfer), although the latter had a lighter hand and a bit more warmth. Nevertheless, for me, this Kleiber joins the Busch and Beecham accounts at the top of the list.
Unfortunately, the Beethoven seems rather matter of fact and uninflected compared to Kleiber's superb 1953 studio recording for Decca with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, which would have made a better choice. However, the latter is soon to be re-issued on a six-disc Kleiber set (Decca 4756080), along with such fare as his 1950 Beethoven 7th & 1952 Ninth, the 1956 Mozart 39th and 1947 40th (also included here), and a stellar 1953 Schubert 9th from Cologne. So, with hindsight, I would have preferred foregoing the 6th altogether and going instead for the 1938 Beethoven 2nd with the Belgian National. It was the only pre-war 78 rpm set to nearly match the excellent Weingartner (Kleiber's last mvt. was more virtuosic). That 2nd had a so-so transfer on a deleted Teldec CD - so its inclusion here would have been most welcome. And that would have freed up some space for the live Berg "Wozzeck" Suite that was once on Originals CD 842.
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Format:Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon.com and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 9, features the great Erich Kleiber, father of the equally impressive Carlos Kleiber. As Kleiber died in 1956 at the dawn of the stereo age, the performances presented here are all in mono but don't let that dissappoint you. The diverse material played on this collection -- from Mozart and Schubert Symphonies to R. Strauss Tone Poems and J. Strauss Waltzes -- is performed brilliantly. My only previous experience with the father of one my favorite conductors was with Beethoven's Symphonies -- via a Decca Legends CD of the 3rd and 5th, a poorly recorded Urania disc of the 4th and 5th, and a Dutton release of the 2nd and 6th. The live recording of Beethoven's 6th Symphony from 1955 with the Czech Philharmonic captured here (which is different from the 1948 Dutton by the way), has all the majesty of the best stereo recordings, with sound that is comparable to the aforementioned Decca Legends release.
Whether you are a serious collector of classical music or a beginner, the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" has something for everyone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A true portrait, but not enough really fine performances Nov. 9 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Erich Kleiber, though not Jewish, fled Nazi Germany and spent the war years languishing in Buenos Aires, where his now-more-famous son Carlos was born. Kleiber never quite regained the luster of his earlier career, although in the Fifties Decca made some classic Beethoven symphony recordings with him, and he rejoined the Vienna Phil. for famous sets of The Marriage of Figaro and Rosenkavalier.

This 2-CD set certainly gives a true portrait of Kleiber's style, which was much closer to Toscanini than Furtwangler: he favored fast, sometimes fierce tempos, a lean line, and a tense, exciting mood. Warm he wasn't, except in classic Strauss waltzes. One wonders how much caffeine Kleiber needed to get some of these performances rattling along. I must admit to no great love for this style (in Toscanini or Kleiber). Some relaxation and expressive tenderness would be welcome from time to time, ja?

[...]One plus is that the listener gets three complete symphonies instead of bits and pieces, and there's no doubt that the Schubert Fifth and Till Eulenspiegel are the outstanding items, rating four or five stars.

But the rushed Mozart 40th and hum-drum Beethoven Pastorale lower that rating considerably. The superior playing of the Vienna Phil. in the very last selection, Strauss's Du und Du waltz, makes one yearn for better playing than we hear on all the other selections.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Conductors of 20th Century = Best Reissues of the 21st May 26 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's sad that the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" reissue series has not gotten more notice on Amazon.com and in other places, because it has my vote for the best reissue program thus far of the 21st Century. Drawing from the archives of all the major classical labels (EMI, Sony, BMG, DG, Decca, Philips, Supraphon, etc.), EMI and IMG Artists have assembled a wonderful series of affordable two-disc sets by the leading conductors of the last century. And unlike its counterpart, "The Great Pianists of the 20th Century," which are basically compilations of material already available on other CDs, the "Great Conductors" features rare and, for the most part, previously unreleased performances!
This particular CD, Volume 9, features the great Erich Kleiber, father of the equally impressive Carlos Kleiber. As Kleiber died in 1956 at the dawn of the stereo age, the performances presented here are all in mono but don't let that dissappoint you. The diverse material played on this collection -- from Mozart and Schubert Symphonies to R. Strauss Tone Poems and J. Strauss Waltzes -- is performed brilliantly. My only previous experience with the father of one my favorite conductors was with Beethoven's Symphonies -- via a Decca Legends CD of the 3rd and 5th, a poorly recorded Urania disc of the 4th and 5th, and a Dutton release of the 2nd and 6th. The live recording of Beethoven's 6th Symphony from 1955 with the Czech Philharmonic captured here (which is different from the 1948 Dutton by the way), has all the majesty of the best stereo recordings, with sound that is comparable to the aforementioned Decca Legends release.
Whether you are a serious collector of classical music or a beginner, the "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" has something for everyone. If the prized, rare performances previously unreleased on CD (or ever!) doesn't excite you, then use this as an opportunity to check out one of the greatest conductors ever recorded. Since stores are offering increasingly homogenized classical music sections, this conductor may not be in your collection, and that would truly be a shame.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven Tribute To A Great Conductor June 20 2004
By Jeffrey Lipscomb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Erich Kleiber (1890-1956) was both a master of the Viennese classics and a keen advocate of modern music. There are some real gems in this 2-disc set, but I feel that EMI could have been a bit more selective in its choices of both repertoire and specific performances.
CD 1 consists of two "live" recordings: a 1953 Schubert 5th with the North German Radio, and a Beethoven "Pastoral" Symphony from 1955 with the Czech Philharmonic. The Schubert is rather similar to the classic Fritz Busch recording with the Winterthur Symphony (badly in need of CD transfer), although the latter had a lighter hand and a bit more warmth. Nevertheless, for me, this Kleiber joins the Busch and Beecham accounts at the top of the list.
Unfortunately, the Beethoven seems rather matter of fact and uninflected compared to Kleiber's superb 1953 studio recording for Decca with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, which would have made a better choice. However, the latter is soon to be re-issued on a six-disc Kleiber set (Decca 4756080), along with such fare as his 1950 Beethoven 7th & 1952 Ninth, the 1956 Mozart 39th and 1947 40th (also included here), and a stellar 1953 Schubert 9th from Cologne. So, with hindsight, I would have preferred foregoing the 6th altogether and going instead for the 1938 Beethoven 2nd with the Belgian National. It was the only pre-war 78 rpm set to nearly match the excellent Weingartner (Kleiber's last mvt. was more virtuosic). That 2nd had a so-so transfer on a deleted Teldec CD - so its inclusion here would have been most welcome. And that would have freed up some space for the live Berg "Wozzeck" Suite that was once on Originals CD 842. Kleiber premiered the work and it would have been a logical choice, especially since Kleiber is not represented here by ANY modern music at all.
CD 2 opens with the 1949 studio Mozart 40th with the London Philharmonic (LPO), a distinguished but rather problematic interpretation. Like Furtwangler, Kleiber uses the original version without clarinets and, rather surprisingly, he omits the important 1st mvt. repeat. This reading is on the fast, vehement, and detached side (not unlike his famous Beethoven 5th, which better survives that approach). The poor Minuet sounds hasty and out of sorts. Since this reading will soon be on Decca anyway (and probably in a better transfer), I wish EMI had omitted this and given us Kleiber's wonderful #33, along with his magnificent 1934 "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" - the finest account I have ever heard.
On the other hand, this witty "Till Eulenspiegel" is an unalloyed delight - fully on an equal plane with classic accounts by Krauss, Furtwangler and Georgescu. The Dvorak "Carnival" was un-needed - it's already available on Naxos in better sound. I would have preferred more Johann Strauss - Kleiber's interpretation, on an Archiphon CD, of the "Blue Danube" is utterly astonishing (I have reviewed that disc here at Amazon). The Joseph Strauss "Music of the Spheres" is a welcome rarity - it's Kleiber's sole recording of the work. The "Gypsy Baron" Ov. with the LPO is a bit more exaggerated than his early 1930's account with the Berlin Phil. The LPO strings are a trifle strait-laced here - the Vienna Phil. "Du und Du" Waltz that immediately follows is played in a far more uninhibited and idiomatic style.
So this set, like most of the other entries in EMI's "Great Conductors" series, is a mixed bag: a few brilliant items nestled among others that do not represent the conductor at his very best. But if you get that forthcoming Decca set, the Archiphon Strauss Waltzes CD, and a trio of superlative opera recordings (Figaro, Rosenkavalier, and the "live" Freischutz), you will have a much fuller view of just why Kleiber is regarded as one of the greatest of all conductors.
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