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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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'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

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Staatskapelle Dresden - Herbert Blomstedt, direction

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good July 1 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This set met my expectation.. Skeptical at first, having listened to Blomstedt's 9th but, overall, a well done performance. A keeper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unnoticed, but excellent April 4 2014
By Maestro
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This set is off most peoples' radar. But it is one of the most musical sets of Beethoven symphonies around. Consistently high quality of playing by the Dresden orchestra throughout. Sure, the 1963 set by HvK and der Berliners gets all the fame, but this set really makes a run for the money. Nos. 3,5, and 9 are especially good, not syrupy and romanticized like some other discs. As close to raw Beethoven as you can get at a price that's hard to beat!
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By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Obviously Beethoven is well known for his 9 symphonies and these symphonies have been recorded frequently. If you want an inexpensive collection of them that is also excellent across the board, this collection is a good choice. Short of picking up the best individual recordings of different symphonies, you can't go wrong with this.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven as it should be Dec 26 2012
By W. Evans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Have you ever listened to a Beethoven symphony that was too smooth sounding? Maybe the accents and dynamic of the score weren't being paid much attention to. The performance was just a performance and not really what Beethoven had intended his audience to experience. Beethoven was quite the revolutionary and after him everything changed. Nothing remained of the old musical word. Yes, it did take some time but not long after his death, his music was being performed at almost every music venue in Europe. That pretty much has continued to this day world wide. Complete recordings of his symphonies abound. And this is one of them. Great in conception and execution and performance. This little white cd box from Brilliant Classics with the nine Beethoven symphonies, conducted by quite possibly the greatest Beethoven conductor of his generation, Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Staaskapelle Dresden, quite possibly the finest Beethoven orchestra anywhere are contained in this little unassuming 5 cd case. These are exciting, engaging awesome performances and if you love Beethoven, you owe it to yourself to get this symphony cycle. The audio is upfront and crystal clear with a wide deep sound field. Alas, no booklet is included but after all this time who needs one. Not to be missed.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Beethoven Set June 27 2013
By JohnK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This modestly-priced 5-CD set of Beethoven symphonies is my current favorite. Herbert Blomstedt, an underrated conductor who has spent much of his career in central Europe, always seems to pick just the right tempo for each movement and gets his superb orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, to rise to all the big moments in these familiar scores. The analog recordings from the late 1970's are excellent, with the woodwinds realistically balanced in the orchestra (not spotlit as in many other cases). There are no notes included in the set, nor are there any overtures. Though there are many other options for these symphonies, this set is a superb reference - and it comes at bargain price to boot!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plush renditions, superb in the slow movements March 1 2014
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Herbert Blomstedt, the Swedish conductor, become the Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 1975, where he stayed until 1985. This was unusual given that Dresden was in the DDR -- East Germany. More unusual, Blomstedt was (and remains) a devout Seventh Day Adventist. He was leading the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the same period (1977-1982), so he must have been quite busy. According to the Berlin Classics liner notes the SD, which chose Blomstedt, "was never looked upon very favourably by the ruling party."

The Staatskapelle Dresden is one of the world's oldest (founded in 1548) and finest symphony orchestras. It was certainly in prime condition from 1975 to 1980 when this Beethoven cycle was recorded. The recordings were made in the acoustically excellent Lukaskirche in Dresden. So the sound is magnificent. Blomstedt's interpretations, however, are not very exciting. The tempos are slow, and tend to sound sluggish when more dynamism is called for in the fast movements. It is in the slow movements that Blomstedt and this fine orchestra shine. The Adagio of the Third, for instance, is very moving in stark contrast to the more famous Karajan/BPO 1962 recording. In the Ninth, the Molto vivace is clumsy where it should be dazzling and light on its feet, but the Adagio is one of the finest I've heard, just incomparably lovely.

For Beethoven in a similar traditional vein I prefer Gunter Wand's cycle with the NDR Hamburg orchestra, recorded in the late 1980s. Perhaps the best, though, is the more recent cycle from Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

This is the latest in a series of Brilliant reissues of this cycle. It was originally released by Berlin Classics, and its most recent box, in the Brilliant style with the discs in cardboard sleeves, is also still available, with a booklet including liner notes.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rank Aug. 2 2013
By ken100 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Grammophone Magazine gave this set a 10/10 for performance and sound quality. I agree. Excellent and at a budget price, too.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a neophyte, but sounds great to me... Jan. 18 2014
By Jonathan S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am new to listening to classical music, so please don't take my review too seriously. Nonetheless, I wanted to say that I have listened to these recordings of Beethoven symphonies and thoroughly enjoyed them. Despite being analog recordings, the sound quality is very high. I will also say that I researched reviews of these Blomstedt/Staatskapelle Dresden recordings broadly across the web, and nearly everybody states this is the best of bargain-priced versions and perhaps as good as many of the more expensive, more famous recordings.

The box contains 5 cds in cardboard sleeves, with no notes, or anything, but I'm not sure why one would pay extra for notes with so much information available on the Internet.

Anyway, a purchase well worth the money.
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