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Syms 5/7


Price: CDN$ 39.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 10 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B00006I0CY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I: Allegro Con Brio
2. II: Andante Con Moto
3. III: Allegro
4. IV: Allegro-Presto
5. I: Poco Sostenuto - Vivace
6. II: Allegretto
7. III: Presto - Assai Meno Presto
8. IV: Allegro Con Brio

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
First let me start by saying Otto Klemperer is one of my favorite conductors, and his recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra have always stood out in a crowd. After having purchased Otto Klemperer's EMI Beethoven Symphony Cycle first as individual discs in the Klemperer Legacy series, and then as the currently available Boxed Set (in order to get his Piano Concerto Cycle with Daniel Barenboim), I was a bit annoyed at having to pick up this disc just to get his mono recording of the 5th Symphony from 1955. You see, the recording of the 7th Symphony on this disc is the great performance from 1955, which they discovered stereo reels for a few years back, but it has already been featured in the earlier Klemperer Legacy reissues and the current Box Set of the Symphony Cycle. (A CD of the performances of these same 5th and 7th Symphonies both in their mono incarnations was available in the early 90s, but that was before my classical collecting days.) Klemperer did record notoriously slow versions of the 7th in 1960 and 1968, but EMI chose not to reissue one of those unreleased performances here, most likely because they'd get sued for false advertising for issuing it under "The Great Recordings of the Century" banner. So if you are looking for a great coupling of the Beethoven's 5th and 7th, you may have come to the right place, though remember the 5th is in mono. If you're like me and can't get enough Klemperer, and were hoping this was a disc of rare treasure troves from the EMI vaults, you'll only get half of what you came for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not Quite Worth It For The 5th Alone May 29 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First let me start by saying Otto Klemperer is one of my favorite conductors, and his recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra have always stood out in a crowd. After having purchased Otto Klemperer's EMI Beethoven Symphony Cycle first as individual discs in the Klemperer Legacy series, and then as the currently available Box Set (in order to get his Piano Concerto Cycle with Daniel Barenboim), I was a bit annoyed at having to pick up this disc just to get his mono recording of the 5th Symphony from 1955. You see, the recording of the 7th Symphony on this disc is the great performance from 1955, which they discovered stereo reels for a few years back, but it has already been featured in the earlier Klemperer Legacy reissues and the current Box Set of the Symphony Cycle. (A CD of the performances of these same 5th and 7th Symphonies both in their mono incarnations was available in the early 90s, but that was before my classical collecting days.) Klemperer did record notoriously slow versions of the 7th in 1960 and 1968, but EMI chose not to reissue one of those unreleased performances here, most likely because they'd get sued for false advertising for calling it a "Great Recording of the Century." So if you are looking for a great coupling of the Beethoven's 5th and 7th, you may have come to the right place, though remember the 5th is in mono. If you're like me and can't get enough Klemperer, and were hoping this was a disc of rare treasure troves from the EMI vaults, you'll only get half of what you came for.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Favorite 5 Sept. 20 2009
By Sarman Bjorn Arthur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Funny, this 5th is a bit square, lacking Viennese charm, it's not really spooky, and the recorded sound isn't extraordinary. So how can it be my favorite Beethoven 5th? I think it has to do with the pace, it just never stands still. Together with a light tone, the impression is meringue rather than pudding.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Klemperer & the Philharmonia are in fine form Aug. 11 2007
By King Lemuel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have Klemperer's Complete Beethoven Symphony boxed set on LP (all in stereo) and was pleased to learn that the performances on this disc are different than those in my LP boxed set. The 5th is in mono and the 7th is early stereo, both from 1955. The LP boxed set features recordings from late 1950s to 1960 and was one of the first complete Beethoven Symphonies stereo boxed sets.

I was pleasantly surprised at the great for mono sound of the 5th. It is about 4 minutes shorter in duration than the 1960 stereo recording in my boxed set. The 7th in stereo sounds just peachy. Some have commented that the 7th is too slow by today's standards. I would class it as moderate, in between slow and fast. It is roughly 3 minutes faster than the 1960 recording in my LP boxed set. As with his 9th, it is not a sprint, but neither does it feel like it drags. The performance is not over the top. It is instead measured and majestic. Anyway, you can find any number of currently available speed racer Beethoven symphony performances. This 7th is a nice change of pace.

I enjoyed both of these performances. With the Fifth, it made wish all the 50s mono sounded at least that good. With the Seventh, it made me wish all the 50s mono had been recorded in stereo.

Beethoven's 5th symphony, 4th movement is one of my all time favorites along with Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, 4th movement. This rendition by Klemperer will rock your house!!! This movement is an "I dare you to even try to top this!!" candidate if there ever was one. If you are ever feeling the blues, by all means que this music up. WOW!! Even though in mono, the sound seems to get better and by the 4th movement sounds very good. For Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, 4th movement, Karajan's mid 70s Berlin Phil recording cannot be beat and is available as an inexpensive 2 fer CD package along with symphonies 4 and 6. I cannot think of any two better bookends for beating the blues musically than these two movements.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
a perfect, active symphony --- clear background instruments Sept. 6 2003
By bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Klemperer is probably one of the best - if not the best conductor ever.
This CD is both active, clear and the instruments, notes can be heard perfectly. The tempo is just right. One of the best performances of Symphony no. 5 and 7 I've heard -- this CD needs to be more rated for both the historical content and sound and more importantly the quality.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Without Pop! June 20 2009
By Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I love Klemperer's professionalism. Like Solti, he is good and wins on points even when he does not gel with the composer. He does that because of his discipline and magesterial approach. I would be the last to say Klemp does not gel with Beethoven; however, others beat him on pop. His performance of the 5th is too routine to suit me. Not when Beethoven's music unwind is in itself more emotional than the performance. How can one conduct Beethoven without emotion? This performance cannot compete with such hallmark performances as Giulini's with the LAPO and Solti's with the CSO. K's reminds me of Szell's less-than-best performance of the 5th with Cleveland. What a pathetic performance for a great conductor. Thankfully, K's is better than Szell's. In fact, it is good, but it aint great. By itself it should not be in the "great performances" category. That's tough for me to say when I greatly admire Klemperer for so many other performances.

The Seventh is a lot better. At medium tempos, it is almost as good as Bernstein's NYPO (and his last 7th with the Boston Symphony) or Giulini's 7th with the CSO. It is good, but it ain't that good, and certainly does not compete for excitement with Kleiber's or Karajan's up tempo performances. But it is good, and it certainly deserves respect. It is a cool performance of a hot symphony, but it is good, and I give it a lot of begrudged respect. Disciplined. Even lyrical. Even powerful. But not exciting. Not deserving of the "Great Recording" level.

If you love this guy, get it. Otherwise, there are a lot of other performances you may want to try. There are many good ones out there. This is a good one.

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