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1812 Overture/Capriccio Italien (+ Beethoven: Well Blu-specCD

4.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 29 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Blu-specCD
  • 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: #3,995 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

Product Description

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Festival Overture, Capriccio Italien / Beethoven: Wellingtons Victory


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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Oh, my! I was prepared to be impressed by this CD, based on others' reviews, but there is just no preparatory warning for this CD. It is, without a doubt, the best version of the 1812 that I have ever heard, and the other reviewers are absolutely correct: the bells and cannons elevate this music way beyond expectations! I'm not sure how many people find themselves dancing to classical music, I know I never have, and I listen, almost exclusively, to this genre. However, at about the 12:00 minute mark, there just is nothing else one can do! I do have a word of warning, though. For heaven's sake, don't stand near the speakers trying to dust, as I did, thinking the piece to be over; I damn hear blew my eardrums out when the last cannons went off! Didn't stop me from listening to it all over, again, though!!
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By Dr. Tim Parker HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Feb. 14 2014
Format: Audio CD
I've had this LP since I was a young teen, growing up on it, wearing out the grooves. Releases on CD were eagerly snapped up, too. Dorati's reading is just right with a strong orchestra behind him and the obligatory cannons as well. The bass is solid (not Telarc bass, but natural sounding) and the clarity and dynamics of the recording are superb. To say this was mastered in the 1960s, it has held up extremely well against the competition. Both companion pieces, Capriccio Italien and Wellington's Victory, are done very well, too. Perhaps my favorite version of the Capriccio, which is given an airy approach.

This disk is a winner all round, showing off both the recording engineer and the artists equally. The CD mastering is superb. All around, a must-have for all collections.
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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 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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Format: Audio CD
First, I will discuss what I think the disc is lacking in:
I prefer Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien performed more slowly - I have an Ashkenazy version I like more than this one.
Now, what is so great about this CD
It is really one thing for me - it is the overall audacity, the extravegent gesture, and pure musical exploration that makes this CD so great. These people who produced this CD were "swinging for the fences" and boy did they send one over. Cannon - fire, musket fire, howitzer fire, bells, etc . . . Tchaikovky's 1812 Overture and Beethoven's Wellington's Victory are absolutely breathtaking. Also, thanks Deems Taylor for the info. If I had to choose only one CD in my collection to keep - this one would be it - it is the Apocolypse Now of classical CD's. It is a unique experience that exits in my mind somewhere outside of the traditonal classical music CD format - which is great - most CD's give the listern less!
I give this disc five stars - despite the fact that I prefer other versions of the Capriccio Italien for two reasons. First, it is inconsequential to the rest of the CD, and second - it is still a great performance of that piece, I merely prefer a slower version of it. Also, only a great fool would buy this particular CD for the Capriccio alone (a piece I happen to treasure)!
Artwork and liner notes perfectly suited to the music.
Mercury "Living Presence" - believe it!
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