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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5, Egmont Overture; Weber: Oberon Overture

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Product Details

  • Performer: Klaus Tennstedt
  • Composer: Weber; Beethoven
  • Audio CD (Aug. 19 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bbcl
  • ASIN: B0002XL28Y
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Overture
2. I. Allegro Con Brio
3. II. Andante Con Moto
4. III. Allegro
5. IV. Allegro
6. Overture
7. I. Adagio Molto - Allegro Con Brio
8. II. Andante Cantabile Con Moto
9. III. Menuetto. Allegro Molto E Vivace
10. IV. Adagio - Allegro Molto E Vivace

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Beethoven conducting in the grand old style March 24 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Klaus Tennstedt was almost 30 by the time Furtwangler died in 1954 and nearly 50 before he catapulted from obscurity in provincial Germany to international fame in 1974. His career was cut short by thorat cancer barely twenty years later. This BBC tape of live concerts from 1989-91 shows why Tennstedt gained such renown: he was a Beethoven conductor in the grand manner of Furtwnagler and Klemperer but with more spring in his rhythms than either. All these performances are on the slow side and exploit to the full Beethoven's heroic exultancy.

It may turn out that we will get the best of Tennstedt from live recordings like this one. He was a musician of spontaneous inspiration. Here he gets the London Phil., his own orchestra, to play with total commitment and intensity. The slightly murky stereo sound in Sym. #5 isn't of stuido quality, and the mikes sit a bit far back. That said, it would be hard to imagine more thrilling performances. Be prepared for a Sym. #1 played as grandly as the Fifth. This generous (79 min.) CD is filled out with an inspired, if slow Oberon Over. that is almost the best thing on it.

P.S. 2010 - The Tennstedt reissue machinery has rolled onward, and now we have glorious recordings on Profil, BBC Legends, and the London Phil's house label.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tennstedt achieves intensity through great freedom--readings to match the very best June 4 2013
By Andrew R. Barnard - Published on
Format: Audio CD
It's been thrilling to hear many great interpretations from the BBC Legends, but aside from sound that is usually second rate, few of the recordings have gotten a fraction of the publicity of rival versions from mainstream labels. As this disc clearly attests, Klaus Tennstedt was a great Beethovenian, and his 5th is worthy to stand by the great versions from Karajan, Kleiber and Bernstein. How many listeners can be alerted? Let's hope the word gets out.

What distinguishes Tennstedt from most of his predecessors is that his intensity isn't achieved through control. Karajan had a rich, heroic view of Beethoven that featured immaculate orchestral homogeneity. Tennstedt seems just as intense, but he isn't rigid and isn't particularly concerned about the balance of ensemble. The London Phil plays with authority and a darkish, varnished tone, but they aren't necessarily virtuosic exemplars. Tennstedt builds the line with a feeling of great freedom. You can catch tinges of sweetness in his tone, but overall his Beethoven is grand, leaning on the slow side. The memorability comes from the novel combination of extreme fervor and emotional liberation. This isn't Beethoven that crushes the listener through uncompromising concentration, yet even as Tennstedt applies rich rubato, you can sense his connection with Beethoven's world of grandeur. We're on another planet compared to the scaled-down, lightened Beethoven of the authentic movement.

A previous reviewer noted that Tennstedt's 1st sounds as grand-scaled as the 5th. I concur, and while I love Bernstein's sunny, youthful take with the New York Phil, Tennstedt is still captivating. The real attraction seems to be the 5th, though, as I'm yet to hear anyone couple freedom and intensity with such success. This is a truly romantic reading, overflowing with thrilling passion yet the line is flexible, almost supple at times.

At the present, not only do I think Tennstedt matches Karajan, Kleiber, and Bernstein, but I'm inclined to think he surpasses them. Certainly this is a great disc that demands to be noticed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential fifth Sept. 24 2015
By Chris C. Hill - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No recording of Beethoven's Fifth -- none -- is more titanic in spirit, more heartfelt in execution, or more affirmative in conclusion than this one. It is, moreover, splendidly recorded and engineered, with excellent definition throughout the sonic spectrum. If you want to be thrilled by Beethoven, this will do the job nicely. The sophisticated audience at this performance could barely restrain themselves from applauding after the first movement, and at the end they burst into a fulsome roar.

I will continue to treasure other recreations of this score by gifted orchestras led by conductors of character: Kleiber, Klemperer, Karajan, Kubelik; Bernstein and Barenboim and Harnoncourt to name a few. Then there is the incomparable Furtwangler in 1943, 1947, and 1954 recordings. That said, no recording of Beethoven's Fifth is more titanic in spirit, more heartfelt in execution, or more affirmative in conclusion than this.

There is also an exceptional performance of Beethoven's First on this disc, and a poetic, spirited performance of Weber's Oberon Overture. The rendition of Beethoven's Egmont Overture strikes me as a bit more commonplace.

Western Culture has no better raison d'être, folks.