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Reviews: Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 - Kleiber

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Reviews: 4

Review by Daland February 3, 2006 (13 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is the best account of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony I have heard for a long time. Set in a realistic perspective, this live recording from 1982 (with applause at the beginning and at the end) easily surpasses Kleiber's earlier account for Deutsche Grammophon. With tempi taken much faster in the outer movements, this is a much more thrilling performance with richer sonorities (strings and horns) and wide dynamics. Fortunately, this multi-channel SACD is based on an analog recording (AAD), so there is not even the slightest hint of digital edge. You can hear some audience noise, but only between movements. After the third movement Kleiber plunges headlong into the final Allegro con brio (duration: 7:42) without any break. The audience waits for a few seconds before bursting into applause, which grows from a mere ripple to a loud outburst, with shouts of Bravo. With less than 40 minutes of music, this SACD is very short measure, but I paid only 12.99 Euro for it and it is worth every cent.

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Review by thepilot February 8, 2006 (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is by far the best Beethoven 7th on SACD (the other good one is also by Kleiber), a live recording of astonishing energy and beauty. The orchestra is in top form and Kleiber loves and conducts this Beethoven masterpiece like no other conductor. The recording is also exemplary and the SACD remastering reveals all the glory of the original analogue recording. Run out and buy this.

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Review by Amfibius October 9, 2006 (10 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I have lurked on this site for a long time and was prompted to write this review because of the sheer quality of this SACD.

The recording is not up to modern standards but it is still very good. There is some tape hiss but it is very well suppressed. Instrumental timbre is well captured as is the acoustics of the concert hall. The soundstage is wide and deep, and the focus is absolutely sharp. Audience noise is minimal and not intrusive. The violins can sometimes sound a bit screechy but that is extreme nitpicking.

The performance is really something else. There is a certain freshness to this interpretation that is remarkable, considering how many times Kleiber has conducted this piece and how well known it is. Kleiber's attention to detail draws out the little flourishes that I have never heard before, despite knowing this symphony well. This is the most exhilarating rendition of the most exuberant of Beethoven's symphonies that I have ever heard.

I also have: Walter, Abbado, Karajan, Furtwangler, Klemperer, Bohm, and Harnoncourt. This Kleiber disc beats them all. None of the other discs comes close in terms of sound quality. You NEED to have this disc in your collection!

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Review by Oscar May 24, 2008 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Carlos Kleiber was an absolute genius. Sadly, he did not record very much and his repertoire was very limited.

Therefore every disc is an event. This one in particular gives a sensational performance of Beethoven´s 7 Symphony, to put alongside the classical accounts.

The SACD sound is outstanding, very clear and detailed, catching in the best perspective all the nuances of this highly charged performance.

Not to be missed.

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