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Discussion: Beethoven: The Symphonies - Karajan

Posts: 10

Post by flyingdutchman July 7, 2010 (1 of 10)
Is this a case where the SACD remastering was a smashing success when compared to the earlier cd releases?

Post by RWetmore July 7, 2010 (2 of 10)
flyingdutchman said:

Is this a case where the SACD remastering was a smashing success when compared to the earlier cd releases?

No, I don't think so - though I've not heard them.

Post by Fugue July 8, 2010 (3 of 10)
RWetmore said:

No, I don't think so - though I've not heard them.

Then how can you possible proffer an opinion? Anyway, I have both sets, and the SACDs sound considerably more spacious, detailed, and warm than the RBCDs. Only the 9th is multi-channel, though.

Post by Polly Nomial July 8, 2010 (4 of 10)
The multi-channel 9th is from the 1970's cycle and is not included in this box (the performance from the same 1960's cycle naturally is included). Agree completely that one should not proffer opinions which are based on not having heard something!!!

Post by Claude July 8, 2010 (5 of 10)
It's the best mastering I have heard of these often-reissued recordings. Whether it could have been better (with direct analogue to DSD transfer) is another question.

The sound quality is not as good as on the best recordings from this era (many of the Living Stereo or Mercury albums), but it's on par with the many vintage recordings Sony has reissued on SACD.

@Fugue: what do you mean by "both sets"? There are many CD reissues of this.

Post by stvnharr July 8, 2010 (6 of 10)
flyingdutchman said:

Is this a case where the SACD remastering was a smashing success when compared to the earlier cd releases?

FD,
I've had every cd reincarnation of this set, and the sacd's are the best, and not by a small margin. Yet, as Claude has written, the sound really isn't quite that of the LS's and other reissue sacd's of the era. But the sacd set is the best there is for THIS set of symphonies.

Post by Fugue July 8, 2010 (7 of 10)
Claude said:


@Fugue: what do you mean by "both sets"? There are many CD reissues of this.

That's true! I just meant one of the standard RBCD iterations of the 1960s recordings--I don't recall which ones I had--they might have been the "Single Bitmap" versions--I sold them when I bought the SACD versions. I bought them individually, so my 9th is the 1970 multi-channel one.

Post by Lochiel July 8, 2010 (8 of 10)
These are the best sounding versions of this Karajan symphony cycle - particularly in terms of dynamic range.

Post by tream July 8, 2010 (9 of 10)
I realize that this set is the best selling set of Beethoven symphonies, ever, and so more people around the world know the Beethoven symphonies by these performances than any other, but....IMHO, this set is bettered on SACD by both Haitink and Vanska, especially the latter. The performances of the 6th and 8th are problematic due to the tempos of certain of the movements. The performances of the 1st and 2nd are somewhat overblown, and I think the 7th is overdriven in the final movement. The Eroica, Fifth and Ninth are superb, so I am not saying this is a bad set, just that I think it has been surpassed on SACD by the two I mention, which are both glorious sets, although I think Vanska would get my vote for the desert island.

Post by Polly Nomial July 8, 2010 (10 of 10)
Agreed and the Jarvi cycle is arguably better still - if I only had room for one, Jarvi would easily be first choice...

Closed