Art Talk

Art Talk

There are 4 comments on the The Capital Times story from Jan 23, 2008, titled Art Talk. In it, The Capital Times reports that:

Art Talk: Which is the best Beethoven symphony cycle? Jacob Stockinger - Over the past couple of weeks, I've listened to three CDs in the Beethoven symphony cycle done by the Minnesota Orchestra under Finnish ...

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Madison, WI

#1 Jan 23, 2008
Op. 27, No. 2 in C-sharp minor, "Moonlight" is my personal favorite. Beethoven fans should be aware that the UW Piano Professor, Christopher Taylor, is playing the complete sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven in a 10 concert series.
Richard Euler

Oconomowoc, WI

#2 Jan 23, 2008
Question: Which kind of bear is best?
False. Black bear.
Oh, sorry, a quote from "The Office."

Do I really have to confine a response to this box? What a great question.

I happen to like my Szell/Cleveland Beethoven symphony cycle. Although the recordings aren't the most transparent (the audio is muddled sometimes, and/or the orchestra is blending TOO well), most of the interpretations are _classical_, and not over-heavy romantic powerhouses. Too bad about the muddled-ness. I really like to hear both bassoon parts, violas, distinct trumpets, etc, like one can hear at the Overture Center. Can anyone recommend a cycle that offers this kind of clarity and texture?

Lake City, IA

#3 Jan 24, 2008
I would agree that the Vanska/Minnesota Orchestra is one of the best modern cycles so far. I have also found joy in the John Eliot Gardiner and Roger Norrington for period instrument recordings. Harnoncourt would probably be up there with Vanska for modern interpretation. Toscanini and Cluytens I think are the best of the old school recordings.

Madison, WI

#4 Feb 16, 2008
I own the following, listed in order of most to least favorite:
1. Suitner/Berliner Staatskapelle (Denon)
2. Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique (Archive)
3. Bernstein/Vienna Philharmonic (DG)
4. Barenboim/Berliner Staatskapelle (Teldec)
5. Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic (DG)(I dislike it)

Suitner's cycle lacks precision in some places, the audio engineering isn't the cleanest, and I have reservations about the diction of the tenor, but I find that I can hear all the parts in the score (I follow the set of scores from Dover), especially trio of trombones in the fifth and ninth. Gardiner and Bernstein are okay for me. Barenboim I'm not sure about yet, and Karajan I find to be grotesque. I would like to hear Solti/Chicago.

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