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The Eroica


Andrew S.
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My favourite Beethoven Symphony. Gets a canter at least once a week. Today is the the day. Andrew Manze at the helm of the Helsingborg SO, 2008:

 

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" [Hybrid SACD] - the JPEG is below. Here is a review cut and pasted:

 

"While Andrew Manze is primarily known as a superb violinist and a prominent figure in the early music movement, playing string music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, he takes up the baton in this recording of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Eroica," a work considered standard symphonic repertoire. Leading the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in this 2008 SACD recording from Harmonia Mundi, Manze gives this famous Romantic symphony something resembling a period treatment; though it is ostensibly played without original instruments, the 59-member Swedish ensemble seems close in scale and range to early nineteenth century orchestras, and delivers a clean and meticulous reading that makes the music sound crisp, streamlined, and agile. Yet as accurately re-created as this performance may be, its authenticity is not the main point of interest of this recording; rather, it seems to be the tracking down of a theme that Beethoven used not only in the Finale of "Eroica," but also in the seventh of his "12 Contredanses, WoO 14," and in the Finale of his ballet music from "The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43." Manze provides these minor offerings as educational filler and gives this already excellent package some added value, though once the familiar tune is heard in its other contexts, the listener can do little with the information except store it as trivia. Harmonia Mundi's reproduction is exceptionally clear and strong, so prepare for a delightful listening experience". Blair Sanderson, All Music Guide

 

The only thing I would add is how powerful this orchestra sounds. Quite a surprise. When I first heard this recording I immediately thought of the Berlin Philharmonic under Rattle (who are a beast of an orchestra with immense power coupled with great subtlety and restraint). The actual production values are exceedingly clear.

 

Recommended.

 

 

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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Andrew ... just for interest - you say this disc is a SACD Hybrid, do you listen to the CD layer ripped to computer, the SACD layer in a SACD player, or some form of (digital or analogue) copy of the SACD layer?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The "Eroica" mentioned above is available at HDTracks in 88,2/24 format.

 

For anyone who might be interested in the HighRez version, but doesn`t own a SACD capable player, this would be the way to go, I think ...

 

Cheers

Harald

 

(I don`t have buyed it yet, because I still have about 10 Eroicas at hand, ... ;-)

but, maybe ... )

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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assuming the SACD is a hybrid (meaning it has both DSD and redbook available). A multichannel hybrid also includes a 5.1 surround layer too. But, net/net unless you have pro audio DSD/DXD converters (or the few proprietary SPDIF modded boards that downsample converted PCM to something rippable) you can't rip DSD..only the redbook layer. The downsampled but-still-higher-rez-than-redbook 24/88.2 HDTracks option is a good one. THAT one is, of course, computer audio compatible.

 

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A good friend listen to it and disliked it characterizing it as "pathetic". He objected that it was played in a soft period fashion rather than true fortissimo. He regarded the recording as dynamically challenged.

I on the other hand liked it. It is not for everyone.

 

Best Wishes

Andrew

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