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Which Beethoven symphonies do you listen to, primarily?


wgscott
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Which ones do you listen to most frequently?  

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Although I have several complete cycles, I tend to obsess upon a subset. Today I am trying to cure myself of this. I am wondering if I am alone, or if there are any more universal trends. So, if you listen to his symphonies, I am trying to get a sense for what ones you tend to gravitate toward (as in listen to more than approximately twice as often -- I am being arbitrary here, so go with the intent please, rather than take this too literally).

 

Please note that I made this a multiple poll, and it is also "public", so if you are bothered by that, please be forewarned!

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Furt/9th/Lucerne 1954

 

Although I have several complete cycles, I tend to obsess upon a subset. Today I am trying to cure myself of this. I am wondering if I am alone, or if there are any more universal trends. So, if you listen to his symphonies, I am trying to get a sense for what ones you tend to gravitate toward (as in listen to more than approximately twice as often -- I am being arbitrary here, so go with the intent please, rather than take this too literally).
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Although I have several complete cycles, I tend to obsess upon a subset. Today I am trying to cure myself of this. I am wondering if I am alone, or if there are any more universal trends. So, if you listen to his symphonies, I am trying to get a sense for what ones you tend to gravitate toward (as in listen to more than approximately twice as often -- I am being arbitrary here, so go with the intent please, rather than take this too literally).

 

Please note that I made this a multiple poll, and it is also "public", so if you are bothered by that, please be forewarned!

5, 6, 7. These are the best. At least for me.

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I'm very surprised about the 5th, which is of course one of the "big ones," more famous than all others but the 9th. And it's not bad at all, either, when I listen to it. Which isn't as often as those I voted for: 3, 6, 7, 9.

 

The Third may have been Beethoven's own favorite, at least for a while, from some of the things I've read. It's very cool to hear him rounding into form and really "becoming" Beethoven the historically significant composer.

 

The Sixth is not usually considered one of his great symphonies, but I love how melodic it is and the sense of peace that prevails - it is, after all, the "Pastorale."

 

The Seventh - Second movement.

 

The Ninth - It was performed to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall. The length of the CD was supposedly chosen to allow it to fit. If I had to select a piece to stand for all of Western classical music, it would be this one or Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (a/k/a Cantata, BWV 147). And happily, I love it, though yes, it is possible to hear it too often.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I listen a lot of HIP performances lately, and by some reason 3d sounds most interestingly here for my ears. Also I have a habit of comparing different approaches from various conductors/orchestras with 3d. 9th takes second position in my listening. I love quite old performances of 9th, Furtwängler (both war and post-war recordings) is first choice. 7th and 4th are next favorites.

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I listen a lot of HIP performances lately, and by some reason 3d sounds most interestingly here for my ears. Also I have a habit of comparing different approaches from various conductors/orchestras with 3d. 9th takes second position in my listening. I love quite old performances of 9th, Furtwängler (both war and post-war recordings) is first choice. 7th and 4th are next favorites.

 

The Furtwängler-conducted performances of the 9th have pretty well stayed in most folks' "best of" lists since they were first available. I have listened to them, but never bought them because there were so many others with better sound quality.

 

What HIP Beethovens do you like? I'm aware of Harnoncourt and Norrington....

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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The Furtwängler-conducted performances of the 9th have pretty well stayed in most folks' "best of" lists since they were first available. I have listened to them, but never bought them because there were so many others with better sound quality.

 

What HIP Beethovens do you like? I'm aware of Harnoncourt and Norrington....

 

I believe first ever 9th I heard on LP was war-time Furtwängler recording grabbed from German archives by Red Army and re-issued later by USSR state company Melodiya. It became available in the West later as well, and there are impressive modern reissues of that archive recording, for example by Opus Kura in Japan.

 

From Beethoven recordings which would be considered more or less HIP I like Immerseel a lot, also Gardiner, Zinman, Vanska, Harnoncourt, Brüggen.

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1, 3, 4, 5, 7 for me.

 

True favorites: 3 and 7.

 

Currently favorite cycles: Paavo Järvi / Bremen (https://musicophilesblog.com/2015/09/22/gramophones-artist-of-the-year-paavo-jarvi-and-his-beethoven-symphony-no-4/) and Vänskä / Minnesota, but varies frequently.

 

Although for the Eroica specifically, I just love Klemperer.

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I have 8 versions of the 7th. In the 2nd mvmt when the violins play the very high counter melody, no recording does it justice - they're all scratchy. Frustrating as this my favorite mvt of all 9 syms. Any suggestions?

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I listen to 1,2,4,7 most often. I ration my listening to 7 somewhat to avoid burnout.

 

3,5,6,9 are wonderful, high-voltage music; I ration myself more strictly on them.

 

I have periods when 8 is in favor and then periods when it is not in my favor.

 

Over 4+ decades, I've had periods of obsession with each symphony.

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(...) Over 4+ decades, I've had periods of obsession with each symphony.
Very true for myself too. First was 5th, then 9th, 7th, 6th, 8th.

 

Various symphonies better suit different age of the listener. The same with composers. When I was young I didn't care for Schubert and was listening Mahler, now it is almost vice versa. But, I adored Mozart, then almost abandoned him, now I just love Mozart again. Some composers suit better to different stages of our brain activity development/stagnation?

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24-bit Ambient Stereo is not exactly kosher but I have to admit it has became my go to version, sounding incredibly fresh and modern (compared to other Furt's versions) ; try this : https://www.pristineclassical.com/pasc261.html

 

The Furtwängler-conducted performances of the 9th have pretty well stayed in most folks' "best of" lists since they were first available. I have listened to them, but never bought them because there were so many others with better sound quality.

 

What HIP Beethovens do you like? I'm aware of Harnoncourt and Norrington....

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And obviously Kleiber's 5&7 is legendary for a reason.
This is a puzzle for me. I've been buying different CD editions of this recording but... was not able to understand what makes this recording so reputable. And it is.

 

P.S.: I love some of Kleiber recordings dearly. His Tristan goes deeper than any other, his DG Schubert disc is outstanding.

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