Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 - Böhm

Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 - Böhm

Universal (Japan)  UCGG-9136/40 (5 discs)

Stereo Single Layer

Classical - Orchestral

Beethoven: 9 Symphonies

Gwyneth Jones (soprano)
Tatiana Troyanos (alto)
Jess Thomas (tenor)
Karl Ridderbusch (bass)
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Wiener Philharmoniker
Karl Böhm (conductor)

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Analogue recording
Comments (2)

Comment by Contrapunctus - December 21, 2018 (1 of 2)

After listening symphonies 1-6, I'm very impressed. Sound quality is really rewarding. While not comparable to the Karajan 70s cycle on SHM-SACD because of different interpretative aspects, the Böhm-recordings offer lots of musical details, which are absent in Karajan's recordings. You can hear almost every part of the score. Especially the woodwinds are beautiful and audible all the time (in contrast to Karajan's strings-dominated Beethoven).

Comment by Joseph Ponessa - December 25, 2018 (2 of 2)

I heard the first disc last night, and compared it with the first disc of the SHM-CD set. I never could get into the SHM-CD set. It didn't sound like Böhm to me (too languid), and it didn't sound like the Vienna Philharmonic (like some of the music was missing). Several times I tried to listen to that set and failed. I thought there was something either with the recording or with me. So I equivocated on getting the new SACD set, but in the end I did. It is like a whole different recording. Now that sounds like the orchestra we all love! I am happy that I decided to double-dip.

Böhm had been passed over by the VPO in 1955 when they were making contracts, and he recorded with the VSO for a while. But they relented and made him an Honorary Conductor for Life (along with Karajan, the only other one who has held the title). This set seems to have come out as part of the flurry of Beethoven recordings in connection with the bicentennial (1970) of his birth (1770).

The SHM-CD set had six discs (3, 6 and 9 each having discs of their own), while the single-layer SACDs allowed the cycle to fit onto five discs. I was not fond of the five-CD jewel box in which the SACD set is housed, so I switched it into the SHM-CD box to stand on the shelf next to the other winning Beethoven cycles.