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Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 - Kleiber

Beethoven: Symphonies 5 & 7 - Kleiber

Deutsche Grammophon  471 630-2

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 7

Wiener Philharmoniker
Carlos Kleiber (conductor)

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47 of 51 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Analogue recording

Recordings: Vienna, Musikvereinsaal, 3 & 4/1974 (No. 5); 11/1975 & 1/1976 (No. 7)
Produced by Werner Mayer (No. 5)
Executive Producer: Dr. Hans Hirch (No. 7)
Tonmeister (Balance Engineer): Hans-Peter Schweigmann (No. 5); Klaus Scheibe (No. 7)
Recording Engineers: Hans-Rudolf Muller/Wolf-Dieter Karwatky (No. 5); Jobst Eberhardt/Jurgen Bulgrin (No. 7)
Digitally re-mixed by Klaus Hiemann/Werner Mayer
New surround mix and new stereo mix: Andrew Wedman

Recorded, edited and mastered by Emil Berliner Studios
Comments (3)
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Comment by Waveform - July 3, 2017 (1 of 3)

A classic, definitely. This was ranked as the second on the BBC Music Magazine list of the "100 Greatest Recordings of All Time". No comments need to be given for the performances, they were - and are still - very enjoyable.

But what caught my attention was the new surround sound mix, created by Andrew Wedman using the 96 kHz/24 Bit remastering as a source material. Sometimes this kind of way to enhance old analogue stereo recordings that were not originally intended for multi-channel listening systems may be a serious mistake or complete success. When listening in MCH one noticed that the surround sound mix was done artificially expanding 2-channel soundfield into five speakers. The results were not what we have expected to hear usually.

Thanks to the amazing 96kHz/24 bit remastering the sound was clear but the bass was very quiet and narrow. Those who was thinking to receive a great SACD that would bring the glorious sound of Wiener Philharmoniker into their own listening rooms in full glory might be disappointed for the results. Moreover Mr. Andrew put too much information into the rear speakers. As a result of this the listener was placed in the middle of the orchestra a la Tacet instead of normal listening experience among the audience. In my view he has not even try to simulate it. But I don't want to blame Andrew for his job - actually the surround sound is here one of the most compelling what I have heard for a long time. This makes me think we should release more SACDs like this. There are hundreds of albums that were recorded only in stereo and the new multi-channel mix would offer a great improvement for those who prefer surround sound.

It was a great disappointment to see that Universal ceased to produce SACDs. The reasons for this were of course complicated and more detailed discussion can be found on the old site. But perhaps the main question is still this: why? Why they decided to proceed on this way? Why they wanted to do this even they clearly heard the advantages of surround sound when making these albums for consumers? As I have mentioned many times earlier surround sound has completely changed my way to listen to classical music. Compared to stereo the difference was so huge I discontinued to buy CDs. Nowadays I will buy MCH SACDs only. There is no way and reason to return back to stereo listening, to be honest.

Who knows, maybe the staff at Universal frightened the fact SACD was not successful as a new way to enjoy classical music at home. They lost money when producing these discs. Older people were confused about the disc format and thought it might create damage for their CD players. But the time is different now and there is a new generation of dedicated audiophiles who simply cannot live without SACDs and high-resolution music. The advantages of SACD have been recognized for long time and thus Universal should start to release these discs again. Instead of Blu-ray Audio disc - which seems to be hot stuff at the moment - SACDs can be played on a regular CD player as well. This cannot be just a matter of money and profit. If you love classical music and it is your life SACD will offer you a way that nothing else cannot offer. This is a simple fact and Universal should understand it.

Comment by William Hecht - July 4, 2017 (2 of 3)

Several different sources indicate that these recordings were originally experimental multichannel (probably quad like some of the other DG recordings from the '70's that have been reissued by Pentatone). If true then the mc sound isn't synthetic. While not in the Tacet or 2L class Luukas is right that they are rather more wrap around than we usually hear in orchestral recordings. The sound in #5 is a good bit more natural, that is less multi miked than #7, but has more going on in the rear channels. I've owned these recordings on every format going back to LP and this is by far the best version sonically. Sonic considerations aside the performances are as good as they come. Considering they predate the Del Mar edition by more than 20 years the degree to which they capture what we now think of as authentic Beethoven is almost unbelievable. Desert island for sure.

Comment by AlexZ - March 25, 2018 (3 of 3)

Not much to say about this recording, I think everyone knows it and a lot of listeners love it. Regarding the recording it is pretty good, very clear with a slight "analogue noise" but definitely a marvel to hear. I love the dynamic and power that this recording has. Really a centennial work of art! Highly recommended and a must for every collection!