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Emile Myburgh | Constantia South Africa | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These 4 dvd's of the Beethoven Symphonies should be on any Abbado lover's rack. The sound and images are superb. A very emaciated Claudio Abbado gives the music all his talent, and the BPO responds and plays in typically superb style of the highest standard. The possibility of switching to the Orchestra's view of Abbado is amazing, and ideal for the Abbado worshippers. The performances are, in my opinion, better than the CD set by Abbado and the BPO."
Five stars for the 3rd and 3 stars for the 9th
John L. Miller | 02/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Symphony 3 was recorded live at Santa Cecilia, Rome. Symphony 9, on the other hand, was recorded live at Philharmonie, Berlin. Symphony 9 is the same recording as the disappointing one available with Piano Concerto No 2. Buy that DVD (Symphony 9 and Piano Concerto 2) for the Piano Concerto. Buy this DVD for Symphony 3. By the way, these 2 performances come in 2 DVDs but the labels are mixed up--the one that says the 3rd contains the 9th, and vice versa."
A GREAT PERFORMANCE OF THE THIRD !
John L. Miller | Sterling, Virginia United States | 02/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This symphony cycle on DVD is better than any I own or have heard on CD. I had purchased each of the other DVDs in this set but I had not intended to acquire this one (Beethoven's 3rd and 9th had never been to my liking). .. Eventually though, I bought this DVD because of a review that I read concerning this Eroica. I am very glad I read that review. .. Abbado certainly brings something new to this performance of the 3rd. .. ( I have read that he used a new score by Jonathan Del Mar which reflects the latest Beethoven research). .. There is a passion, a spirit, in this performance that draws me back to hear again.(To a symphony I once avoided!) I am still not fond of the 9th symphony but I am sure that the reason has nothing to do with Abbado or Berlin Philharmoniker; I just don't like it. .. The Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir were magnificent as always; their sound and performance combined with Beethoven's music was beautiful and inspiring. .. Listen to them in the Verdi, Brahms, and Mozart requiems. It is easy to understand why Abbado chose them for these performances. Buy this DVD. .. Better yet, buy the whole set. .. Truly great performances, easily affordable (one DVD at a time)! "
William Gowers | Louisville, KY United States | 05/27/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The 2 DVD's in this set contain 2 different formats. DVD number 1 (Symphony 9) is formatted 9/NTSC. This DVD played perfectly in my Panasonic player. DVD number 2 (Symphony 3) is formatted in 5/NTSC. This DVD would not play at all in my DVD player. I decided to keep the product because this version of the 9th is exceptional. But, be warned that your player may not be able to play the second DVD in this set. I decided to update my review of this DVD. I contacted Naxos of America (manufacturer of this DVD) and they sent me a free replacement set. The new replacement played perfectly in my DVD player. These are really superb versions of both the 3rd and 9th. Quite possibly the best I have heard of both of these symphonies. Because of Naxos' concern and swiftness replacing my defective DVD (as well as the outstanding artistic performances of Abbado and the BPO) I'm changing my review to 5 stars. Don't hesitate in buying this set - it is a winner!!!"
Music Maker | Buffalo, NY | 10/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two masterworks are spectacularly performed by a world-class orchestra under the leadership of one of the greatest living conductors. With respect to interpretation, precision, and passion, I have nothing but praise to offer. From a technical perspective, the sound quality is also exquisite. Thus, the 5-star rating.
Having said all that, however, I would like to mention one pet peeve. And this applies to pretty much every classical DVD I have ever seen. My complaint is, there are many moments when the camera work could / should be better orchestrated. Obviously performance and sound quality are far more important, nevertheless part of the thrill and joy of seeing a live performance in person or on DVD is the visual effect and excitement. Frankly (and no offense to Abbado or any conductor), I don't want to see a close up of the conductor's face while the violins are sawing away 9,000 miles an hour at one of the climactic moments of the Eroica symphony!
Don't get me wrong, MOST of the camerawork is appropriate; the onscreen action follows nicely from soloist to soloist, section to section, a good 80% of the time. But for the other 20% I want to scream at the TV, "For crying out loud, get off the bassoons while the cellos clearly have the foreground material and are throwing off sparks in their delivery!"
Again though, this is a complaint of mine for every classical DVD I've seen. It's definitely very easy to forgive this comparatively minor defect when the performance is utterly exquisite.
Long story made short, buy this DVD! I haven't purchased the others in the series yet but plan to very soon."