„Beethoven is the alpha and omega of the symphonic repertoire: a repertoire crucial to any orchestra’s quality. However my orchestra at the Paris Opera had never played the Beethoven symphonies before.“ (Philippe Jordan) This Edition contains all Beethoven Symphonies with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra national de Paris conducted by Philippe Jordan. A brand new production filmed in the highest quality known on the market today made by the creators oft he successful Shostakovich cycle. Philippe Jordan presents a young but traditionalist interpretation in the spirit of historical performance practice, setting a new course in Beethoven interpretation. Includes a documentary film „Philippe Jordan – Born to Conduct“ by Reiner E. Moritz. Reiner E. Moritz sketches his astonishing career and in his film uses exciting excerpts of his most important conducting performances, allowing Jordan to recount not only his childhood memories, but also his own career.
The Beethoven set includes the first two piano concertos (No. 1 in two versions, one with cadenzas supplied by Glenn Gould) together with Beethoven’s only completed opera in its final version: Fidelio. He always had a strong and fervent view of freedom and its resonance still rings true today nearly two hundred years since its first performance.
Some critics claim that Karajan's 1965 recording of Sibelius' Symphony No. 5 with the Berlin Philharmonic is the greatest performance of that symphony ever recorded. Some claim that his 1967 recording of the Sixth is the greatest performance of that symphony ever recorded. And a few critics even assert that his 1965 Fourth is, if not the greatest ever recorded, at least the most beautiful ever recorded. Beautiful? Yes, certainly; all of Karajan's mid-'60s recordings of Sibelius, like all of his mid-'60s recordings of everything, were opulently, sumptuously, voluptuously beautiful.
"There has not been a Beethoven cycle like this since Klemperer's heyday, or Bruno Walter's", "The sound is glorious, full and forward and beautifully clear," Gramophone.
Beethoven was the last great composer to write string trios, and his are the finest works of their type. Mozart hardly touched this particular combination, and Haydn wrote quite few very early works which are now completely unknown. In any case, Haydn used two violins and a cello, whereas with Beethoven the standard combination became violin, viola, and cello. These are all early works, expert examples of all that Beethoven learned from Haydn and Mozart in preparation for the writing of his first great string quartets. But far from being mere composition exercises, these are highly rewarding works on their own, and these outstanding performances make the best possible case for their claim to be ranked among Beethoven's chamber music masterpieces.
Born in Australia Bruce Hungerford (1922-1977) studied with the legendary Ignaz Friedman in Sydney. His move to the USA brought him in contact with Myra Hess, who gave him valuable coaching, and later with Carl Friedberg. His prodigious qualities caught the attention of the Solomon brothers of the American Vanguard Classics label who contracted him for a complete Beethoven cycle recording. Sadly Hungerford died in a car accident halfway the project. Piano Classics is happy to issue his Beethoven Legacy for the first time in one CD box set. Hungerford’s Beethoven is powerful, full of dramatic contrasts and effects, but also of great tenderness and wit, the full spectrum of Beethoven’s genius and humanity. Apart from his superb pianism and musicianship, Hungerford is also remembered as a professional palaeontologist and Egyptologist.