Buying a complete set of Beethoven symphonies is not necessarily expensive. A relatively cheap boxed set is on the Brilliant Classics Label. Conductor is Herbert Blomstedt and the orchestra is the Dresden Staatskapelle. Sound is very good and the performances have been praised. I have a few of the Antal Dorati/LSO/ Beethoven performances and on the Mercury Living Presence Label with excellent sound considering when it was recorded. I have noticed some of The Dorati/Beethoven/LSO recording on the Decca Label. I think it is the same performances(Mercury/Decca) but both labels are part of the Universal Music Group(UMG) and there might have been some rebranding of sorts. One performance that has been a reference for many years is the Karl Bohm/Vienna Philharmonic/Deutsche Grammophone. Of course,with streaming you have a huge array of choices. My own personal favorite recording(entire Beethoven cycle) is George Szell/The Cleveland Orchestra. This cycle has been a reference since the 1960’s when it was recorded and has literally never been out of the catalog. There have been recent remastering and Sony Classical has it remastered at 24/96 and it is one of their super affordable boxed sets that they have been releasing. I believe another cheap Sony boxed set is David Zinman conducting the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. This set is a good combination of modern recording(good sound) and the interpretation is a good balance between traditional performances and the “historically-informed performance” (HIP). But,overall,there are soooo many performances and you really can’t go wrong s a “beginner” with any major orchestra conducted by any major conductor. You may also want to keep an eye out for any local live performances. Many local/regional orchestra can and do play Beethoven and listening LIVE can be a revelation.
Good Point. I just checked Discogs, and there are a few copies of the Toscanini 9 Symphony set on CD and many of the LP set for sale at reasonable prices *used” CDs under $30.
Thank you very much for all this information. It’s a godsend to a beginner in the classical music genre like myself. It can be and is a little overwhelming at times. It’s such a huge genre to get to grips with.
it is a YUUUUUGE Genre. Also,if you want to ever get any analysis of any Classical work,just Google(or any search engine) it and you will get a wealth of information. My next suggestion is to listen to Beethoven’s Symphony 3(The Eroica-Heroique). It is a milestone not only in Classical Music but of of All Western Music(IMHO,of course). With this symphony,Beethoven said that MUSIC MEANS AND CAN SAY SOMETHING AND THAT MESSAGE CAN ALSO BE IMPORTANT. My recommended recording is George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra(if you can access it). You can certainly listen to it through headphones(although IEM’S would be inappropriate for the fist time). I would recommend standard speakers,amp etc and play it on the loud side for the first time.
Thanks I will listen to Beethoven’s 3rd next. Thanks for the recommendation. With regards iem’s, whilst I love my iem’s I don’t find them any good at all for listening to Classical music. Relaxing and having it in the background maybe. But for listening and taking notice of the music no it’s my overears that I reach for. As for speakers, sadly I don’t have any, problem being I live in a terraced house and it being quite small it just inappropriate. Thank you once again for your time.
Oops I have already done Beethoven’s 3rd symphony. So as a recap I have listened to his 3rd and 6th