Do you like Beethoven's 7th Symphony

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92 - work and recordings

  • Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Symphony No. 7 in A major op. 92 in the years 1811/12. It is around 40 minutes long; how long it lasts also depends on whether the conductors repeat the exposition of the first movement.

    The unusually long introduction to the first movement (Poco sostenuto, about four minutes) begins with orchestral beats, which are answered lyrically, before “demanding” scales and waves of increase lead to the main movement (Vivace), which is characterized by a distinctive dotted rhythm that defines the movement almost as dominated as the knock motif in the first movement of Symphony No. 5. Again there is also a “defiant victory” at the end of the coda.

    The Allegretto in A minor is astonishing because it begins and ends with a chord that is otherwise expected in solo concerts before the cadenza, and it is astonishing at the beginning because it is based on rhythm and harmony changes and the melody from it is ultimately more than part of the whole is supplemented instead of dominating from the outset. A second section in C major then brings a woodwind melody, and the structure A - B - A varies - B - A is shortened.

    The third movement (Presto) is in F major and is again in five parts, i.e. expanded as a Scherzo. In the trio, an Austrian pilgrim song is increased to the hymn.

    The rondo with sonata elements from the final movement (Allegro con brio) brings a single (combative? Dance?) Assault run, characterized by the distinctive main theme.

    More information about the creation and the world premiere as well as the individual movements, but also a list of recordings that have become famous, can be found on wikipedia.
    "http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/7._Sinfonie_%28Beethoven%29"

    Personal current hearing impression:



    With stringency from the first chord onwards, Harnoncourt removes the static element of earlier recordings from the still impressive weight. The first movement has more lightness here, also contains playful elements, dance-like. He remains irresistibly determined. Pale, bloodless, the second movement arises out of nowhere in a desert, and it is built up in a fascinating dramaturgy (pure sound speech!) With its intensifications and layers of sound. The joke parts of the third movement also steer purposefully through stormy seas. In the trio sections you think you are at a revolving door, then in the strudel. Something always happens with Harnoncourt's Beethoven, it is never music for its own sake, never self-expression, always drama. Originally exuberant, the famous orchestra rushes into the finale, crushing everything and again irresistible. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe in full swing, a high-tension recording, great concentration and energy performance (Symphonies 1-8 recorded in the Stefaniensaal in Graz from June 29th to July 5th, 1990, CD Box Warner Classics 2564 63779-2).

    Here is the Capriccio thread for Beethoven's Seventh.
    Best regards
    AlexanderK
  • My thanks to Alexander for granting each of the Beethoven symphonies their own thread.

    It is all the more regrettable that Symphony No. 7 in particular has not received a response since July 28th. I dare to doubt whether I can definitely make friends with the Harnoncourt recordings (which Alexander always appreciates).

    I would like to point out two recordings that have done me. The last sentence Allegro con Brio I want to hear absolutely groovy with fire - and a playing time of 7 minutes can hardly be exceeded! In this respect, the 3 Karajan recordings with the Berlin PH (DG, 1962, 1977, 1984) are very close to me, but especially in the 77 recording, the 2nd movement is too imprecise and imprecise. In the 1st and 4th movements, however, he makes me almost perfectly happy. The bass violin part in the last movement is also fabulous. That's Vivace and Brio in one pot - great!

    Karajan's only stereo recording of a Beethoven symphony was made with the Vienna PH (Decca, March 1959, ADD) with Symphony No. 7: Also perfect in the 2nd movement and goes off like "Schmitz'Katze". If you listen to this recording as a whole, you are inclined to say: >> It is a pity that Karajan did not present all 9 symphonies with the WPO! << In terms of sound, Decca technique is already good and, for example, better sounding than the DG recording from 1962.

    Playing times: 11:44 - 8:39 - 7:42 - 6:43


    Decca, 1959, ADD



    Paavo Järvi offers absolute Con Brio! But not necessarily only in the better-known RCA-SACD recording of Symphony No. 7 with the Bremen Chamber Philharmonic, but much better and more stunning with the same cast in the later one LIVE recording of the Beethovenfest Bonn 2010 from the Beethovenhalle Bonn on DVD (SONY). What the timpanist does there borders on a rock concert - fabulous - exciting - devastating - fantastic:

    Playing times: is not specified at SONY - but in the 4th movement it is clearly and noticeably less than 7 minutes (I will deliver later)!


    SONY DVD, 2010, 5.1 DTS surround sound

    In addition, there is the fabulous DTS surround sound (via at least 4 speakers), with which you can also sit at home in the Beethovenhalle Bonn and enjoy the sound in the fabulous DTS DIGITAL surround sound. That surpasses every CD! The direction of the images is not always perfect on the DVD, but the fact that the image is still reinforced the extremely positive impression.

    : angel: Man, what's going on there! That puts all the sleeping pill shots in the corner!
    ______________

    Greetings from Bonn

    wolfgang
  • Yukon wrote:

    Quote from »teleton«
    but in the 4th movement it is clearly and noticeably appropriately less than 7 minutes (I'll add it)!

    8'27''


    Amazing! I would have 'felt' like Wolfgang assumed.

    Although I only have a radio recording of this recording from the Beethovenfest, I find it particularly great when listening to it without a score, at least more effective, without losing clarity, than the already extraordinarily good studio recording of Järvis und der Bremer.

    Matthias
  • Understanding the 7th as a frenzy of speed is certainly justified, but far too many subtleties of the symphony are omitted.
    My recordings of the 4th movement are those with Guido Cantelli (6:52), or of course Toscanini 6:45. But what are the measured values ​​supposed to be? It depends on the overall impression.
    And there are other parameters too.
    For example, only in the German line-up can you really enjoy the interplay of 1st and 2nd violins in the last movement, see Kleiber or Järwi.
    The second movement in the slower version, as offered by Klemp, has a special charm.
    Unfortunately, all of Klemperer's studio recordings are rather mediocre, the best is still the one from 1955. But live like in Amsterdam 1951 or Hamburg 1955, Amsterdam 1956 or London 1957 he "lets the pig out". Pure power! Especially since he sets the rhythm completely different, he pulls the dragging orchestra, like Scherchen when he drives it along!
    And even in the mono recordings, the violins' dialogues are so concise that Hvk looks very pale with all the noise he makes.
    The recordings that appeared in the 60s are more like ... let's forget about it.
    Then there was Erich Kleiber and Fritz Reiner. Fu also left remarkably wild recordings of the 7th.
    The best but are the many recordings with Carlos Kleiber that are available as live recordings. I have one from Munich and one from Vienna. Sensational.
    He was almost better than Papa!
    And today? Dohnanyi, or "Mack", or Vänskä! Nice shots. Only Thielemann falls away because he is "rummaging" at the pace and cannot decide whether he is Furtwängler's revenant or has arrived in the 21st century.
    Greetings from Kiel
    What should I do with a classic car? I don't buy a black and white television either. (Jeremy Clarkson)
  • Doc Stänker wrote:

    Only Thielemann falls away because he is "rummaging" at the pace and cannot decide whether he is Furtwängler's revenant or has arrived in the 21st century.
    : mlol:: mlol:, simply delicious.
  • Doc Stänker wrote:

    My recordings of the 4th movement are those with Guido Cantelli (6:52), or of course Toscanini 6:45. But what are the measured values? It depends on the overall impression.
    Just. I can't stand this whole tempo discussion with Beethoven anymore. Musical events are not communicated through the stopwatch. But solely through what inspiration is offered in the implementation of the score, which is individually considered to be correct.

    That said, the recordings you mentioned are topped by Furtwängler. With the Berliner Philharmoniker, he needed just 6:33 minutes for the 4th movement in the live recording of November 3, 1943 (the booklet says 6:36 minutes, but there is three seconds of delay on the CD after the last note ).
  • AlexanderK wrote:

    A second section in C major then brings a woodwind melody, and the structure A - B - A varies - B - A is shortened.
    Without wanting to be petty now: the B part with the woodwind melody is in A major, but the first time it also modulates briefly to C major, only to find its way back into A minor of the recurring A part. "Varies" is only half true: at first it is correct, the harmony and melody of the beginning combine with the woodwind colors of the B part, then it turns into a string-dominated fugato - a typical example of Beethoven's unconventional, yet fantastically functioning counterpoint - then the energy of the 16th notes that drove the fugato is combined with the return of the A part in the tutti - if it hadn't modulated so little by then, it could be called a recapitulation after a kind of development. Then again B (without modulation to C major) and one last time, in shadowy, constantly changing colors, A.

    wonderful phrase that ...

    Greeting
    Mr. Maria
    The English voices encourage the senses
    that everything awakens to joy
  • music lover wrote:

    Doc Stänker wrote:

    My recordings of the 4th movement are those with Guido Cantelli (6:52), or of course Toscanini 6:45. But what are the measured values ​​supposed to be? It depends on the overall impression.
    Just. I can't stand this whole tempo discussion with Beethoven anymore. Musical events are not communicated through the stopwatch. But solely through what inspiration is offered in the implementation of the score, which is individually considered to be correct.

    On that point I have to agree, because I was also flabbergasted when I saw that the actual, but not felt, playing time at Järvi-Live from BN was well over 7 minutes. ; +) It just depends on the overall impression, which comes across as mega-fiery in both the snappy versions of Karajan and Järvi.

    The same applies to both Amber recordings from New York (SONY) which is even at 8:58 and the later from Vienna (DG) at 7:01. Despite the 2 minute difference, the overall impression is exciting, highly appropriate and for me overwhelming.

    I still had hope that the playing time thankfully sent by YUKON would be with final applause - but not with any - it was withdrawn and the 4th movement actually played 8:27 --- but really not felt! : faint: I've just checked this on the DVD because I didn't want to believe it.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    I already thought that the Nuthatch recording (DG) comes up.
    No question about it, a really good interpretation.
    But a little overrated for my taste, as Kleiber just sounds strange to my ears. I was shaped by Karajan, Solti, Bernstein, Szell and later P.Järvi. Kleiber somehow doesn't fit me that (emotionally).
    ______________

    Greetings from Bonn

    wolfgang
  • teleton wrote:

    I dare to doubt whether I can definitely make friends with the Harnoncourt recordings (which Alexander always appreciates).



    "Always goutiert" - please teleton, I like Bernstein, Kleiber and others just as much and I just opened the threads with the Harnoncourt recordings. And they tell me to. Also that of the 7th symphony. I already know that you have to be strictly "objective" in a forum and if you have to recommend the recording that delivers exactly what Beethoven had hoped for, and I feel so much with many composers and works that I accept Harnoncourt's recordings ALWAYS find at least one aspect: the unconditional need to feel what the composer wanted. That can be wrong ways of interpretation (everything is subjective), but it always convinces me because it seems honest to me - even if I don't "like" it and shouldn't like it either. And that's why I climb the barricades for Harnoncourt.
    Best regards
    AlexanderK
  • Well, that was initially a self-statement by Teleton ... doesn't have to be due to Harnoncourt ... ... "Always goutiert" can certainly not be said about Alexander and Beethoven because of the most recent contributions ...

    greeting
    MB
    "It's a shame that the fools are so confident and the clever ones are so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
  • Josquin Dufay wrote:

    Quotation from »teleton« Karajan's only stereo recording of a Beethoven symphony was made with the Vienna PH (Decca, March 1959, ADD) with the 7th symphony:

    A quick note: you are probably referring to the recordings Karajan made at Decca. It looks a bit unfortunate in the room.



    Hello Joasquin,

    yes, I chose the sentence structure a little unfortunate.

    It should read right for a better understanding: As Karajan's only stereo recording of a Beethoven symphony with the Vienna PH the recording of Symphony No. 7 (Decca, 1959, ADD) is available. The whole thing relates to the Vienna PH (not to Decca), with which Karajan only recorded this No. 7; Otherwise he only used his Berlin PH with 3 GA for Beethoven and the historic Mono GA with the Philharmonia Orchestra London was created quite earlier.

    ---------------

    Hello Alexander,

    with the "goutiert" I take it back if that was expressed too blatantly by me. I just noticed that you had Harnoncourt involved in all of your Beethoven threads.

    I am pleased that you also mention Bernstein in your answer post 11, who is my quiet favorite for Beethoven! The NewYorker - GA (SONY) alone would be enough for me "for the island"!
    ______________

    Greetings from Bonn

    wolfgang
  • teleton wrote:

    The same applies to both Amber recordings from New York (SONY) which is even at 8:58 and the later from Vienna (DG) at 7:01. Despite the 2 minute difference, the overall impression is exciting, highly appropriate and for me overwhelming.
    The Tanglewood recording from August 19, 1990 - the Koussevitzky Memorial Concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra - is particularly overwhelming for me