Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
A Top Choice--thanks for releasing
There's only one drawback I can find here and it's that the set is a mix of stereo and mono recordings. Otherwise you've got a set of nine that on first listening strikes me as one of the most, if not the most, consistently pleasing that I've ever heard. Jochum's approach is not heaven-storming; it reflects more the side of Beethoven that seemed to revel in his ability to simply make amazing music. I've been more bowled over by certain performances of certain works but I don't recall being so totally enthralled with Beethoven the composer. By not pushing things too hard, Jochum avoids the inconsistency problem most conductors--even the best--have with Beethoven's symphonies. This set gets directly to the joy of music-making, the playing of the orchestras is miraculous and totally unselfconscious. I find myself drawn more and more to Jochum's interpretations, he makes almost anything sound life-affirming. Highly recommended and will, for a while at least, be my set of choice.
A great set
Jochum was a reliable, truly great conductor of the old school. This set is one of his finest achievements, together with his famous Bruckner cycle for DG. Same orchestras are used here: Berliner Philharmoniker and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (not Berlin RSO, as the review below says).
Most recordings of this set are in mono, but sound quality is very fine nonetheless.
Brilliant Beethoven Cycle Rescued From The Vaults
Now that Decca and Deutsche Grammophon, among others, are all part of Universal, we have seen some interesting things happen, and not all of them bad. What I'm referring to in this case is the new "Original Masters" Limited Edition Box Set series. Finally, the classical music world has taken a page out of the jazz reissue handbook -- put out a quality product featuring rare recordings but make its availability limited, and people will snatch it up. In the "Original Masters" series, first DG and now Decca have each reissued five box sets, of 4 to 7 CDs each, in distinguished, space-saving slim paper boxes, though the style of packaging is different. The DG sets feature 50s style graphics design on their covers, while the Decca ones have a distinctive rainbow/spectrum pattern on the spines and banners, and a black-and-white photo of the artist in question on the face of the box.
This particular set brings back Eugen Jochum's classic Beethoven Symphony Cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic and Berlin RSO from the 1950s and early 60s. (For your information, Symphonies 1, 5 & 9 are with the RSO, and 3, 6, 7 & 9 are in mono -- you do the math on the others.) In terms of content, I personally found all of these performances mesmerizing, and if anything only the 5th and 9th were not on par with other celebrated recordings. Well, I guess the consolidation of the music industry isn't so bad after all, as long as I can look forward to more reissues like this.