Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Beethoven Symphony Nr. 5 / Wiener Philharmonic, Carlos Kleiber

Beethoven came into my life when I was studying guitar. Yngwie Malmsteen made it clear that violinist Niccolo Paganini and Johan Sebastian Bach are influences. Ritchie Blackmore and Randy Rhoads showed a nod to classical music, but there was no clear artists influence there. Meanwhile, Accept made it clear that they liked to reference Beethoven in their songs, but my main exposure to Beethoven came from Looney Tunes cartoons.

This record was a loose change pick up at a record fair in the 90’s.

Fast forward to 2012 and a New Yorker article names the Carlos Kleiber recording as one of the greatest interpretations of this piece. And when you hear the power of it, you wouldn’t disagree at all. It is a perfect snapshot for the ages.

The various musicians on the recording are nameless, no one will know who they are, but the mastery they exhibit over their instrument, the power and the passion they generate is unbelievable. Even in the quiet sections of the symphony.

And conducting it all was the eccentric Carlos Kleiber, who according to BBC Music, is the greatest conductor of all time.

He was born in Berlin, in the 30’s to an Austrian father (who was also a conductor) and an American mother. They moved to Argentina a few years before war broke out in Europe, and he was lucky to be learning and developing during a period of instability and war.

Like all conductors, there is praise and disdain for them from people. And a lot of what happens in rehearsal rooms remains secret. More so before, than today. Even his death was secret. The world found out he had passed on the day of his burial in 2004. Regardless there are various performances conducted by Carlos Kleiber from various classical masters that are preserved for the rest of the world enjoy.

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