- Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67
- Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral"), Op. 68
- Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125
- Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
- Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major ("Emperor"), Op. 73
- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
- Romance for violin & orchestra No. 1 in G major, Op. 40
- Romance for violin & orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
- Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13
- Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor ("Appassionata"), Op. 57
- Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ("Moonlight"), Op. 27/2
Decca's five-CD set Ultimate Beethoven is a respectable beginner's introduction to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven because it presents his greatest masterworks in complete performances by major artists. Where some other collections present only short, thematic excerpts or single movements taken from larger works, obliging the listener to put in additional effort to hear the whole compositions, this set leaves nothing incomplete. Central to Beethoven's output are his symphonies, and the "Symphony No. 5 in C minor"; the "Symphony No. 6 in F major, Pastoral"; and the "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Choral" have long been regarded as essential works. The "Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major" and the "Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Emperor," similarly are regarded as supreme achievements, as is the "Violin Concerto in D major," one of the finest in the genre. Of his piano sonatas, the "Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Pathétique"; the "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Moonlight"; and the "Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Appassionata" are perennial favorites, as well as quite representative of the innovative approach and inspiration Beethoven brought to the form. Because this survey offers performances by great musicians, such as conductors Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti, and Zubin Mehta; pianists Vladimir Ashkenazy and Claudio Arrau; and violinist Henryk Szeryng, the quality of the playing is exceptionally high, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra give the symphonies and concertos the firm textures and dynamic power Beethoven's music requires.
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If you are new to the genius of classical music,this is a perfect place to begin.I love it.