Beethoven 6, 7, 8 and 9
June 30, 2005 11:24 AM   Subscribe

As a follow up to this earlier thread, the BBC has just posted the final installment of their Beethoven Experience, free mp3s of Beethoven's symphonies 6 through 9. Get them while you can, they're only up for a week (Number 6 goes down on Monday).
posted by soplerfo (27 comments total)
Here I am with this brand new fiber optic connection to the internet, and all they can give me is 8kB/s per dowload...they must be getting hammered at the moment...
posted by gren at 11:38 AM on June 30, 2005

If I could make it download faster than 3kb/s i'd be more excited (and we have an OC3 here at work so it aint our side scrimping on the old bandwidth)
posted by zeoslap at 11:40 AM on June 30, 2005

It was much much better this morning - Seems since they put up the 9th everything slowed to a crawl. Sorry folks...
posted by soplerfo at 11:45 AM on June 30, 2005

My downloads of 1 through 6 averaged out at 150KB/s. But 7 was, like, 10KB/s. So, I vote for temporary overload rather than a narrow pipe.
posted by Gyan at 11:45 AM on June 30, 2005

I guess I'll be happy that I was reminded to grab 6-9, and not annoyed that I forgot to get 1-5. (Stupid short-term memory loss!)
posted by mkhall at 12:06 PM on June 30, 2005

Thanks for the heads up on this soplerfo. All four downloaded successfully in less than 10 minutes total. Just sorry I missed the first five.
posted by squealy at 12:31 PM on June 30, 2005

Does anyone know of anywhere 1 thru 5 can be *found* ?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:58 PM on June 30, 2005

55K at 4:15 EST over wireless.

thank you!
posted by realcountrymusic at 1:12 PM on June 30, 2005

9:18pm british time, 235k/s. I love the BBC.

maybe they've crippled foreign connections :)
posted by derbs at 1:21 PM on June 30, 2005

For those of you using wget,

/sw/bin/wget -b -o ./beethlog -np -nc -r -l1 -A.mp3 -nd -H -e robots=off

I am 100% confident someone can tell me tweaked options that are more awesome, but this will work.

Steve_at and anyone else may email me about the first five...
posted by mzurer at 1:21 PM on June 30, 2005

Steve_at_Linnwood writes "Does anyone know of anywhere 1 thru 5 can be *found* ?"

No, but Emusic has Furtwängler conducting 3-7 and 9. The recording were made in Berlin during the war, so the audio quality is, well, scratchy, but, man the music is good. And it's heightened somehow knowing the coughs you hear where probably high-ranking Nazis.

(Hunh. My spell checker has learned that the "a" "Furtwängler" has an umlaut over it. Hadn't realized I'd typed "Furtwängler" that much.)
posted by orthogonality at 2:06 PM on June 30, 2005

Does anyone know of anywhere 1 thru 5 can be *found* ?

posted by ChrisTN at 2:23 PM on June 30, 2005

What we need is BeethTorrent.
posted by matildaben at 2:27 PM on June 30, 2005

matildaben wins!
posted by ChrisTN at 2:29 PM on June 30, 2005

There are endless recordings of Beethoven available on cut-rate CD. Good recordings, by fine orchestras. Unless you are poor, so you cannot even afford an Internet connection, I can't fathom listening to classical music on MP3.

I suppose, though, that these offereings have the value of maybe luring people into actually listening to classical music.

"It's not just Beethoven; it's Beethoven ON THE INTERNET!"
posted by Ayn Marx at 3:27 PM on June 30, 2005

Hmph. My archive seems to be corrupted, but I still have the originals. If anyone wants to receive the files via ftp and create a torrent please contact me. Note that even though they are giving these away, they have a nominal license agreement, so it's sort of a sketchy proposition.
posted by mzurer at 3:54 PM on June 30, 2005

I tried to download them before and it was the SLOWEST download of anything I've ever experienced in my life. I gave up and never bothered to go back for the other sets.
posted by dobbs at 4:25 PM on June 30, 2005

Seems to be moving along pretty well now.
posted by soplerfo at 5:27 PM on June 30, 2005

Beethoven Experience? Is that the one with Noel Redding, or the re-formed one with Billy Cox?
posted by MonkeyMeat at 6:22 PM on June 30, 2005

The 9th is played inhumanly fast, it's like an uncanny valley experience. Didnt try the others after that.
posted by stbalbach at 7:02 PM on June 30, 2005


The second movement is intended to gallop along like a vedette of hussars: it is given a speedier reading than the regrettably all-too-usual Ladies-Auxiliary-on-Quaaludes rendition, but is hardly "inhumanly fast." Sorry that you have sold short this powerful rendition with "Freude" to spare!

For the junior MeFites who perhaps have never drunk deeply at the tap of classical music, the Beeb's version of the 9th is a wonderfully realized recording of a transcendental piece of music. While some may prefer their symphonies done exclusively at a Cowboy Junkies tempo, this version is alive and carries all of the emotional impact that Ludwig Van intended it to have. Download this before it goes away and see how Beethoven Rocks!
posted by rdone at 8:01 PM on June 30, 2005

Hear hear rdone. There's only one thing worse than listening to turgid beethoven... and that's NOT listening to turgid beethoven!
posted by coriolisdave at 9:51 PM on June 30, 2005

I call shenanigans on someone's part, either the Beeb for time-compressing the music, or an absolutely insane conductor. Beethoven's 9th takes about 74 or 75 minutes to play, with normal (sane) tempi. This performance (which I just suffered through for the sake of curiosity) is roughly 64 minutes long, and he (the conductor) took the normal repeats.

The 9th is a strenuous piece of music at best, and at the apparent tempo evident in the mp3's, would exhaust the musicians and leave them flopping around on the floor like landed fish, gasping for air atfter the 2nd movement.

I'm just sayin'
posted by pjern at 11:11 PM on June 30, 2005

Apologies in advance for successive posts, for those who care about such things.

I strongly suspect that the mp3's are time compressed due to a couple of glitches I heard while listening to the 9th- a couple of places where an attack seemed to start too abruptly, as if the beginning of a note was cut off, and a couple of places where the music skipped a half-beat, it seemed. I have some musical training (played french horn in high school and college) and have been listening to classical music for the better part of 35 years. Back in the days of LP's, it wasn't uncommon to have a performance of the 9th take up two full discs. There's a rumor (or maybe not, I'm too lazy to look it up at this hour) that the reason for CD's being 74 minutes long was so that the 9th would fit on one CD.

In any case, it's hardly a fair deal to take a (live) performance and muck around with it to this extent. As far as I'm concerned, these are unlistenable and do the music and the performers a disservice.
posted by pjern at 11:27 PM on June 30, 2005

mzurer writes "For those of you using wget, [excellent command line elided].... Steve_at and anyone else may email me about the first five..."

Many thanks to mzurer for the wget command line (worked like a charm) and his offer of additional information.
posted by orthogonality at 12:10 AM on July 1, 2005

solopsist: Whilst you could be correct (I haven't noticed any glitches myself, but I wasn't listening for them), it is possible to play the 9th at those kind of sustained speeds - I've done it ;) It's tough, but possible. Of course, I'm not sure how the brass section were feeling afterwards -- as a cellist, the arms were a bit sore, but the "high" of playing such music keeps you (well, me anyway) going further than you'd otherwise think ;)

It's when you play Shostakovich (particularly the 10th or 11th) at speed that you'll be flopping on the floor ;)
posted by coriolisdave at 5:07 AM on July 1, 2005

This conversation about tempo is the reason I love Metafilter. All in the same thread: download times discussed and documented, command lines bandied about, a glimpse into orthogonality's spellchecker (I don't even know what an umlat is, let alone my machine), and then a serious discussion of not just the quality but the qualities of this series of Beethoven symphonies. Excellent!
posted by OmieWise at 7:27 AM on July 1, 2005

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