Pablo Casals / Marlboro Festival Orchestra – Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 (Franklin Mint pressing, red vinyl)


# Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
# Conductor: Pablo Casals
# Orchestra: Marlboro Festival Orchestra
# Vinyl (1967 / 1978)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Franklin Mint Record Society – Record 8 of 100
# Size: 543MB (24/96) + 155MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Server: FF, FP

As always, if anyone has requests for other titles in this set, please add them to the comments or PM me directly.


This performance is required listening for anyone who is serious about classical music; it is by far the best recording I’ve ever heard of Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. The opening movement, Allegro vivace e con brio (fast, lively and zesty), truly lives up to the composer’s instructions. What makes it stand out is not merely the tempo, which is breathtaking, but the precision and control, which are extraordinary. This performance actually sounds like the product of a single mind, with every note attacked by every instrument at the same instant. At the end of the first phrase of the first movement, there is a tiny pause, after which the orchestra takes up the second phrase of the opening theme, again with absolute precision. To pick up the musical thread after a hesitation of that sort, with such clarity, is simply extraordinary. This is the playing of a fine ensemble that is completely in tune with the musical statement that its conductor is trying to express.

The Marlboro Festival Orchestra is smaller than the major symphony orchestras that are represented on the majority of Beethoven symphony performances; that is a partial explanation for the combination of speed and clarity that Casals is able to bring out. But other performances by small orchestras don’t come any closer to this one than the big orchestras with famous conductors do; something rare and special is going on here. It’s worth noting that this is a live performance, though the audience is so silent that you might well think they held their breath through the entire work. They must have known how very lucky they were to be present at such a moment. – Bob D’Augustine,

Track listing

01 – I. Allegro vivace e con brio
02 – II. Allegretto scherzando
03 – III. Tempo di Menuetto
04 – IV. Allegro vivace

Recorded live in Marlboro, Vermont on July 14, 1963.

Additional info can be found here.

You can see a listing of the entire Franklin Mint set here.

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio Reso-Mat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only), iZotope RX2

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6 thoughts on “Pablo Casals / Marlboro Festival Orchestra – Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 (Franklin Mint pressing, red vinyl)”

  1. Thank you Steve, I really enjoyed this great recording as revealed by your rip. Very well done!
    Eager to listen to the 9th by Furtwangler. Even, as I already told you, I’m usually crying when listen to this one. So … make me cry again!

  2. Steve,
    my question has nothing to do with your skill and labor.
    but with the numbering System:
    Why, for example for Beethoven’s 8th Sym is there an 8A with Beecham, and an 8B by Casals,

    But if you come into this anywhere, it is that you say both are 8 of 100. Bop! my forehead! how can two totally different sets of artists both be 8 of 100? Or was that Franklins’ way of looking at the world of numerology? FrankEves had 8A and 8B, but that doesn’t help! It’s just two 8s!
    I love you and your work and what I’m downloading is beautiful stuff. So this is not a criticism in any sense of the word toward you. I’m just con fooosed!


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