Author Topic: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9  (Read 150754 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Renfield

  • Guest
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #60 on: May 10, 2009, 06:18:05 AM »
As Beethoven was deaf at the time of the Choral, I suppose, that his "performance" must have taken place in his mind exclusively.

Not quite. He could still hear himself play it on the piano, so he could've tested the chosen tempi. :)

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #61 on: May 10, 2009, 06:36:29 AM »
As Beethoven was deaf at the time of the Choral, I suppose, that his "performance" must have taken place in his mind exclusively.

True, but don't overlook that he wasn't deaf until later in life (he was 32 when he wrote the Hieligenstadt Testament in 1802, and he was only beginning his deafness then),  and then not completely. He knew perfectly well what something that he wrote would sound like. I will give credence to the suggested possibilities that Karl made clerical errors in writing the letter to Schott (although B signed the letter, so one would presume he read it first), or that his metronome was faulty, but not that he couldn't hear music accurately in his head. No one quibbles with his other markings, which were written about the same time. :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - K 370a 361 Serenade in Bb Gran Partitta 01st mvmt - Largo - Molto allegro
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #62 on: May 10, 2009, 06:38:53 AM »
I need to find some time to re-listen to my first Norrington's 9th to determine if it deserves to be reviled.  It has been some 15 years since I last listened to that 9th ...

Worth your while, Coop. How about today? Sunday is a perfect day for the 9th. Let us know what you think. FYI, Norrington does adhere precisely to the written markings (although he strays in some other areas, like dynamics), so you can "take it as written"... :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - K 370a 361 Serenade in Bb Gran Partitta 02nd mvmt - Menuetto - Trio I - Trio II
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline FideLeo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2110
  • 2 HIPs Hooray! ^_^
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #63 on: May 10, 2009, 07:59:32 AM »
"In his much-praised 'authentic' recording with the London Classical Players on HMV, Roger Norrington still fell a bit short of the metronome speeds in the first and third movements, and opted for the slower solutions in the trio and march; but the trio comes out at an uninspiring plod, while the slow march necessitates a totally unmarked accelerando into the fugato." 

1992 review by Bayan Northcott

I have always found Norrington's bizzare solutions to the mm problems to be untenable.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 08:04:50 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #64 on: May 10, 2009, 08:32:58 AM »
Norrington pretty much toes the line, and it is much to his credit that the tempos generally work. The sole exception is the Turkish March which, starting at  dotted quarter = 94 is slow enough to attract attention, since every other conductor takes the passage much faster.

If this seems unduly slow, the Schott markings for the 3rd movement will shock the listener by how fast they sound. From time to time one wishes that Norrington - eager to prove his point about tempos - would relent a little aand give the music a chance to breathe


David Levy - "Beethoven - The Ninth Symphony"

As for the unmarked accelerando, nearly every recorded performance of the 9th from Weingartner forward accelerates heading from the March proper into the double fugue. While I agree that Norrington's point was to perform at the marked tempi, the discretion to speed up here is a musical choice, and although it violated his self-imposed tempo choices, it makes good musical sense anyway. :)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra - K 370a 361 Serenade in Bb Gran Partitta 11th mvmt - Variation V: Adagio
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline FideLeo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2110
  • 2 HIPs Hooray! ^_^
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #65 on: May 10, 2009, 08:38:24 AM »
While I agree that Norrington's point was to perform at the marked tempi,

He probably didn't realise that the "marked tempo" for the march was a mistake on the publisher's part.  It should have been twice as fast according to Beethoven's note to Schott later.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 08:40:58 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Coopmv

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11738
  • Mein Freund ist mein
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #66 on: May 10, 2009, 08:49:25 AM »
He probably didn't realise that the "marked tempo" for the march was a mistake on the publisher's part.  It should have been twice as fast according to Beethoven's note to Schott later.
 

Did John Eliot Gardiner have the right tempo?

Offline FideLeo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2110
  • 2 HIPs Hooray! ^_^
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #67 on: May 10, 2009, 08:56:15 AM »
 

Did John Eliot Gardiner have the right tempo?

Haven't listened to his in ages, but don't think he is spectacularly slow in either instance like the first Norrington.

another old RMCR message about Beethoven's MM's for the 9th

Maybe I ought to find the Early Music article by Dr Clive Brown referred to therein.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 09:01:59 AM by traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2009, 09:06:16 AM »
He probably didn't realise that the "marked tempo" for the march was a mistake on the publisher's part.  It should have been twice as fast according to Beethoven's note to Schott later.

Yes, the march itself is wrong, as Norrington later admitted (and corrected in his second try with the SWR Stuttgart). But even bands who don't make that fatal mistake still accelerate into the fugue. Hogwood, for example, starts the march at dotted quarter = 90 (Schott says 84, so just a tad fast), and speeds up to 97 for the fugue. And he doesn't really need to, since his march is pretty good speed, but it just makes musical sense to do it, it sounds better (IMO). :)

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #69 on: May 10, 2009, 09:07:23 AM »
 

Did John Eliot Gardiner have the right tempo?

I don't know, Coop. I like it though, right or wrong. :)

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline Valentino

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1119
  • JB rünnhilde
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #70 on: May 10, 2009, 11:03:01 AM »
I'd like to hear a recordng doing that march at dotted half = 84. I think it would work out just fine.
We audiophiles don't really like music, but we sure love the sound it makes

Offline Coopmv

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11738
  • Mein Freund ist mein
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #71 on: May 10, 2009, 11:29:32 AM »
I don't know, Coop. I like it though, right or wrong. :)

8)

I used to be a big fan of Gardiner for his Bach choral works and I have owned every Bach's passion/oratorio on Archiv recorded by him since the early 90's.  Lately, I have been wondering if his tempo is a tad too fast ...

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #72 on: May 10, 2009, 01:47:31 PM »
I used to be a big fan of Gardiner for his Bach choral works and I have owned every Bach's passion/oratorio on Archiv recorded by him since the early 90's.  Lately, I have been wondering if his tempo is a tad too fast ...

I think they are probably right on the money, according to the composer at least. "Too fast" is a subjective term in these circumstances, since most people, apparently, consider "correct" to be too fast... ::)   :D

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline Coopmv

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 11738
  • Mein Freund ist mein
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #73 on: May 10, 2009, 03:39:08 PM »
Worth your while, Coop. How about today? Sunday is a perfect day for the 9th. Let us know what you think. FYI, Norrington does adhere precisely to the written markings (although he strays in some other areas, like dynamics), so you can "take it as written"... :)

 

A trip into NYC yesterday for an early Mother's Day took away half-day from my weekend.  Hopefully I can find time next weekend to give it a listen ...

Offline Brian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20906
    • Brian's blog
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2009, 04:55:39 PM »
I think the ideal solution is to play the march fast enough that you don't need to speed up when you enter the fugue. Gardiner does this, if memory serves (or he at least comes pretty close).

Offline jwinter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1201
  • Location: Newark, Delaware USA
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #75 on: May 11, 2009, 05:07:33 AM »
Well, to counter-balance Gurn's disappointment with Szell's 9th  :'(, I've finally heard Fricsay's also-much-hyped 9th, and was mightily impressed.  Considering that this is marketed as the first stereo 9th, the sound is extremely good.  The soloists are very clear and expressive (I get the impression that if I spoke German I could follow them quite easily, which isn't often the case), and the chorus is superb.  Fricsay has an excellent sense of rhythm, his first two movements dance along beautifully, and the slow movement, while quite slow by modern standards, is yet graceful and light.  The performance doesn't quite scale the emotional heights as Furtwangler does, but for a classic, refined interpretation of this work that will probably wear well over many hearings, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a better 9th than Fricsay.  Definitely a keeper.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2009, 05:37:40 AM »
Well, to counter-balance Gurn's disappointment with Szell's 9th  :'(, I've finally heard Fricsay's also-much-hyped 9th, and was mightily impressed.  Considering that this is marketed as the first stereo 9th, the sound is extremely good.  The soloists are very clear and expressive (I get the impression that if I spoke German I could follow them quite easily, which isn't often the case), and the chorus is superb.  Fricsay has an excellent sense of rhythm, his first two movements dance along beautifully, and the slow movement, while quite slow by modern standards, is yet graceful and light.  The performance doesn't quite scale the emotional heights as Furtwangler does, but for a classic, refined interpretation of this work that will probably wear well over many hearings, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a better 9th than Fricsay.  Definitely a keeper.

Excellent, JW. That is one of MY favorite recordings, and for all the reasons you mention. Of the 9ths of that era, this one is a Cadillac!  :)

Just to clarify though, I didn't dislike the Szell, I guess  I just expected to have my socks knocked off, but found that it didn't quite do that. In fact, if I had to choose between it and the Fricsay, it would be an easy choice for me. :)

8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 31500
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texas, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #77 on: May 11, 2009, 05:44:35 AM »
BTW, I am lining up some historical recordings of the 9th, not every recording ever made, but a select few.

I have Furtwängler March 1942 and Lucerne 1954.

I want the following conductors/performances:

Oskar Fried / Berlin SOO - 1928(?)
Felex Weingartner Vienna PO / 1935
Toscanini 1952

I notice that there are a variety of transfers available for some of these, but the ones on Naxos Historical seem to be well-received. Is that pretty well the general consensus among you historical guys?  As you see, my choices are all landmarks of one sort or another (like Fricsay being the first stereo). So this is really no more than a stab at some sort of historic retrospective, not an attempt to own every recording ever made.... :D

Thanks,
8)
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Renfield

  • Guest
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #78 on: May 11, 2009, 06:01:34 AM »
BTW, I am lining up some historical recordings of the 9th, not every recording ever made, but a select few.

I have Furtwängler March 1942 and Lucerne 1954.

I want the following conductors/performances:

Oskar Fried / Berlin SOO - 1928(?)
Felex Weingartner Vienna PO / 1935
Toscanini 1952

I notice that there are a variety of transfers available for some of these, but the ones on Naxos Historical seem to be well-received. Is that pretty well the general consensus among you historical guys?  As you see, my choices are all landmarks of one sort or another (like Fricsay being the first stereo). So this is really no more than a stab at some sort of historic retrospective, not an attempt to own every recording ever made.... :D

Thanks,
8)

Toscanini 1939 (best remastering I know on M&A, but part of the complete cycle) is very possibly better, if you don't count the sound; especially since you know Toscanini 1952's carbon-copy, the 1963 Karajan. :)

I also think Opus Kura might have a better remastering of the Weingartner than Naxos, though the latter (which I have) is eminently listenable.

Offline jwinter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1201
  • Location: Newark, Delaware USA
Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #79 on: May 11, 2009, 06:07:09 AM »
I have Naxos for both the Weingartner and the Fried -- obviously given their vintage they both sound like crap, but that said they're both quite listenable by historical standards, there's nothing obviously wrong with the remastering, and I wouldn't hesitate to check them out if the price is good.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice