Author Topic: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9  (Read 151742 times)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #760 on: October 21, 2014, 04:26:18 AM »
Last one I enjoyed was Fricsay:



Sound is only OK stereo, but it never got in the way of enjoying the music.

True, but it was the first stereo 9th ever put on record, which makes it special anyway, but also an excellent performance besides. It's easily one of my Top Ten!!  :)

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Offline RJR

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #761 on: November 03, 2014, 07:17:31 AM »
In the late 60s, in Ottawa, I purchased the Beethoven ninth symphony conducted by Jascha Horenstein and the Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra from The Great Musicians series. The LPs were about half the size of regular LPs and the liner notes were plentiful. Robert Simpson was in charge of the Beethoven ninth package. Great musicians, great recordings and a great price. Also bought Alfred Brendel performing Mozart K595. Lovely.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #762 on: November 03, 2014, 08:01:51 AM »
In the late 60s, in Ottawa, I purchased the Beethoven ninth symphony conducted by Jascha Horenstein and the Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra from The Great Musicians series. The LPs were about half the size of regular LPs and the liner notes were plentiful. Robert Simpson was in charge of the Beethoven ninth package. Great musicians, great recordings and a great price. Also bought Alfred Brendel performing Mozart K595. Lovely.

Well, I did a bunch of online research since this all came up. 'Vienna Pro Musica' is an alias used by VSO in order to skirt contractual obligations. So all versions are the same. The one released on Vox/Allegretto, which is what I have now, uses simulated stereo, and not very good one at that. It sounds like you had one of the better releases, of which there were several over the years. The error which Bill mentioned on his version is also on mine, and in fact there is only one remastering on CD that doesn't have it, I will be looking for it and report back. As far as the performance goes, it is very fine, it is a pity it has been released so often without being 'fixed up' in the 58 years since it was made!! :-\

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #763 on: July 27, 2015, 07:23:54 AM »
Gurn, the mind reels at the thought of how many recordings of this you've listened to . . . still, one does not wish to place any burden upon you, for there are new recordings every year, and who knows to what degree you feel motivated to pursue them.

Having offered the obligatory Preamble, this is my Amble proper:  have you heard (and if so, what is your opinion on) the Herreweghe which is here reissued?

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #764 on: July 27, 2015, 08:23:30 AM »
Gurn, the mind reels at the thought of how many recordings of this you've listened to . . . still, one does not wish to place any burden upon you, for there are new recordings every year, and who knows to what degree you feel motivated to pursue them.

Having offered the obligatory Preamble, this is my Amble proper:  have you heard (and if so, what is your opinion on) the Herreweghe which is here reissued?



Never too much, Karl!   :)

Yes, I have that as a single. It is in the top 2 or 3 of PI recordings, IMO, with some of the best choral work whether PI or not. It is this one with the Champs Elysees Orchestra, I don't know his Royal Flemish recording:



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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #765 on: July 27, 2015, 08:40:35 AM »
Yes, I have that as a single. It is in the top 2 or 3 of PI recordings, IMO, with some of the best choral work whether PI or not. It is this one with the Champs Elysees Orchestra, I don't know his Royal Flemish recording:



8)

Cool!  I've been enjoying it a great deal;  glad to see that I have taste, here  8)
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #766 on: July 27, 2015, 08:42:49 AM »
Cool!  I've been enjoying it a great deal;  glad to see that I have taste, here  8)

Never in question, mi amigo.  :)   Do you also find the singing to be top of the line?  I think that is its strongest feature, although the band is pretty damned good too. :)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #767 on: July 27, 2015, 08:46:20 AM »
Do you also find the singing to be top of the line?  I think that is its strongest feature, although the band is pretty damned good too. :)

8)

Yes, indeed, beautiful tone throughout . . . almost as if the choir really don't want to shriek, but are naturally inclined to treat the piece like . . . Music  0:)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #768 on: July 27, 2015, 09:04:18 AM »
Yes, indeed, beautiful tone throughout . . . almost as if the choir really don't want to shriek, but are naturally inclined to treat the piece like . . . Music  0:)

I have to admit, this is an oddity in the recordings world. I think Beethoven chuckled when he wrote it, as if to say 'let them try THAT without shrieking!'.    >:D  :D  :D

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Offline Pat B

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #769 on: July 27, 2015, 10:43:27 AM »
I wasn't very enthusiastic about that Herreweghe one at first but have enjoyed it much more on subsequent listens.

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #770 on: July 27, 2015, 11:13:17 AM »
I wasn't very enthusiastic about that Herreweghe one at first but have enjoyed it much more on subsequent listens.

Well, I came into it with high expectations because it was a chorister who deplores HIP who rec'd it to me, and I figured if HE really liked it, there must be something there!  :)  I've been keen on it all along, but as you point out, now more than ever.

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Offline Ludwig

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #771 on: July 27, 2015, 12:15:34 PM »
Last one I enjoyed was Fricsay:



Sound is only OK stereo, but it never got in the way of enjoying the music.

Fricsay + Fischer-Dieskau is a fantastic combination.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #772 on: July 28, 2015, 02:02:34 AM »
I wasn't very enthusiastic about that Herreweghe one at first but have enjoyed it much more on subsequent listens.

I think I can see that;  the tone of this new sensibility is so sharply distinct from the sort of Op.125 we grew up with . . . we are in a curious position of needing to acquire the taste, perhaps.
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Offline Pat B

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #773 on: July 29, 2015, 07:51:01 AM »
I think I can see that;  the tone of this new sensibility is so sharply distinct from the sort of Op.125 we grew up with . . . we are in a curious position of needing to acquire the taste, perhaps.

Well, I wasn't taken aback by the general approach: I already had Gardiner, Harnoncourt (hybrid PI but I think it's fair to put it in this category), plus one atrocious allegedly-HIP recording that I won't name here. I think there was something specific to this Herreweghe -- something about the orchestral balance, maybe -- that took me some time to get accustomed to. Unfortunately I didn't write anything in my notes about it.

Gardiner, BTW, hasn't grown on me the same way. It's not bad, but I still think it's the weak link of his cycle. I haven't listened to Harnoncourt in a while.

Among PI versions I've heard, I still advocate Immerseel's 1999 recording on Sony. Artistically it's a similar approach to his 2007 version on Zig Zag; unfortunately the strings and chorus are severely recessed in the later recording. I'm not normally a stickler for audio quality, but the 9th sure is better when you can hear all the parts! The 1999 is glorious as both a performance and a recording. It's OOP, but used copies are moderately available. I seem to be the only person on the internet who has heard this CD.



There are several PI recordings I haven't heard. Maybe I'll spotify one of them later today.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #774 on: July 29, 2015, 07:57:07 AM »
Well, I wasn't taken aback by the general approach: I already had Gardiner, Harnoncourt (hybrid PI but I think it's fair to put it in this category), plus one atrocious allegedly-HIP recording that I won't name here. I think there was something specific to this Herreweghe -- something about the orchestral balance, maybe -- that took me some time to get accustomed to. Unfortunately I didn't write anything in my notes about it.

Gardiner, BTW, hasn't grown on me the same way. It's not bad, but I still think it's the weak link of his cycle. I haven't listened to Harnoncourt in a while.

Among PI versions I've heard, I still advocate Immerseel's 1999 recording on Sony. Artistically it's a similar approach to his 2007 version on Zig Zag; unfortunately the strings and chorus are severely recessed in the later recording. I'm not normally a stickler for audio quality, but the 9th sure is better when you can hear all the parts! The 1999 is glorious as both a performance and a recording. It's OOP, but used copies are moderately available. I seem to be the only person on the internet who has heard this CD.



There are several PI recordings I haven't heard. Maybe I'll spotify one of them later today.

All very interesting, thanks.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline André

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #775 on: July 29, 2015, 03:53:54 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of HIP performances in this work. However, I do acknowledge the superiority of Herreweghe in that field - not that it's crowded, mind you, we're not talking acres and hectares here - but it IS a superb account whatever the viewpoint.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
« Reply #776 on: July 30, 2015, 04:38:19 AM »
Cheers, André!

Oh, I may be in your neck of the woods sometime this next month.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot