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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Gurn Blanston on April 26, 2009, 07:39:39 AM

Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 26, 2009, 07:39:39 AM
This is the third in a very irregular series discussing recordings of famous works that you enjoy listening to. The first 2 were Schubert's 9th Symphony and Mendelssohn's 3rd. As before, I don't wish to make this a competition over "the best..." or "the greatest...". It is simply recordings that you enjoy, and if you feel like it, a brief explanation why you enjoy it.

Beethoven completed the 9th symphony in d minor in 1824, and it premiered May 7, 1824 in Vienna. Right from the start it was controversial, since it was unique and difficult to understand, and contained such novel and unprecedented conceptions as a chorus in the final movement. And the opening itself, an open chord with only a first and fifth (I-V) which refused to establish tonality, was disorienting for the audience accustomed to hearing good solid comfortable chords right from the start. But this very thing, Beethoven's conception of chaos, even today grabs us right by the throat and says "listen to me!!!".

I admit freely that, IMO, this is the greatest piece of music in the Western Canon. You don't have to agree, I don't mind. Just sayin'. :)   I have listened to it every Sunday morning since October 1995. Sort of a ritual you might say, which cleanses my mind and damn well makes me happy. Everyone has a work that they rely on for beauty and sanity in their lives, that's why we listen to this music. This is mine.  0:)

You probably mostly know that I have no taste for historical recordings, and in fact my favorites are mainly on period instruments. We can divide available recordings into 3 categories:
A - Traditional, big band, post-Romantic
B - Period instruments
C - Modern instruments, influenced by the "HIP" movement

I will attempt to divide mine up like that, since there is no other logical way to do it that I know of.

Group A  (Traditional)
Furtwängler - March 1942
Furtwängler - Lucerne 1954
von Karajan - Philharmonia Orchestra
von Karajan - Berliner Philharmoniker (1962)
Jochum -       Symphony & Chorus de Bayerischen Rundfunks (1952)
Jochum -       London SO
Jochum -       Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1968)
Böhm   -       Wiener Philharmoniker (1970)
Böhm   -       Wiener Philharmoniker (1982)
Bernstein -    Wiener Philharmoniker (1982)
Blomstedt -   Staatskapelle Dresden
Dohnányi  -   Cleveland Orchestra
Fricsay     -    Berliner Philharmoniker
Haitink     -    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Kempe    -     Munich PO
Klemperer -   Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (1956)
Kletzki      -   Czech PO (1968)
Masur       -   Leipzeig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Mehta       -   NYPO
Schmidt-Isserstedt - Wiener Philharmoniker
Solti         -   Chicago SO
Wand       -   NDR Symphony Orchestra
Zander     -   Boston Philharmonic

Group B (period instruments)
Gardiner    -   Orchestré Revolutionaire et Romantique
Goodman  -    Hanover Band
Herreweghe -  Orchestre Des Champs Élysées
Hogwood    -  Academy of Ancient Music
Immerseel   -  Anima Eterna
Norrington  -  London Classical Players
Spering      -   Das Neue Orchestra

Group C  (Modern - HIP influenced)
Harnoncourt -  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
MacKerras    -  Royal Liverpool
Vanska        -  Minnesota Symphony
Hickox         -  Northern Sinfonia
Zinman        -  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra

It is very likely that I have a few more hanging around that I can't put my finger on right now. But anyway, I can always catch them up. I am not going to list these in any particular order for the moment, I am only going to say up front that every one of these recordings has its merits and drawbacks. I suppose the ratio between them is what makes one or another a favorite at any given time. :)

So, kindly feel free to discuss, add your own. My only requirement is that if you don't happen to like this piece of music, keep it to yourself. I (we) don't really care if you don't, so start a thread of your own saying how it is overrated if that's what you think. I'll join that one, too. :D

8)




----------------
Listening to:
Immerseel, Jos van; Anima Eterna - Op 067 Symphony #5 in c 4th mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 26, 2009, 08:46:21 AM
For Group C (modern - HIP influenced) my favorite 9th is a dark horse recording from Van Zweden and the Residentie Orchestra on Philips:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/510-G0CxAlL._SS500_.jpg)

Unfortunately this 9th is only available as part of a complete set. But the other eight symphonies are absolute gems as well so the outlay shouldn't hurt too much. 

I doubt anyone else has heard this one but as a set it's really an accomplishment. To my ears it far surpasses the HIP influenced/modern instruments attempts by other notables in that it really sounds HIP, not just 'quicker/leaner' for the sake of quicker/leaner.

In all modesty, I quote my words from earlier about this 9th:

Quote
Van Zweden's Beethoven is HIP influenced as far as overall approach though performed on modern instruments. Tempos are fresh, lively, and buoyant, though minus anything that approaches the furious. Textures are crystal clear and warm, with sweeping gestures full of felicities making their mark. 

This is 'lights spectacular' Beethoven with every phrase aglow and every bar crackling. So good, in fact, it's as if the music were freshly minted.

That "lights spectacular" part sounds like pure fanboy hyperbole but it's an honest and apt appraisal to my ears. I can think of very few performers who can put a new spin on warhorse material (in this case, the 9th) but that's what Van Zweden manages to do here. 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 26, 2009, 09:03:41 AM
Thanks, Donwyn. I read your earlier review of this set, and it is on my list already. I always give you the nod, since you got me into Kletzki... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: hornteacher on April 26, 2009, 10:00:27 AM
Everyone has a work that they rely on for beauty and sanity in their lives, that's why we listen to this music. This is mine.  0:)

Mine too!  8)

My very favorite would be Mackerras with the Royal Liverpool.  Aside from the clarity of the recording I enjoy the treatment of the horns in the opening, the timpani work in the scherzo, a third movement that doesn't drag to a crawl, and his removal of the Wagnerian influences in the finale.  The string recitatives are not drug out to the nth degree and the texture isn't too thick to wade through.  My ONLY complaint about this recording is I wanted to hear the final instrumental presto taken a little faster.  It seems he's holding back deliberately.

The live recording buy Zubin Mehta in 1983 with the NY Phil is my favorite live version.  The chorus is unbelievable and the last two minutes are played with an energy and excitement I have yet to hear done anywhere else.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: FideLeo on April 26, 2009, 10:02:59 AM
I doubt anyone else has heard this one but as a set it's really an accomplishment.

I have this set (one of the first and cheapest LvB integral sets on SACD).  I don't think I'd rate it as highly as you do, but it surely can't be any worse than the Vanska.  
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: david johnson on April 26, 2009, 11:02:54 PM
Fricsay - Berliner Philharmoniker
von Karajan - Berliner Philharmoniker (1962)
Schmidt-Isserstedt - Wiener Philharmoniker
Solti  - Chicago SO

these i enjoy.

dj
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 27, 2009, 03:55:26 AM
Do you know where I can hear samples of that set, Don?

JPC has samples, George. (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/9075168) :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2009, 04:00:19 AM
I like every recording of this that we own.

[1] We only own two.
[2] We don't obsess about owning "the perfect recording" of this.
[3] We probably gravitated to recordings which we figured we should prefer.
[4] We probably prefer hearing it live to purchasing any more recordings.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RussellG on April 27, 2009, 04:10:36 AM
I only have two, both of which I enjoy:  Vänskä/Minnesota and Dohnányi/Cleveland.  I plan to add Karajan 1962, and would also be interested to hear one on period instruments, such as Herreweghe.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ChamberNut on April 27, 2009, 04:14:45 AM
The Harnoncourt COE set of Beethoven symphonies was my first major classical music purchase.  A first love that is still as grand now.  :)

Hearing it live though is an incredible experience, it really is.  And I've had the good fortune of hearing it live twice now.  8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: dirkronk on April 27, 2009, 06:54:49 AM
- Mengelberg/COA (1940 AVRO recording)--excitement to the max, amazing phrasing, segues and start-to-finish flow.
- Furtwangler/Berlin (March 22/24, 1942)--emotional devastation unmatched by any other performance.
- Fricsay/Berlin--drama w/o mania, simply a beautiful and satisfying stereo-era account.
- Szell/Cleveland--I swear Szell studied Mengelberg's 1940 version before recording this; suberb sonics on the earliest Epic 3-sided vinyl, progressively less impressive on later issues, but transfer to CDs not bad and I haven't heard the latest reissue.
- Bernstein/VPO (live)--slower than some but natural and with special sense of occasion.

I have literally dozens of other performances, but these are the ones that get the most spin time with me.
 ;D

Dirk
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 27, 2009, 08:57:52 AM
Good grief, what a list, Gurn!  Well done.  Given my preference for period instruments and fiery performances I do like the John Gardiner recording; he hits the nail on the head.

Given the listings for 'Group C' I don't suppose you've heard Norrington's newer recording of this with the SWR? 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on April 27, 2009, 11:26:31 AM
My preferences:

#1 Fricsay - no one has done it like him. The 4th movement is where a lot of conductors fall over but FF is one of the few that manage to get the timbral balance between the choral and orchestral sections just right.

Also

Furtwangler 1942
Furtwangler Lucerne 1954
Toscanini NBCSO
Cluytens BPO

....and a special mention to Rene Leibowitz whose RPO recording is just about perfect...until the entry of the "O Freunde, nicht diese tone ..." The choice of Ludwig Weber as bass, who was well past his prime, spoils the rest of the performance as you hear him literally struggling to meet the technical demands of his part. This recording contains the most exciting Scherzo I've ever heard.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:05:09 PM
Fricsay - Berliner Philharmoniker
von Karajan - Berliner Philharmoniker (1962)
Schmidt-Isserstedt - Wiener Philharmoniker
Solti  - Chicago SO

these i enjoy.

dj

Those are four good performances, David. Pretty much in the order I would like to listen to them, too. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:10:17 PM
I like every recording of this that we own.

[1] We only own two.
[2] We don't obsess about owning "the perfect recording" of this.
[3] We probably gravitated to recordings which we figured we should prefer.
[4] We probably prefer hearing it live to purchasing any more recordings.

1 >   2 is good, Karl. ;)

2 >   Me neither, which I hope I made clear in the OP. I don't believe in "the perfect recording" as a concept.

3 >   Yes, that's often the way. That's what I did in nearly every case, although I have some wonderful friends who have taken good care of me.

4 >   So would I. I've never had the pleasure, my nearest has been seeing it "live" on TV 2 or 3 times. :-\


8)

----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.2 in F-Dur,  2 Adagio ma non troppo
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:14:24 PM
I only have two, both of which I enjoy:  Vänskä/Minnesota and Dohnányi/Cleveland.  I plan to add Karajan 1962, and would also be interested to hear one on period instruments, such as Herreweghe.

Herreweghe is a good choice, Russell. I don't think you would be disappointed in it. The playing, singing and sound are very good, it would be a good one to have if you only have 1. Karajan '62 is, IMO, a "must have" too. I don't care so much for the 2 later versions he did, but the '62 is a nice contrast between the youthful Philharmonia and the later, smooth as butter sound. Great soloists too. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.2 in F-Dur,  3 Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:16:45 PM
The Harnoncourt COE set of Beethoven symphonies was my first major classical music purchase.  A first love that is still as grand now.  :)

Hearing it live though is an incredible experience, it really is.  And I've had the good fortune of hearing it live twice now.  8)

I'm a Harnoncourt fan too, and I really do like that entire set. It was also one of MY earlier versions, so I guess it just stuck with me through thick and thin. :)

I'm envious. :'(

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.3 in C-Dur,  1 Moderato
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:20:22 PM
- Mengelberg/COA (1940 AVRO recording)--excitement to the max, amazing phrasing, segues and start-to-finish flow.
- Furtwangler/Berlin (March 22/24, 1942)--emotional devastation unmatched by any other performance.
- Fricsay/Berlin--drama w/o mania, simply a beautiful and satisfying stereo-era account.
- Szell/Cleveland--I swear Szell studied Mengelberg's 1940 version before recording this; suberb sonics on the earliest Epic 3-sided vinyl, progressively less impressive on later issues, but transfer to CDs not bad and I haven't heard the latest reissue.
- Bernstein/VPO (live)--slower than some but natural and with special sense of occasion.

I have literally dozens of other performances, but these are the ones that get the most spin time with me.
 ;D

Dirk

Dirk,
Thanks for reminding me of Szell/Cleveland. I bought it this afternoon after reading your post. I had meant to get it long ago, but kept forgetting. So, you pushed me over the edge. :)   As you know, I don't share your taste for historic recordings, but you do have some goodies on there. Thanks. :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.3 in C-Dur,  1 Moderato
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:23:41 PM
Good grief, what a list, Gurn!  Well done.  Given my preference for period instruments and fiery performances I do like the John Gardiner recording; he hits the nail on the head.

Given the listings for 'Group C' I don't suppose you've heard Norrington's newer recording of this with the SWR? 

Yes, for all the seeming controversy about Gardiner's Beethoven, I have to admit it sits atop my list with not much company. All in your taste, I guess, but that one IS to mine!  :)

As a matter of fact, yes, I do have it. One of those that I forgot to list. Aging is not a pretty thing... ;)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.3 in C-Dur,  2 Adagio
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:27:38 PM
My preferences:

#1 Fricsay - no one has done it like him. The 4th movement is where a lot of conductors fall over but FF is one of the few that manage to get the timbral balance between the choral and orchestral sections just right.

Also

Furtwangler 1942
Furtwangler Lucerne 1954
Toscanini NBCSO
Cluytens BPO

....and a special mention to Rene Leibowitz whose RPO recording is just about perfect...until the entry of the "O Freunde, nicht diese tone ..." The choice of Ludwig Weber as bass, who was well past his prime, spoils the rest of the performance as you hear him literally struggling to meet the technical demands of his part. This recording contains the most exciting Scherzo I've ever heard.

Yes, Fricsay is excellent. It seems like no conductor can go wrong driving the BP in this work, plus he brings his own style and elegance to this work, which he has in abundance. I am intrigued by your description of the Cluytens. It really is a pity about the baß singer, it is such a crucial part! :(

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.3 in C-Dur,  3 Allegro
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2009, 04:30:37 PM
Today's additions to the list:

Group A (traditional)
Szell - Cleveland Orchestra

Group C (modern with HIP influence)
Norrington - SWR-Stuttgart (forgotten in the original list)

Sure would like to add one to Group B (Period Instruments) now. AFAIK, the only one I don't have is Brüggen. Anyone know any others?

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on April 27, 2009, 10:39:24 PM
Yes, Fricsay is excellent. It seems like no conductor can go wrong driving the BP in this work, plus he brings his own style and elegance to this work, which he has in abundance. I am intrigued by your description of the Cluytens. It really is a pity about the baß singer, it is such a crucial part! :(

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Albert de Klerk - André Rieu - Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra - Haydn - Konzert für Orgel und Orchester Nr.3 in C-Dur,  3 Allegro

It wasn't the Cluytens I was describing but the Rene Leibowitz recording on Chesky (originally Readers Digest)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 28, 2009, 01:04:59 AM
Ninths I own. Favorites in bold:

A
 
DOHNANYI/CLEVELAND
SZELL/CLEVELAND
MAAZEL/CLEVELAND
KARAJAN/BERLIN PHIL (1962)
KARAJAN/BERLIN PHIL (1977)
SOLTI/CHICAGO
GIULINI/BERLIN PHIL
CELIBIDACHE/MUNICH PHIL
ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
BARENBOIM/STAATS BERLIN
KLEMPERER/PHILHARMONIA
FURTWÄNGLER/BAYREUTH
BÖHM/VIENNA PHIL (1970)
BERNSTEIN/VIENNA PHIL

B

NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
BRÜGGEN/18TH CENTURY

C

HARNONCOURT/COE


Barenboim's is interesting in that he plays it, not as a Classical-era symphony, but a full-blown Romantic.

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on April 28, 2009, 02:33:15 AM
I MUST get that Norrington/LCP.

Until then Gardiner is my preferred (B). I like open textures, and he has great soloists. And choir, of course.

Karajan '77 for (A).

No (C) heard. (Blushes.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 28, 2009, 02:35:50 AM
Group C (modern with HIP influence)
Norrington - SWR-Stuttgart (forgotten in the original list)

Norrington retracted his previous notions about the tempo in the march as performed in the LCP set and moved much quicker through said passage in this newest cycle from what I understand.  Would you say that, on the whole, Norrington provides a more satisfying experience the second time around?  Of course, the second try he's missing one crucial component:
period instruments!!!  ;D  (http://www.twcenter.net/forums/images/smilies/emoticons/scared0012.gif)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 28, 2009, 02:57:27 AM
Norrington retracted his previous notions about the tempo in the march as performed in the LCP set and moved much quicker through said passage in this newest cycle from what I understand.

He shouldn't have second-guessed himself. He got the tempo just right the first try.

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 28, 2009, 03:00:15 AM
Ninths I own. Favorites in bold:

A
 
DOHNANYI/CLEVELAND
SZELL/CLEVELAND
MAAZEL/CLEVELAND
KARAJAN/BERLIN PHIL (1962)
KARAJAN/BERLIN PHIL (1977)
SOLTI/CHICAGO
GIULINI/BERLIN PHIL
CELIBIDACHE/MUNICH PHIL
ABENDROTH/RSO LEIPZIG
BARENBOIM/STAATS BERLIN
KLEMPERER/PHILHARMONIA
FURTWÄNGLER/BAYREUTH
BÖHM/VIENNA PHIL (1970)
BERNSTEIN/VIENNA PHIL

B

NORRINGTON/LONDON CLASS
BRÜGGEN/18TH CENTURY

C

HARNONCOURT/COE


Barenboim's is interesting in that he plays it, not as a Classical-era symphony, but a full-blown Romantic.

Most interesting, Sarge.

Once on a time, I owned the Norrington. (I mean that purely informationally, not as comment.  Used to own his Symphonie fantastique, which was one of his first recordings, I think . . . and hearing that one over the radio illumined the piece for me.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 28, 2009, 03:24:15 AM
Most interesting, Sarge.

Once on a time, I owned the Norrington. (I mean that purely informationally, not as comment.  Used to own his Symphonie fantastique, which was one of his first recordings, I think . . . and hearing that one over the radio illumined the piece for me.)

I don't love everything about it--you notice my collection is heavily tipped toward traditional (Gurn's word) performances. But as an attempt to perform the symphony at Beethoven's specified speeds (as controversial and debatable as that is), I think it works wonderfully. I'm especially fond of the Finale. The march is actually a march and the presto at the end isn't so fast as to obscure the timpani rhythm in the final bars (it's often just a blurred rumble at the more frenetic speeds conductors seem to favor).

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 28, 2009, 03:33:24 AM
I don't love everything about it--you notice my collection is heavily tipped toward traditional (Gurn's word) performances. But as an attempt to perform the symphony at Beethoven's specified speeds (as controversial and debatable as that is), I think it works wonderfully. I'm especially fond of the Finale. The march is actually a march and the presto at the end isn't so fast as to obscure the timpani rhythm in the final bars (it's a often just a blurred rumble at the more frenetic speeds conductors seem to favor).

I appreciate all that, indeed, Sarge.

(I also took my rambling tangent here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,92.msg302853.html#msg302853), FWIW.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on April 28, 2009, 08:04:48 AM
Norrington retracted his previous notions about the tempo in the march as performed in the LCP set and moved much quicker through said passage in this newest cycle from what I understand.  Would you say that, on the whole, Norrington provides a more satisfying experience the second time around?  Of course, the second try he's missing one crucial component:
period instruments!!!  ;D  (http://www.twcenter.net/forums/images/smilies/emoticons/scared0012.gif)
I think Norrington's SWR is better than the LCP, but that's from limited exposure to the LCP set (disliked the first few things I heard enough to shelve the rest).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: FideLeo on April 28, 2009, 08:08:39 AM
He shouldn't have second-guessed himself. He got the tempo just right the first try.

Did he? The reason Norrington retracted his earlier interpretation of the march in IV. movement: he misread Beethoven's metronome marking and played the passage at half speed.:o

Quote
Beethoven sent the metronome marking to Schott on 13 October
1826.  Presumably he did not carefully read the accompanying letter, written
out by his nephew Karl.  The marking for the march should have been
84=dotted half-note instead of 84=dotted quarter, as written.

original RCMR message by Mark K. Ehlert (http://tinyurl.com/den27x)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dr. Dread on April 28, 2009, 08:09:11 AM
None of the recordings I've heard completely satisfy. I was told to get Bernstein, so I got all of his but none of them impressed me overly much. Mostly the performers of the 9th drop the ball in the fourth movement. Will continue the search at some point...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on April 28, 2009, 08:20:32 AM
None of the recordings I've heard completely satisfy. I was told to get Bernstein, so I got all of his but none of them impressed me overly much. Mostly the performers of the 9th drop the ball in the fourth movement. Will continue the search at some point...
Curious, what sort of finale are you looking for, or what traits should a great one have? Somebody might be able to think of one, or if not we can find out how Maestro Dave would conduct the Ninth...  0:)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dr. Dread on April 28, 2009, 08:37:26 AM
Curious, what sort of finale are you looking for, or what traits should a great one have? Somebody might be able to think of one, or if not we can find out how Maestro Dave would conduct the Ninth...  0:)

You're putting me on the spot, eh? Hmm. The ones I don't like tend to be dull or sloppy.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 28, 2009, 08:46:31 AM
You're putting me on the spot, eh? Hmm. The ones I don't like tend to be dull or sloppy.

Just a suggestion then, Dave. You might try Fricsay/Berlin. It's a DGOriginal, nice mastering, and he handles the whole last movement very nicely indeed. I'm no expert, just sayin'... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dr. Dread on April 28, 2009, 08:52:20 AM
Just a suggestion then, Dave. You might try Fricsay/Berlin. It's a DGOriginal, nice mastering, and he handles the whole last movement very nicely indeed. I'm no expert, just sayin'... :)

8)

Yeah, I've heard of this being recommended before. I will wish-list it. Thanks.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 28, 2009, 10:35:29 AM
That's Langgaard! Sfærernes Musik . . . .
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on April 28, 2009, 11:09:20 AM
I MUST get that Norrington/LCP.

 I like open textures, and he has great soloists. And choir, of course.


Which is why the Fricsay is my favourite
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on April 28, 2009, 12:19:56 PM
Fricsay duly noted as a must hear. Thanks.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on April 29, 2009, 01:26:18 AM
That's Langgaard! Sfærernes Musik . . . .
;D ;D ;D

Deep and lofty. At the same time.

---

Back to those 84 dotted halves or quarters per minute in the IV Froh! march.
A friendly person lent me a copy of Norrington/LCP, and the section is just to slow. It doesn't make musical sense to me, just like Klemperer's 1970 Eroica-scherzo.
If Norrington had got it right one could still make a good military march by marching one step to the bar instead of two, right? And the music would sound something like the french marching band in the movie Waterloo. That could most definitely have been Beethoven's intention.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2009, 03:25:15 AM
;D ;D ;D

Deep and lofty. At the same time.

---

Back to those 84 dotted halves or quarters per minute in the IV Froh! march.
A friendly person lent me a copy of Norrington/LCP, and the section is just too slow. It doesn't make musical sense to me, just like Klemperer's 1970 Eroica-scherzo.
If Norrington had got it right one could still make a good military march by marching one step to the bar instead of two, right? And the music would sound something like the french marching band in the movie Waterloo. That could most definitely have been Beethoven's intention.

That is exactly the way I feel. I have never disputed Sarge's assertion that it is on the cadence of a military march, and I equally dislike versions that take it at a cartoonishly quick pace. But I have many versions that get it musically, sensibly correct, and these are my favorites. Right or not.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jwinter on April 29, 2009, 04:05:10 AM
*Sigh*.   OK, all right, I'm ordering the Fricsay.  As if I need another 9th.  Sheesh...

;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dr. Dread on April 29, 2009, 04:12:59 AM
*Sigh*.   OK, all right, I'm ordering the Fricsay.  As if I need another 9th.  Sheesh...

;D

Everybody's doing it. :D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 29, 2009, 04:28:38 AM
*Sigh*.   OK, all right, I'm ordering the Fricsay.  As if I need another 9th.  Sheesh...

;D

I like the Fricsay I've heard. But, I don't need another Ninth.

Everybody's doing it. :D

Not I  0:)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 29, 2009, 05:06:27 AM
Back to those 84 dotted halves or quarters per minute in the IV Froh! march.
A friendly person lent me a copy of Norrington/LCP, and the section is just to slow. It doesn't make musical sense to me

How could a march, taken at a march tempo, not make musical sense?


Quote
If Norrington had got it right one could still make a good military march by marching one step to the bar instead of two, right?

I actually tried that, and it's awkward. But marching at Norrington's tempo the left foot falls naturally on every strong beat. It's perfect. (If you've ever been a member of a marching band, or in the military, you know what I mean.) I understand the majority's relunctance to accept this. We've all heard it taken so much faster by every other conductor, Norrington sounds weird in comparison...until you get up off your ass and start marching around the room  ;D  Then Norrington and, IMO Beethoven, make perfect sense, musically and otherwise.

Quote
And the music would sound something like the french marching band in the movie Waterloo. That could most definitely have been Beethoven's intention.

As a soldier, and a student of military history, I'm annoyed how often film makers depict military history, tactics and details incorrectly. I'll have to watch Waterloo again to see what you're talking about, but like the film's massed bagpipe bands and British troops in column formations (instead of single pipers and thin long lines), I wouldn't be surprised if they got the French music wrong too.

That is exactly the way I feel. I have never disputed Sarge's assertion that it is on the cadence of a military march, and I equally dislike versions that take it at a cartoonishly quick pace. But I have many versions that get it musically, sensibly correct, and these are my favorites. Right or not.   :)

Yes, that's the bottom line. We like what we like, right or wrong, and that is as it should be. But now that M forever is no longer with us, someone has to defend Norrington and his Classical Players. I elect myself for the job  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 29, 2009, 05:41:13 AM
[ I may have missed something, but . . . in terms simply of "marchability," if the question is [ dotted-half or dotted-quarter ] = 84  per minute, of course, the "marchable" tempo is the same in both cases, and the difference is whether the footfalls match the dotted-half or the dotted-quarter. ]
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on April 29, 2009, 06:03:25 AM
Hmm...
Allegro Assai Vivace and dotted quarter = 84. How does that match up?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on April 29, 2009, 06:14:55 AM
Hmm...
Allegro Assai Vivace and dotted quarter = 84. How does that match up?

Dotted-quarter at 84/min. seems rather lively to me.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2009, 07:49:31 AM
Dotted-quarter at 84/min. seems rather lively to me.

So, "rather lively" doesn't really equal "very fast and lively", does it? Or is this merely Dr. Henning's traditional understatement?

This goes all the way back to a question I asked in the Classical Corner some time back, which was essentially "when a musician of that era saw a term like "Allegro assai vivace", this had a specific meaning as to tempo that was interpreted by all concerned just like metronome marks are today, correct?". Metronome marks were at the very beginning of being accepted at this time, but Italian tempo terms were universal. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on April 29, 2009, 08:12:20 AM
In other words as fast as you can go allegro, but not presto. 2*84=168, like in the accompanying letter.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on April 29, 2009, 05:17:42 PM
So, "rather lively" doesn't really equal "very fast and lively", does it? Or is this merely Dr. Henning's traditional understatement?

This goes all the way back to a question I asked in the Classical Corner some time back, which was essentially "when a musician of that era saw a term like "Allegro assai vivace", this had a specific meaning as to tempo that was interpreted by all concerned just like metronome marks are today, correct?". Metronome marks were at the very beginning of being accepted at this time, but Italian tempo terms were universal. :)
For some reason I always imagined Baroque allegros being performed very fast, much faster than today.  This is based on no scholarly data whatsoever.  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 30, 2009, 03:28:48 AM
For some reason I always imagined Baroque allegros being performed very fast, much faster than today.  This is based on no scholarly data whatsoever.  ;D

Well, no matter how you slice it, allegro = fast, and anything less than that is wrong, just as playing presto (very fast) would be wrong. Although where I was (and have been for some time) going is that the musicians of the time simply knew how fast "allegro" should be; it was a consensus "fast"... ;)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 03, 2009, 05:40:49 AM
This morning's version is new to me. The late, great Richard Hickox in the time before he started Collegium Musicum 90, with the Northern Sinfonia. This recording was released by ASV in 1989. The orchestra is touted as being precisely the same size and instrumentation as the premiere orchestra, but on modern instruments of course. The playing is excellent, but the singing even more so. One of Hickox' strengths was choral work, and here, the London Symphony Chorus does great service to the music, and the soloists, led by Heather Harper, Alfreda Hodgson, Robert Tear and Gwynne Howell do a splendid job. This recording is firmly in Group C - "HIP influenced on modern instruments", and is perhaps the forerunner of that movement. It is certainly the earliest one that I have or have heard of. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Northern Sinfonia \ Hickox - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Presto - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2009, 03:48:58 AM
Well, this morning I listened to Cleveland/Szell for the first time, since it has been mentioned so many times on this Forum. It rather has me scratching my head, to be honest.  ???

It is a good, solid performance, but I guess that after all the hype I had my hopes set a bit higher than usual. As it turns out, to MY ears anyway, it is a typical performance from its time (1963), no better or worse than Karajan / Berlin or London / Jochum from the same year. Which of course are also good performances, although not far removed from the style still in vogue 10 years earlier.

In summary, I would say it was enjoyable, but not revelatory or path-breaking. Nor does it have to be to justify itself, although it would have had to be to justify the hype I have read about it, and not just here, but in various books and Internet reviews. :)


8)


----------------
Listening to:
Cleveland Orchestra / Szell (1963) - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Presto - Allegro
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2009, 04:23:03 AM
Meronome markings should be avoided. The music will always sound faster in the composers mind than in the real life.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2009, 04:31:14 AM
Meronome markings should be avoided. The music will always sound faster in the composers mind than in the real life.

No doubt that is true. Other than a few pioneering exceptions, it seems that they have been avoided, by and large. :D   

8)

----------------
Listening to:
SWR Stuttgart /  Norrington - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 3rd mvmt - Adagio molto e cantabile
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on May 10, 2009, 04:43:23 AM
Meronome markings should be avoided. The music will always sound faster in the composers mind than in the real life.
All hearing, of course, takes place in the mind.  Are not some composers' tempo indications based on actual performance and not just their imaginations?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2009, 04:51:21 AM
All hearing, of course, takes place in the mind.  Are not some composers' tempo indications based on actual performance and not just their imaginations?

Indeed they are, but not in the case of the 9th. Beethoven wrote an interesting letter to his publisher giving him the metronome markings and stressing that they were far more important for performance than the marked tempos were. In any case, there are very few recordings which adhere strictly to the metronome markings, and I suspect that at least in part it is because it would cause a revolution among listeners (look at Norrington's first effort, which does do this, and is still (unjustifiably) reviled to this day).  Listeners are very conservative as a group, and they like what they were brought up listening to, even if it isn't correct. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
SWR Stuttgart /  Norrington - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Presto - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2009, 04:58:50 AM
All hearing, of course, takes place in the mind.  Are not some composers' tempo indications based on actual performance and not just their imaginations?

As Beethoven was deaf at the time of the Choral, I suppose, that his "performance" must have taken place in his mind exclusively.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 10, 2009, 05:06:54 AM
Indeed they are, but not in the case of the 9th. Beethoven wrote an interesting letter to his publisher giving him the metronome markings and stressing that they were far more important for performance than the marked tempos were. In any case, there are very few recordings which adhere strictly to the metronome markings, and I suspect that at least in part it is because it would cause a revolution among listeners (look at Norrington's first effort, which does do this, and is still (unjustifiably) reviled to this day).  Listeners are very conservative as a group, and they like what they were brought up listening to, even if it isn't correct. :)

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 ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield 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. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: FideLeo 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  (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/times-present-and-times-past-the-metronome-blessing-or-curse-bayan-northcott-on-the-latest-attempt-to-solve-the-tempo-problems-of-beethovens-ninth-1531023.html)

I have always found Norrington's bizzare solutions to the mm problems to be untenable.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: FideLeo 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv 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?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: FideLeo 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 (http://tinyurl.com/pgr88c)

Maybe I ought to find the Early Music article by Dr Clive Brown referred to therein.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv 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 ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv 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 ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian 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).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jwinter 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jwinter 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2009, 06:23:39 AM
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.


Ah, but I MUST count the sound, at least a little. :)  Toscanini is on record (no pun) as saying that the 52 is his first satisfactory recorded performance. Interesting comment from you though: Karajan '63 follows Tosc. pretty closely in its execution?

Thanks,
8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2009, 06:26:02 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.

Well, that's truly the most I expect. I want to listen for various orchestral idiosyncrasies, and things like what repeats are taken and tempi etc., So in that case, I could easily be quite satisfied with what you are describing. :)


Thanks,
8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield on May 11, 2009, 08:23:09 AM
Interesting comment from you though: Karajan '63 follows Tosc. pretty closely in its execution?

Indeed. :) If I might put on my 'Karajan nerd' hat for a second, I believe Karajan literally had the 1952 Toscanini 9th constantly on the ready in the recording studio, as his reference whenever he had doubt about how a certain passage should be treated. (This is from Osborne's book.)


More anecdotally, his entire 1963 cycle seems largely a tribute to Toscanini: that would certainly explain his spectacular failure at the 6th, in trying to 'rigourise' it as the Maestro (who, however, had the artistic maturity to understand when things should not be rushed) might have wanted.

(The latter is, however, my theory - to be taken as such!)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2009, 08:40:39 AM
Indeed. :) If I might put on my 'Karajan nerd' hat for a second, I believe Karajan literally had the 1952 Toscanini 9th constantly on the ready in the recording studio, as his reference whenever he had doubt about how a certain passage should be treated. (This is from Osborne's book.)


More anecdotally, his entire 1963 cycle seems largely a tribute to Toscanini: that would certainly explain his spectacular failure at the 6th, in trying to 'rigourise' it as the Maestro (who, however, had the artistic maturity to understand when things should not be rushed) might have wanted.

(The latter is, however, my theory - to be taken as such!)

That's interesting. I am not a scholar of conductors, and was unaware of Toscanini's influence on von Karajan. I would have thought Furtwängler or maybe Klemperer if I had been pressed for an answer. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jwinter on May 11, 2009, 08:57:32 AM
That's interesting. I am not a scholar of conductors, and was unaware of Toscanini's influence on von Karajan. I would have thought Furtwängler or maybe Klemperer if I had been pressed for an answer. :)

8)

Certainly not Furtwangler -- from everything I've read, they hated each other's guts...  I have to admit, I don't hear a lot of Toscanini when I listen to Karajan -- I'll have to keep that in mind next time I give it a spin.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2009, 09:08:10 AM
Certainly not Furtwangler -- from everything I've read, they hated each other's guts...  I have to admit, I don't hear a lot of Toscanini when I listen to Karajan -- I'll have to keep that in mind next time I give it a spin.

Oh, I just pulled that name out of a hat (well, a German hat), wasn't trying to make a credible association there. But since I have an earlier Karajan (Philharmonia) that (isn't dated, but maybe 1954??) is close in time to the 52 Toscanini, a comparison could be interesting. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Scarpia on May 11, 2009, 09:13:59 AM
Karajan may have had an affinity with Toscanini, but he had a longstanding friendship with da Sabata and often expressed professional admiration for him.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield on May 11, 2009, 10:32:46 AM
Oh, I just pulled that name out of a hat (well, a German hat), wasn't trying to make a credible association there. But since I have an earlier Karajan (Philharmonia) that (isn't dated, but maybe 1954??) is close in time to the 52 Toscanini, a comparison could be interesting. :)

8)

Actually, I'd say the Philharmonia cycle is the much more 'Karajan' than anything else - it's the cycle he did after he acquired the 'reins' of his dream orchestra that seems to be where he made a point of going with Toscanini, interpretatively.

In general, however, it is (or would seem to be - I am no musicologist either) correct that there is a substantial influence by Furtwängler on Karajan, quite audible in the said Philharmonia cycle, despite my comment above; and then again very prominently in the very last, 1980's one.


Karajan may have had an affinity with Toscanini, but he had a longstanding friendship with da Sabata and often expressed professional admiration for him.

I don't remember ever reading about this, but it's hardly surprising, given Karajan's general affinity for the 'Italian school'.

Also, welcome back. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Scarpia on May 11, 2009, 12:04:07 PM
I don't remember ever reading about this, but it's hardly surprising, given Karajan's general affinity for the 'Italian school'.

Also, welcome back. :)

de Sabata was the one who helped Karajan escape to Italy in the final days of the war.  I also remember reading a few quotes of Karajan where he speaks of de Sabata an inspiration or mentor, although don't recall exactly where. 

And thanks!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 11, 2009, 02:37:38 PM
About this issue with the tempo in the march: if Norrington is far too slow and Gardiner is far too fast some might prefer the tempo Immerseel keeps.  He strikes a satisfying middle ground in this passage, though I find he's a tad too slow through the first few movements.  Just my two cents!  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 11, 2009, 04:09:39 PM
About this issue with the tempo in the march: if Norrington is far too slow and Gardiner is far too fast some might prefer the tempo Immerseel keeps.  He strikes a satisfying middle ground in this passage, though I find he's a tad too slow through the first few movements.  Just my two cents!  ;D

Yes, it's fair to say that Immerseel keeps more of a tempo ordinaire than your average "HIP" conductor. Since this is the most recently recorded of my period instrument performances, it will be interesting to see if this is the new trend; i.e. - getting away from the sometimes frenetic pace that "HIP" performance adopted in the early days. Don't know, just wondering out loud... :)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Alfred Brendel - Bia 175 WoO 73 Variations (10) in Bb on 'La Stessa, le Stessissima' from "Falstaff" by Salieri
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 11, 2009, 04:43:50 PM
Karajan may have had an affinity with Toscanini, but he had a longstanding friendship with da Sabata and often expressed professional admiration for him.



Check out the Karajan's biography written by Richard Osborne.  I have that book and it was a great read ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 11, 2009, 07:55:37 PM
As you see, my choices are all landmarks of one sort or another (like Fricsay being the first stereo).

How interesting. Do you mean landmarks as in:

Fried - first recording
Weingartner - first electrical recording
Toscanini - first LP recording

Something like that? Or something else entirely?

Weingartner's might be an interesting choice. It's been ages since I've heard anything by him but he's always had a place in my heart as the "historical age's" more 'classicist' man. Less interventionist yet no less interesting as a musician.

As far as transfers, for bang for your buck Naxos with MOT and Marston is hard to beat. Best transfer guys in the business at budget price. Though I couldn't say if they've actually transfered any of the three recordings you list.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 12, 2009, 03:34:31 AM
How interesting. Do you mean landmarks as in:

Fried - first recording
Weingartner - first electrical recording
Toscanini - first LP recording

Something like that? Or something else entirely?

Weingartner's might be an interesting choice. It's been ages since I've heard anything by him but he's always had a place in my heart as the "historical age's" more 'classicist' man. Less interventionist yet no less interesting as a musician.

As far as transfers, for bang for your buck Naxos with MOT and Marston is hard to beat. Best transfer guys in the business at budget price. Though I couldn't say if they've actually transfered any of the three recordings you list.

Yes, that's exactly what I had in mind. :)  Add the Fricsay (first stereo recording) and it makes a trail to follow. Although Weingartner did make a recording in 1926, before Fried. :-\

Anyway, yes, Naxos have done both the Fried and the Weingartner (they are on the way to my house as we speak), and the Toscanini is readily available anyway. I was just wanting to try and listen to the historical trail of this work, without putting fried eggs in my ears... ;D  Good to see your recommendation of these transfers, or at least of the people who did them.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sorin Eushayson on May 13, 2009, 04:45:49 PM
...it will be interesting to see if this is the new trend; i.e. - getting away from the sometimes frenetic pace that "HIP" performance adopted in the early days.

Give me frenetic tempi or give me death!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXz58ThczIA)  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 13, 2009, 05:05:34 PM
Give me frenetic tempi or give me death!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXz58ThczIA)  ;D

On Bach, it sounds good... :D  I'm not saying I don't like it (in the Beethoven), I'm just wondering out loud if things are beginning to change. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra / Zinman  Bronfman - Op 15 Concerto #1 in C for Piano 3rd mvmt - Rondo: Allegro scherzando
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on May 16, 2009, 05:08:03 AM
Good would be being as fast as written without sounding frenetic, I think.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 16, 2009, 05:18:30 AM
Good would be being as fast as written without sounding frenetic, I think.

Oh, yes indeed. And that is the challenge of the piece for conductors, I think. There are so many elements in play, and each is vitally important. To keep them all sorted out and blended correctly is the real challenge. Through most of the 19th century, it was performed with 2 conductors, one for the orchestra and one for the singers. I haven't seen it done this way during the recording era though. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Liverpool PO / Mackerras - Symphony #6 in F Op 68 1st mvmt - Pleasant, cheerful feelings awakened on arrival in the countryside: Allegro ma non troppo
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2009, 05:21:55 AM
Ah, but I MUST count the sound, at least a little. :)  Toscanini is on record (no pun) as saying that the 52 is his first satisfactory recorded performance. Interesting comment from you though: Karajan '63 follows Tosc. pretty closely in its execution?

Thanks,
8)

Unfortunately, most Toscanini's recordings are monaural.  Orchestral music recorded in mono just does not sound too nice.  Here is the only known stereo recording Toscanini had made and I have the CD ...



Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 16, 2009, 05:33:12 AM
Unfortunately, most Toscanini's recordings are monaural.  Orchestral music recorded in mono just does not sound too nice.  Here is the only known stereo recording Toscanini had made and I have the CD ...





Yes, I saw that one on Amazon and was tempted. :)  But I am not wanting to have every recording of it, rather, a good representation of how different conductors approached the work. And Toscanini is indispensable in that sort of review, wouldn't you say? So I avoided the earliest recordings, which he didn't like either, and went for the earliest one that he thought was adequate. It should be here today, so I will find out soon enough! If it isn't what I expect, the one you rec'd was my next choice.  ;)

In yesterday's mail came Berlin Opera Orchestra / Oskar Fried (1929), and I'm going to cheat a little bit and listen to it today while ripping it. A little surprise came from looking at the total time. 61:16, and it doesn't come from skipping repeats. I'm looking forward to hearing how he accomplishes this feat. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Liverpool PO / Mackerras - Symphony #6 in F Op 68 1st mvmt - Pleasant, cheerful feelings awakened on arrival in the countryside: Allegro ma non troppo
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2009, 01:20:24 PM
Yes, I saw that one on Amazon and was tempted. :)  But I am not wanting to have every recording of it, rather, a good representation of how different conductors approached the work. And Toscanini is indispensable in that sort of review, wouldn't you say? So I avoided the earliest recordings, which he didn't like either, and went for the earliest one that he thought was adequate. It should be here today, so I will find out soon enough! If it isn't what I expect, the one you rec'd was my next choice.  ;)

 

I have the Toscanini's Beethoven Symphonies.  I think it should be interesting to compare that set with the Karajan's EMI set from the 1950's ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 16, 2009, 01:39:57 PM
 

I have the Toscanini's Beethoven Symphonies.  I think it should be interesting to compare that set with the Karajan's EMI set from the 1950's ...

Yes it would. I have the Karajan set, but not the Toscanini (never, ever been a historical recording collector). When I get that 52 9th, though, comparing it with Karajan's 55 9th should be illuminating. And of course I will, since that was my whole idea in getting them. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Liverpool PO / Mackerras - Symphony #6 in F Op 68 2nd mvmt - Scene by the brook: Andante molto moto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 16, 2009, 01:47:38 PM
Yes it would. I have the Karajan set, but not the Toscanini (never, ever been a historical recording collector). When I get that 52 9th, though, comparing it with Karajan's 55 9th should be illuminating. And of course I will, since that was my whole idea in getting them. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Liverpool PO / Mackerras - Symphony #6 in F Op 68 2nd mvmt - Scene by the brook: Andante molto moto

Mackerras is an excellent conductor and I really like his Complete Mozart Symphonies on Telarc, which are among the very few Telarc recordings I own and like.  I just started getting into historical recordings recently in a bigger way - I bought the entire set of Beethoven Piano Sonatas by Artur Schnabel, all of Chopin Piano Works by Alfred Cortot on Naxos Historical.  I still have the Bach St Matthew Passion by RCO and Mengelberg and Wagner Mesitersinger by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Karajan to listen to.  For historical recordings, keyboard music is much more listenable.  On the other hand, symphonic works always sound thin for obvious reason ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 16, 2009, 02:02:10 PM
Mackerras is an excellent conductor and I really like his Complete Mozart Symphonies on Telarc, which are among the very few Telarc recordings I own and like.  I just started getting into historical recordings recently in a bigger way - I bought the entire set of Beethoven Piano Sonatas by Artur Schnabel, all of Chopin Piano Works by Alfred Cortot on Naxos Historical.  I still have the Bach St Matthew Passion by RCO and Mengelberg and Wagner Mesitersinger by the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Karajan to listen to.  For historical recordings, keyboard music is much more listenable.  On the other hand, symphonic works always sound thin for obvious reason ...

Yes, I also greatly enjoy MacKerras' Mozart, it's my favorite modern instruments version. I also enjoy his Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert, which says a lot for him, since they are all with different bands.

Before this, my only "historical" disks that I hung on to were Casals' Bach, Mozart's Horn Concertos with / Karajan and Brain (classic performances!), and Brahms' Piano Quartet & Quintet with Serkin and the Busch Quartet. All three (4 really) of those disks are untouchable, and I got them for the performances, not the historic value. So this is an exception to my personal rule (no recordings from before I was born (1951) ;D ).

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Royal Liverpool PO / Mackerras - Symphony #6 in F Op 68 5th mvmt - Shepherds' song: Beneficent feelings, combined with thanks to the deity, after the the storm: Allegretto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 17, 2009, 05:03:33 PM
Well, I stretched things a bit today, since the pounding rain kept me off the golf course, and listened to 2 9ths. The 1928 version with Berlin Opera Orchestra, and the 1935 version with the WP / Weingartner. I have to admit up front that this was a more enjoyable experience than I expected. And for different reasons.

First the Fried. Have to address the sound first, I guess. There is clearly the expected static on top of everything, but I discovered that I could make it listenable by turning the volume down lower than my usual (much to my wife's delight :) ). It isn't really that bad, but I am not a lover of, nor a frequent listener to, historical recordings, so I guess I am more sensitive than most regulars would have been. The other thing is that it seems like it was bass-boosted pretty heavily, so the bass is up front, but not in a clear way, rather more thumping than anything else. But I nitpick. What can you really expect from an acoustic 1928 recording transferred from a set of 78's? In any case, the playing was really very good and the singing likewise. The surprise is that the tempi are not rushed (it is 61:16 TT, after all), they are about the same as I would hope for from a performance today. Certainly quicker than from the more self-indulgent post-WWII era! I'm going to have to give it a much closer listening and take some notes, because I detected some "not in the score" reinforcements of the instruments, particularly during the "horror fanfare" at the beginning of the 4th movement. And unless there is some sound dropout (certainly possible), the double basses were not playing their recitative in the manner that we would expect to hear it today. Other than that section though, it was a pretty standard performance, not bad at all. :)

Weingartner, OTOH, had great sound. The orchestra kicked ass, and the soloists (especially the bass, Richard Mayr) were excellent. TT was 63:18, so another brisk performance. I was delighted that Weingartner did not indulge himself in the sort of orchestral rubato that is Furtwängler's hallmark. I wasn't sure how widespread or characteristic of the period that this sort of thing was. He does, however, have the trumpets doubling the first violins in the same place that Fried does, coming out of the opening fanfare of the 4th movement, and also leading into the bass' "O Freunde..." solo. This is a holdover from the Age of Wagner & Mahler, who did this sort of thing routinely, ostensibly to help Beethoven out a little bit... ::)  In all, this is an excellent version for its time.

Next week, something a lot newer, I think. After that, back to March, 1942...  ;)

8)



----------------
Listening to:
Concerto Köln - Rosetti Mur A28 Sinfonia  in Eb 4th mvmt - Finale: Allegro molto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on May 17, 2009, 06:16:20 PM
Interesting commentary, Gurn! I listened for the first time to the Hogwood today, and have to say I was let down. :( The tempi mostly worked - just not in relation to each other. The first movement was too slow to be pulse-pounding and too fast to be high-romantic drama, in a sort of stylistic netherland between the more interesting paths. The second movement was mighty fine, third movement absolutely glorious (loved it!), but although the finale started off well it got bogged down in the too-slow triple fugue. Really clear enunciation from the chorus, though not at all German-sounding; soloists were fabulous. All in all not one I'll be turning to too often, I'm afraid...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 10:13:16 AM
Here is an excellent B9 on DG by Karl Bohm.  I have had this LP for many years ...

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 22, 2009, 10:44:56 AM
Here is an excellent B9 on DG by Karl Bohm.  I have had this LP for many years ...



Coop,
Is that the 1970 recording or the 1982(?) one? I have them both on CD, but neither has this picture on the front... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 10:58:16 AM
Coop,
Is that the 1970 recording or the 1982(?) one? I have them both on CD, but neither has this picture on the front... :)

8)
 

It says 1970/1972 on the back of the LP cover.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 22, 2009, 11:15:43 AM
 

It says 1970/1972 on the back of the LP cover.

Ah, that's the one I like of the 2. The other one, while wonderfully played, simply is too slow. TT = 79:18 :o :o

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 11:29:06 AM
Ah, that's the one I like of the 2. The other one, while wonderfully played, simply is too slow. TT = 79:18 :o :o

8)

Gwyneth Jones was in this recording.  She is my favorite soprano for B9 ...

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 11:49:14 AM
Ah, that's the one I like of the 2. The other one, while wonderfully played, simply is too slow. TT = 79:18 :o :o

8)
 

I also have a B9 by Bohm on CD but that is the 1981 recording.  I have almost 30 versions of B9 and 17 Complete Symphonies ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 22, 2009, 11:54:44 AM
 

I also have a B9 by Bohm on CD but that is the 1981 recording.  I have almost 30 versions of B9 and 17 Complete Symphonies ...

17 complete cycles? That's a pretty good number. I don't know how many I have, probably not that many though. I do have 42 9ths though, 43 if you count the Liszt piano arrangement by Katsaris. I would have more, but it is getting difficult to find versions that are worth collecting. I'm not wanting to get just any version because it is a 9th, you know? I figure 50 is a nice number, I'll probably be able to quit then...  :-[

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 12:00:26 PM
17 complete cycles? That's a pretty good number. I don't know how many I have, probably not that many though. I do have 42 9ths though, 43 if you count the Liszt piano arrangement by Katsaris. I would have more, but it is getting difficult to find versions that are worth collecting. I'm not wanting to get just any version because it is a 9th, you know? I figure 50 is a nice number, I'll probably be able to quit then...  :-[

8)

I think there probably are no more than 20 versions of B9 that are worth collecting in all honesty.  Beethoven works make up my second largest sub-collection by composer, only JS Bach surpasses Beethoven and by a wide margin.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 22, 2009, 12:03:48 PM
I think there probably are no more than 20 versions of B9 that are worth collecting in all honesty.  Beethoven works make up my second largest sub-collection by composer, only JS Bach surpasses Beethoven and by a wide margin.

Yes, but you won't discover the 20 unless you try at least 21... :)  In any case, the 20 differs for everyone. Mine doesn't include anything from the pre-stereo age, for example, even though I have several. They aren't indispensable. You, however, may have a whole list from that era that you can't live without. A perfect example of why I didn't call this thread "20 best recordings of Beethoven's 9th".   :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 22, 2009, 12:12:43 PM
Yes, but you won't discover the 20 unless you try at least 21... :)  In any case, the 20 differs for everyone. Mine doesn't include anything from the pre-stereo age, for example, even though I have several. They aren't indispensable. You, however, may have a whole list from that era that you can't live without. A perfect example of why I didn't call this thread "20 best recordings of Beethoven's 9th".   :D

8)

My individual B9's include recordings by Furtwangler (2x), Karajan (2x), Toscanini, etc and also a number of SACD's.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Valentino on May 22, 2009, 12:40:51 PM
The Fricsay/Berliner Philharmoniker stereo #1 is quite enjoyable I must say.

Why don't we get Savall or Grossmann to do the number nine, btw?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 22, 2009, 02:02:55 PM
The Fricsay/Berliner Philharmoniker stereo #1 is quite enjoyable I must say.

Why don't we get Savall or Grossmann to do the number nine, btw?

Yes, that's in my 20 50 too. Clearly one of the landmark recordings, IMO.

I would be delighted to hear that they had. As it is now, the only period instrument recording that I don't have is Brüggen, but I have hopes. I saw that it had actually been released as a single disk once, but it is long OOP, of course. ::)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Ingo Goritzki - CPE Bach Concerto in c for Oboe and Violin 2nd mvmt - Largo overo adagio
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 11:07:49 AM
Yes, but you won't discover the 20 unless you try at least 21... :) 

You have a point there.  The US housing bubble was not a bubble until it had burst ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 11:56:06 AM
Well, true to my word, I went well forward in time this week, to the 21st century in fact. Sticking with Central Europe still, I listened to the Budapest Philharmonic / Rico Saccani. If I understand the situation in Hungary correctly, the State supported several orchestras, and a few years ago they withdrew their support, so this lovely band is now disbanded. More's the pity. :(

This performance (live) was tightly woven with really nice work from the winds. Saccani keeps a solid tempo, perhaps a bit closer to old-style than new, but not to where it would bother either preference. I thought the Scherzo was really quite fine. The choral section was nicely done, although they nearly threw the bit at the end before he reined them in for the final bit by the soloists. All in all, a nice, enjoyable performance. :)

New versions this week:
Budapest PO / Saccani
Munich PO / Celibidache
NBC Orchestra / Toscanini (1952) finally arrived

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 12 Trio in Eb for Strings 1st mvmt - Adagio
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 12:05:10 PM
NBC Orchestra / Toscanini (1952) finally arrived

8)

 

I zipped through this set when I first got it and really have not developed any long-lasting impression in the recordings.  Karajan was supposed to follow Toscanini closely early in his career ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 12:09:17 PM
 

I zipped through this set when I first got it and really have not developed any long-lasting impression in the recordings.  Karajan was supposed to follow Toscanini closely early in his career ...

Yes, someone mentioned that, and I plan on listening to Toscanini 52 followed closely by Karajan 55 to see if there are similarities in any peculiarities I may hear. One would expect the early Karajan to be more Toscanini-esque before he was solidly set in his own idiom if at all. :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 12 Trio in Eb for Strings 3rd mvmt - Tempo di Menuet
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 12:13:33 PM
Yes, someone mentioned that, and I plan on listening to Toscanini 52 followed closely by Karajan 55 to see if there are similarities in any peculiarities I may hear. One would expect the early Karajan to be more Toscanini-esque before he was solidly set in his own idiom if at all. :)

8)

 

Bruno Walter was another conductor from across the pond that Karajan followed closely before WWII.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 12:17:00 PM
 

Bruno Walter was another conductor from across the pond that Karajan followed closely before WWII.

Yes, I've read that. I am sorely lacking a performance by him. Any rec's?

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 20 Trio in G for Strings 2nd mvmt - Menuet - Trio
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 12:20:24 PM
Yes, I've read that. I am sorely lacking a performance by him. Any rec's?

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 20 Trio in G for Strings 2nd mvmt - Menuet - Trio
   

Someone recommended this recording a while back but I have not bought it yet ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGC8HH64L._SS400_.jpg)

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 12:22:51 PM
   

Someone recommended this recording a while back but I have not bought it yet ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AGC8HH64L._SS400_.jpg)



Yes, but the 9 appears to be upside down... :-\  :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 12:29:13 PM
I see one with the Columbia Symphony on Sony from 1959. Stereo. Perhaps it is the only choice right now? :)

8)

At Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-No-9-Choral/dp/B000002A7S/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1243200227&sr=1-5)

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Listening to: Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro[/url]
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 12:30:45 PM
Yes, but the 9 appears to be upside down... :-\  :)

8)

----------------
Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro
 

This could be a good one.  I have bought quite a few historical recordings on ORFEO ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YS9MF53KL._SS500_.jpg)

I have this Karajan 9th as well ...

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 24, 2009, 12:32:41 PM
Yes, that Orfeo does look like a good 'un. I'll have to have a go at that one. Thanks. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 2nd mvmt - Menuet - Trio
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 24, 2009, 12:40:33 PM
Yes, that Orfeo does look like a good 'un. I'll have to have a go at that one. Thanks. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 2nd mvmt - Menuet - Trio
 

The Karajan 9th shown above has lots of raw energy and not legato'ed to death like Karajan's recordings from the 70's.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on May 24, 2009, 11:17:35 PM
I see one with the Columbia Symphony on Sony from 1959. Stereo. Perhaps it is the only choice right now? :)

8)

At Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-No-9-Choral/dp/B000002A7S/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1243200227&sr=1-5)

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Listening to: Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 1st mvmt - Allegro[/url]

It's the 'dog' of the BW LvB cycle and mainly because of the soloists and choir. I haven't heard the Orfeo but I have a much better 9th from Walter

(http://www.musicandarts.com/CDpages/CD1155.jpg)

This is the 1949 recording with the '53 ' IV inserted. What happened to the rest of the '53 performance.

I also have the complete 1949 performance with the original soloists
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on May 25, 2009, 01:07:51 AM
Like a rash, every so often a "Favorite LvB 9th" discussion seems to break out.  ;D

Here's a little three-partite list of my favorites (in five different, somewhat arbitrarily construed categories):

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 1) (http://weta.org/fm/blog/?p=353)

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 2) (http://weta.org/fm/blog/?p=360)

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 3) (http://weta.org/fm/blog/?p=370)

In brief:

Historic
Beethoven, Symphony No.9, Furtwängler in Lucerne

Burnished
Beethoven, Symphony No.9, Barenboim / Staatskapelle Berlin

HIP
Beethoven, Symphony No.9, Gardiner/ ORR

Modern
Beethoven, Symphony No.9, Vänskä / Minnesota Orchestra

Standard
Beethoven, Symphony No.9, Abbado / BPh - Salzburg

My true favorites being Abbado/Salzburg (!!), Barenboim, Fricsay (!)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on May 25, 2009, 02:31:23 AM
I have just looked out my modest list of thr 9th.

Furtwangler 51Live
Toscanini 52
Karajan 62
Bernstein 80 Live
Mackerras 91
Katsaris on piano, my favourite

I have started some comparative listening on the first two. I suppose I could have written the following without listening, but just to look at the first movement for a moment. Toscanini is tauter, he has a plan a route, he energizes everyone through it.  

Furtwangler feels more as though the performance is an exploration; it is much slower, with more inbuilt ebb and flow. He starts the symphony more ‘tentatively’ a mystery, conjuring something out of the silence; and when that opening returns, again, it seems uncertain. I am not referring to some inadequacy; it is about an approach and bringing different things out of the music. Toscanini has certainty, everything well drilled including the opening, it is very exciting indeed. I wonder though whether he fulfills the poco maestoso?

Back with Furtwangler, he had an altogether different kind of beat, sometimes claimed to be infirm, but I feel it was to do with the sound he wanted, a different kind of music making. I don't prefer one above the other. However, with the muscularity that Toscanini brings out of both the first and second movements, they make less of a contrast than Furtwangler finds. The mood substantially the same.

As far as the simple timings are concerned:
Toscanini comes in at the 13 minute mark for both first and second movements
Furtwangler is 17 minutes for movement 1 and only 12 for the second, Molto vivace' movement.

The bar by bar rhythms are not leapt upon by F, whereas for Toscanini in that second movement, the propulsion is as much about striking the rhythms, hitting the beats as it is about speed. There are many differences of approach. Even within the shorter second movement timings, Furtwangler uses more flexibility in speed.

Moving onto the third movement; Furtwangler's performance has some real lapses of ensemble and some intonation problems. But over all, again, it is the feeling of an exploration I enjoy, I feel part of it, as against having it all laid out for me as per Toscanini. However, the Toscanini 3rd movement is deft, not driven and is in no danger of falling apart.

Mike



Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Kuhlau on May 25, 2009, 02:57:53 AM
Rather than go over all my old arguments about which recordings of this work I like best and why, here's a link to my review of Rattle's much-maligned take with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (http://aneverymanforhimself.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/review-2-beethoven-symphony-no-9-choral/) on EMI. The comments section has discussion of a few other versions I admire.

FK
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on May 25, 2009, 05:41:22 AM
Does anyone know if Eschenbach has ever recorded the Beethoven 9th?  I think he might have performed it with the Houston Symphony and NPR might have broadcast it ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 25, 2009, 06:16:42 AM
Thank you all for your interesting replies. You've been busy while I slept... :)

Holden:
Are you saying that this '49 - '53 Walter is one that I should go for in order to hear Walter's unique style? I have heard that he has a particular touch with this work that makes him unique in his way. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I don't want every recording ever made (especially the historic ones), but I would like to hear the greats in action. :)

Jens:
Yes, although this one (as you can tell from the thread title) was not intended to be contentious in any way, nor any sort of "greatest recording of the XXX" sort of thing. It is merely a listening log for me, and a way to get people to talk about... recordings that they enjoy. :)  I had read one or two of your links previously and enjoyed what you had to say. If you go back to the first post here you will see that I have divided up my own recordings in a similar fashion, since that is the only way they make sense. I have since considered going back and further subdividing the "Traditional" category into stereo era and pre-historicstereo, since 1958 makes a nice dividing line stylistically anyway.

Mike:
That is a nice selection you have there. I have all of those with the exception that my 2 Furtwänglers bracket yours (I have March 42 and Lucerne 54). Interesting comments. I had overlooked adding the Katsaris to my list, and for no good reason. I've often thought that if Gould played it in his typical manner, we wouldn't even be losing out on the singing... :D

Kuhlau:
Interesting blog and review of Rattle there. Almost have ME wanting to get it! In any case, I did enjoy your rec of Herreweghe, that's a nice version which should be better known. Not so sure I agree with you about Vänskä, since I also enjoy IT a lot. But that's the taste difference which makes life interesting. :)

Coop:
If it has been done, I have never seen it on offer, and that's the sort of thing I would have noticed. :-\

Thanks all,
8)


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Listening to:
Gerard Poulet / Noel Lee - Saint Saëns - Op 075 Sonata #1 in d for Violin & Piano 1st mvmt - Allegro agitato - attacca
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Que on May 25, 2009, 10:18:38 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YS9MF53KL._SS500_.jpg)

Yes, that Orfeo does look like a good 'un. I'll have to have a go at that one. Thanks. :)

8)

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Listening to:
Camerata Berolinensis - Hob 05 16 Trio in C for Strings 2nd mvmt - Menuet - Trio

Best LvB 9th I've heard by Walter so far, sadly a flawed last movement.

Q
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Que on May 25, 2009, 10:21:16 AM
It's the 'dog' of the BW LvB cycle and mainly because of the soloists and choir. I haven't heard the Orfeo but I have a much better 9th from Walter

(http://www.musicandarts.com/CDpages/CD1155.jpg)

This is the 1949 recording with the '53 ' IV inserted. What happened to the rest of the '53 performance.

I also have the complete 1949 performance with the original soloists

There is no rest of the '53 recording. Walter redid just the last mvt because he was dissatisfied with that part of the '49 recording.

Q
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 25, 2009, 10:22:01 AM
Best LvB 9th I've heard by Walter so far, sadly a flawed last movement.

Q

That seems to be a common theme with his recordings of the 9th. Perhpas we tack the '53 last movement on to this one, too. :D

8)

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Listening to:
Vandeville / Louchart / Rouault - Loius Jadin - Premiere fantasie concertante for Oboe & Piano 2nd mvmt - Andante con expressione
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on May 25, 2009, 10:44:52 AM
Yes, I can see from that cover illustration that Walter was unhappy about something.

I gave the Karajan 63 a whirl, well, the first three movements. I enjoyed it a great deal, steers a mid course between the Toscanini and the Furtwangler. I would be interested to know whether Karajan's earlier version is more like the Toscanini.

I see several here have the Solti Chicago version. I had it on LP and thought it was good, but I never replaced it on CD. How does it stand up?

As a footnote to Mark's review of Rattle. I don't recall the professional reviews at all. But I was in chorus for his very first performance of the 9th. He did it with a chamber orchestra I think and a large chamber choir. It was swift, clear textures, boring and did not seem to come across as having a POV. But it was his first attempt and he may well have rethought it a lot. Certainly in scale, I assume the VPO would mean the big band approach.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 25, 2009, 10:52:44 AM
Yes, I can see from that cover illustration that Walter was unhappy about something.

He seems to look that way in all his photos. I assumed diverticulosis... ;)

Quote
I gave the Karajan 63 a whirl, well, the first three movements. I enjoyed it a great deal, steers a mid course between the Toscanini and the Furtwangler. I would be interested to know whether Karajan's earlier version is more like the Toscanini.

I have always enjoyed this particular recording. Especially for the soloists and chorus. Tune in next Sunday, since I will be listening to Toscanini 52 and Karajan 55 back-to-back and trying to draw some inferences from that. :)

Quote
I see several here have the Solti Chicago version. I had it on LP and thought it was good, but I never replaced it on CD. How does it stand up?

I only have the 86 version, not the one from 1970 or so that is the beloved of the elite. Since it was my first CD of this work, I actually like it a lot, I think it compares well with many of the "classics" from the 60's and 70's. But hey, that's just me... :)



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Listening to:
Vandeville / Louchart / Rouault - Louis Jadin - Nocturne #2 in c for Oboe & Piano - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on May 25, 2009, 10:58:30 AM
He seems to look that way in all his photos. I assumed diverticulosis... ;)
;D

I have always enjoyed this particular recording. Especially for the soloists and chorus. Tune in next Sunday, since I will be listening to Toscanini 52 and Karajan 55 back-to-back and trying to draw some inferences from that. :)
Suddenly the reason for three ex-wives becomes clear....
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 25, 2009, 11:04:06 AM
;D

Well, I can easily imagine that look on my own face at one time... :)


Quote
Suddenly the reason for three ex-wives becomes clear....

No, no, only 2 ex-wives. The 3rd has managed to hang on for 28 years and still going strong. Despite her protestations, I think she secretly adores Beethoven's music... ;)

8)


----------------
Listening to:
Vandeville / Louchart / Rouault - Louis Jadin - Nocturne #1 in a for Oboe & Piano 2nd mvmt - Andantino
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Henritus on May 25, 2009, 08:10:53 PM
There is no rest of the '53 recording. Walter redid just the last mvt because he was dissatisfied with that part of the '49 recording.

Q

Wow, Walter could do that? Hard to imagine any conductor pulling that stuff in modern days.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on May 25, 2009, 11:25:39 PM
 
Wow, Walter could do that? Hard to imagine any conductor pulling that stuff in modern days.
I may have a claim to fame here. When the late John Wilson was remastering the early Walter cycle for M&A all he had was the complete 1949 performance and no '53 IV. As a member of rmcr he put out an appeal to anyone who had the performance with the '53 ending. By coincidence I had picked up an early Columbia Masterworks CD of this 9th with the '53 ending second hand at a store in Sydney that was already long oop. He asked me if I could send him a copy which I duly did.

At this point in time I had no idea who John Wilson was and when he thanked me and said whatever you don't have, let me know and I can get you a copy I didn't get too excited, I ws just happy to help someone out. To me he was just a regular poster on rmcr.

When I finally discovered who he actually was it was a bit too far down the track to say "Hey mate, you haven't discovered any Rachmaninov plays Beethoven hidden away in the vaults have you?"

Anyway, it's a possibility that the 4th (53) movement on that CD came from what I sent John and then again he might have got a better/different copy. It makes a good story I suppose.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Drasko on May 26, 2009, 01:52:00 AM


First the Fried..... the bass is up front, but not in a clear way, rather more thumping than anything else..., the double basses were not playing their recitative in the manner that we would expect to hear it today. Other than that section though, it was a pretty standard performance, not bad at all. :)


Could be result of bass tuba doubling double basses, it was pretty standard procedure in them very olden days of recording. Not that I know that it was done on that particular recording.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 31, 2009, 05:08:41 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys. Sorry I didn't have time to get back and reply... :-\   Drasko, it is a pleasure to see you back!   :)

Well, I did listen to both the Toscanini '52 and the Karajan '55 today, as promised. Both very enjoyable versions, and certainly there were some similarities in style, but I would be hard put to isolate any one of them and say "this is clearly a place where Toscanini influenced Karajan". I don't know enough about the history of conductors at that time, so it is hard to pick out influences, at least it is harder than saying "well, Furtwängler certainly didn't influence either of them! :)   In any case, if I was picking one for more listening, it would be the Karajan / Philharmonia. I really enjoyed the playing by this orchestra, and the conducting was more to my taste than the later versions I have heard from Karajan ('63 & '77). Plenty of con brio to go around, and really fine choral work and soloists too.

8)

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Listening to:
Ensemble Baroque de Limoges / Quattuor Mosaiques - Hob 02 32 Divertimento (Notturno) #3 in C for 2 Lyra Organizattas 2nd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 02, 2010, 05:52:25 AM
Here is a 9th that I have bought but not received yet.  I have only seen this conductor's name, I don't think I have ever heard anything that he has done.  Franz Konwitschny. I got this 9th, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UqobE0LLL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

As nearly as I can tell it was recorded in 1960.

If you are like me, you see some things and it makes you wonder. I'll be honest, I never associated the 9th with balloons, but the day before I bought the Konwitschny, I found this disk which I also snapped up really quickly, because it was a period instruments version that I had never heard of:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D8xdsxDmL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It is done by Le Chambre Philharmonique / Emmanuel Krivine / Choeur de Chambre Les Elements. At a guess I'd say they were French. :)  I should be getting them both on the same day (with luck) and once I get past the balloons I will see how they stack up. If I'm not mistaken, they should have as much contrast in style as any pair of 9th's I've ever acquired.  :D

Does anyone here know anything about Konwitschny?

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Drasko on September 02, 2010, 06:22:13 AM
Quote
Does anyone here know anything about Konwitschny?

East-German, Czech born. Very solid old school Kapellmeister. Mostly worked in Leipzig and Dresden. Died here in Belgrade, while rehearsing Missa Solemnis. Recordings-wise I'm familiar with rather middle of the road Schumann cycle, very good Bruckner 2nd and few damn fine recordings with Czech Philharmonic (my favorite Schubert 9th and disc with Wagner Overtures). His Beethoven symphonies and some Wagner operas have been favorably regarded by collectors but I'm not familiar with either.

Here is another Beethoven 9th you probably haven't heard (just picked the links from rmcr, have no idea is it any good, LP transfer by Ward Marston)

Beethoven 9th:
Yoko Watanabe, soprano
Yonako Nagano, alto
Akihiko Fujunuma, tenor
Yoshinobu Kuribayashi, baritone
Nikkai Chorus
Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
Hidemaro Konoye, cond.
Recorded Sept. 6, 12, 13, 1968
Transferred from LP Kenshu SK 318
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=H515AMK4
 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 02, 2010, 06:30:20 AM
East-German, Czech born. Very solid old school Kapellmeister. Mostly worked in Leipzig and Dresden. Died here in Belgrade, while rehearsing Missa Solemnis. Recordings-wise I'm familiar with rather middle of the road Schumann cycle, very good Bruckner 2nd and few damn fine recordings with Czech Philharmonic (my favorite Schubert 9th and disc with Wagner Overtures). His Beethoven symphonies and some Wagner operas have been favorably regarded by collectors but I'm not familiar with either.

Here is another Beethoven 9th you probably haven't heard (just picked the links from rmcr, have no idea is it any good, LP transfer by Ward Marston)

Beethoven 9th:
Yoko Watanabe, soprano
Yonako Nagano, alto
Akihiko Fujunuma, tenor
Yoshinobu Kuribayashi, baritone
Nikkai Chorus
Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
Hidemaro Konoye, cond.
Recorded Sept. 6, 12, 13, 1968
Transferred from LP Kenshu SK 318
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=H515AMK4

Oh, OK, thanks for the info. I see a few recordings with the Leipzig guys, so he probably was there for a while. I suspect that I will like this version, given my taste for Bohemians anyway. We'll see. :)

As for the Japanese 9th, no, you can bet that's a new one! Can't wait to hear it. Thanks for the link. :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 02, 2010, 06:56:33 AM
Yup, I have the boxset, which contains one of my favourite 6ths:

(http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/8945/29313822.jpg)

The booklet contains some interesting notes on The Beethoven tradition of the Leipzig Gewandhaus including a short piece on Konwitschny's tenure as Kapellmeister, which I would happily copy if that reissue turns to be disk only, as some of them do.

Soapy,
Thanks for that info.

By all means, if it turns out that you are right about liner notes, I would love to have them. I hate when they do that, although I suppose it's inevitable with bargain reissues. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on September 02, 2010, 01:15:02 PM
East-German, Czech born. Very solid old school Kapellmeister. Mostly worked in Leipzig and Dresden. Died here in Belgrade, while rehearsing Missa Solemnis. Recordings-wise I'm familiar with rather middle of the road Schumann cycle, very good Bruckner 2nd and few damn fine recordings with Czech Philharmonic (my favorite Schubert 9th and disc with Wagner Overtures). His Beethoven symphonies and some Wagner operas have been favorably regarded by collectors but I'm not familiar with either.

Teacher of Heinz Fricke (now retiring MD of the WNO). And, according to Fricke, the one who told him the line that has since become almost common-place: "Have the score in your head, not your head in the score."
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 02, 2010, 04:04:49 PM
Oh, here's another new (to me) one that I forgot to mention. It's funny because I read people writing about Karajan all the time, but I totally missed any reference to this:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanLive79cover.jpg)

Unlike most of you (apparently) I don't have the '77 or '83 (?) versions, only the '55 and '63, so this filled in the gap in his later output quite nicely. I've only had 1 go at it so far, so no solid opinion of it yet, but I liked what I heard, even though it was in the same vein as most traditional recordings. :)

8)

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Now playing:
Martin van de Merwe & Jos Buurman / Horns - K 496a 487 12 Duos for 2 Horns #03 - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on September 02, 2010, 05:59:47 PM
Oh, here's another new (to me) one that I forgot to mention. It's funny because I read people writing about Karajan all the time, but I totally missed any reference to this:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanLive79cover.jpg)

Unlike most of you (apparently) I don't have the '77 or '83 (?) versions, only the '55 and '63, so this filled in the gap in his later output quite nicely.


Heh.  Not only do I not have the later versions, I don't have the 55 and 63. Nor, since I have almost a dozen recordings of the Ninth, do I have any great motivation to get it.  I have, in fact, very little Karajan at all--in Beethoven, only a set of the complete overtures and a Missa Solemnis paired with Mozart's Coronation Mass.  His style just doesn't appeal to me.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 03, 2010, 03:18:36 AM
Heh.  Not only do I not have the later versions, I don't have the 55 and 63. Nor, since I have almost a dozen recordings of the Ninth, do I have any great motivation to get it.  I have, in fact, very little Karajan at all--in Beethoven, only a set of the complete overtures and a Missa Solemnis paired with Mozart's Coronation Mass.  His style just doesn't appeal to me.

Can't argue with that. I don't have a lot of Karajan, certainly not more than 1 version of any particular work, but the 9th is always an exception for me in so many ways. Including this one. 3 versions! That's OTT for me!  :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 12, 2010, 06:15:39 AM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Konwitschnycover.jpg)

Listened to this today, it arrived while I was on vacation so I had a new 9th (#60!) to greet my return. :)

Not much of a reviewer (as most of you know), but here are some impressions anyway;

This recording dates from 1960. Sound is very nice and clear, although perhaps just a bit on the thin side (didn't have the volume cranked up though so that might be unfair). The playing of the Leipzig Gewandhaus is every bit as good as I have found it to be in other recordings. The only point I would contend is the Baß recititavo in the opening of the final movement. The basses just had a bit of bother with it and it comes off muddy. The chorus and soloists were also very good. I thought that the soloists cranked up a bit more vibrato (coloratura?)than I am used to, but that might be an artifact of time and place. In any case, there was no discernible straining for the high notes as you sometimes hear in this most difficult of pieces.

While this would be classified as a "traditional" recording, I noticed a few points where the tempos were rather forward looking. For example, one of my main points of contention with some versions is that the "Turkish" section and subsequent fugue are taken either way to fast or way too slow. Konwitschny is the earliest example of a conductor who slows the march down, but doesn't go too far with it. I hope Sarge reads this and maybe has access to a copy of it too. Here is a march that we could agree on, at last! In fact, I would be hard put to name a better take on it.

All in all, a delightful surprise, since I was expecting a pretty routine performance and got a far better one than that. $5 well spent!  :D

Soapy was right though, not a wisp of liner note, not even very much writing on the box, just the performers names and the 4 track main tempos. Pity, really, but they don't want to give you too much for your money. ;)

8)

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Now playing:
Wiener Philharmoniker / Bernstein 1980 G. Jones / H. Schwarz / R. Kollo / K. Moll Vienna State Opera Chorus - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 1st mvmt - Allegro ma non toppo, un poco maestoso
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2010, 11:44:55 AM
 

This could be a good one.  I have bought quite a few historical recordings on ORFEO ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61YS9MF53KL._SS500_.jpg)
Best LvB 9th I've heard by Walter so far, sadly a flawed last movement.

Q

Q,
What exactly does it mean "sadly, a flawed last movement"?  I mean, are we talking about the whole thing sucks from first to last? Or there's a couple of missed noted among the players/singers?  ???

I was just getting ready to pull the trigger on this disk, and I remembered that we had this conversation last year so I came and looked it up. I would quite like to have a Walter, and can't find the other one under discussion here (the 49/53), but would like to be pleased with this one if possible. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Philoctetes on September 16, 2010, 12:00:46 PM
Bernstein is easily my favorite. There's just so much joy. I've never seen anyone so happy to conduct.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2010, 12:05:03 PM
Bernstein is easily my favorite. There's just so much joy. I've never seen anyone so happy to conduct.

Well, as an historical document, and for the qualities that you mention, yes, it IS quite a performance. One could nitpick it to death on purely musical grounds, but I don't think that's what it's about. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Philoctetes on September 16, 2010, 12:07:27 PM
Well, as an historical document, and for the qualities that you mention, yes, it IS quite a performance. One could nitpick it to death on purely musical grounds, but I don't think that's what it's about. :)

8)

Well for me it is the fulfillment of my idea of what the music is supposed to sound like. It was completely unbounded. I mean you just want to jump with him.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2010, 12:21:10 PM
Well for me it is the fulfillment of my idea of what the music is supposed to sound like. It was completely unbounded. I mean you just want to jump with him.

And that is certainly what this thread is about; recordings that you enjoy. I have Bernstein with the NYPO and much later with the WP, and in fact I have this one on a DVD (bootleg). He always seems to me like someone who really loves the music in this work. Add the extra zest of the fall of the Wall and there is little between many of the people there (including LB) and ecstasy. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Que on September 16, 2010, 11:15:06 PM
Best LvB 9th I've heard by Walter so far, sadly a flawed last movement.

Q


Q,
What exactly does it mean "sadly, a flawed last movement"?  I mean, are we talking about the whole thing sucks from first to last? Or there's a couple of missed noted among the players/singers?  ???

I was just getting ready to pull the trigger on this disk, and I remembered that we had this conversation last year so I came and looked it up. I would quite like to have a Walter, and can't find the other one under discussion here (the 49/53), but would like to be pleased with this one if possible. :)

8)

Gurn, I mean the movement in general. Earlier comment HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2638.msg68771.html#msg68771) !  Check PM.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: The new erato on September 17, 2010, 01:37:34 AM


Does anyone here know anything about Konwitschny?

8)
A very fine Beethoven violin concerto with Suk and the CPO on Supraphon - and a fine supplement to Suk's version with Boult.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 17, 2010, 03:17:22 AM
Gurn, I mean the movement in general. Earlier comment HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,2638.msg68771.html#msg68771) !  Check PM.  :)

Q

Ah, I was afraid you did, although I have seen people write about an entire symphony being the shits, and it turned out to be because of one foul note by a horn in the 3rd movement. ::)  Had to check. :)

Well, I see your expanded comment in that other thread. It isn't enough to put me off, although it does make me stop and think for a moment. But no, in my group of historical recordings I have the reputedly great conductors, I really need a Walter there. So if this is the best I can do (lacking access to that hybrid 49/53 version), I will do it and be happy. Thanks for the commentary, most illuminating. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 17, 2010, 03:19:45 AM
A very fine Beethoven violin concerto with Suk and the CPO on Supraphon - and a fine supplement to Suk's version with Boult.

I can see me grabbing that Suk Beethoven if I come across it. As it turned out, I was quite favorably inclined towards his 9th, as I reviewed briefly this past Sunday. For recordings of that era (1960), I thought it had a lot of features in tempo and performance that I usually associate with recordings of the 1990's. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 23, 2010, 03:20:39 AM
I bought this today, having heard or read absolutely nothing about it. Anyone specifically heard this? London SO / Haitink.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PHBPC8KEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Amazon's 6 reviewers say 4 or 5 stars, but that has little value since apparently only people who like things post a review there... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on September 23, 2010, 03:22:53 AM
Hmmm - I quite like some of the LSO Live recordings (esp 7, 8 ) but haven't heard the Ninth!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on September 23, 2010, 03:49:41 PM
Hmmm - I quite like some of the LSO Live recordings (esp 7, 8 ) but haven't heard the Ninth!

This is one of the 24 Beethoven cycles I have.  For B9, I actually prefer the version by the RCO and Haitink, recorded on Philips in the late 70's ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 23, 2010, 03:55:38 PM
The Furtwangler "Nazi" era recording is my favorite. Also, alot of people will hate me for this, but the Furtwangler features the only 3rd movement of this symphony that l can listen to without falling asleep.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 23, 2010, 03:58:01 PM
Hmmm - I quite like some of the LSO Live recordings (esp 7, 8 ) but haven't heard the Ninth!

This is my first recording of anything on their own label. It would be a 9th, of course. :)  I like Haitink anyway, so that's a good start. I also have the LSO in this work, for sure under Jochum and also Giulini, and maybe 1 or 2 others...  :-[    So we'll see how it goes. :)

This is one of the 24 Beethoven cycles I have.  For B9, I actually prefer the version by the RCO and Haitink, recorded on Philips in the late 70's ...

I like that 9th too (and that cycle, for that matter). In another 3 months, I will have 3 extra 9ths to add to each of your complete cycles. Sort of rounding them out... :D

8)


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Now playing:
Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder  Hogwood - K 318 Symphony #32 in G 2nd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 23, 2010, 04:00:49 PM
The Furtwangler "Nazi" era recording is my favorite. Also, alot of people will hate me for this, but the Furtwangler features the only 3rd movement of this symphony that l can listen to without falling asleep.

As an historical document it is very interesting, as a result it is good to own, and for an occasional listen. Really and truly, and nothing against it, just sayin'; it isn't Beethoven's 9th, it's Furtwängler's 9th. Well, with a little help from Wagner & Co. :)

----------------
Now playing:
Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder  Hogwood - K 318 Symphony #32 in G 2nd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on September 23, 2010, 06:36:09 PM
This is my first recording of anything on their own label. It would be a 9th, of course. :)  I like Haitink anyway, so that's a good start. I also have the LSO in this work, for sure under Jochum and also Giulini, and maybe 1 or 2 others...  :-[    So we'll see how it goes. :)



I like the LSO Live Schopfung....

As for the work actually being discussed on this topic, my two favorites are almost literally the extremes on either end--Gardiner/ORR from their Beethoven cycle for the short, and Bohm/VPO for the long (very long--has there been anyone who's gone over the 80 minute mark?)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 12:32:20 AM
As an historical document it is very interesting, as a result it is good to own, and for an occasional listen. Really and truly, and nothing against it, just sayin'; it isn't Beethoven's 9th, it's Furtwängler's 9th. Well, with a little help from Wagner & Co. :)

----------------
Now playing:
Academy of Ancient Music / Schröder  Hogwood - K 318 Symphony #32 in G 2nd mvmt - Andante


I think you have a very good point here. To me, it's a powerful performance, and the irony of it all really wins me over each time I listen.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:14:36 AM

I think you have a very good point here. To me, it's a powerful performance, and the irony of it all really wins me over each time I listen.

Absolutely, Andy. It is brimful of passion and power. And yes, irony too. :D  Furtwängler was one of the last of the generation that took works from before their time and made them into "modern and up-to-date" interpretations. It was a style that is pretty much dead now, but he did it to perfection.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:17:34 AM
I like the LSO Live Schopfung....

As for the work actually being discussed on this topic, my two favorites are almost literally the extremes on either end--Gardiner/ORR from their Beethoven cycle for the short, and Bohm/VPO for the long (very long--has there been anyone who's gone over the 80 minute mark?)

Ah, Gardiner & Böhm! The antipodes of 9th performance!  :D  It seems to me that somewhere I read about a performance that was longer than that, but Böhm is my personal record setter at a few seconds under 80 min. I have Celibidache too, and he doesn't threaten Böhm in any way. Scary , eh?  :o :o

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 03:18:06 AM
Absolutely, Andy. It is brimful of passion and power. And yes, irony too. :D  Furtwängler was one of the last of the generation that took works from before their time and made them into "modern and up-to-date" interpretations. It was a style that is pretty much dead now, but he did it to perfection.

8)

Of course, there are ridiculous extremes in this area: G. Gould's Beethoven interpretations were a little too "personal", for me at least.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:24:23 AM
Of course, there are ridiculous extremes in this area: G. Gould's Beethoven interpretations were a little too "personal", for me at least.

Oh yeah, me too. Once was enough! :o

Historically, there has always been a dichotomy between following the perceived intent of the composer vs. interpreter's wishes reign supreme. At times the popular sentiment swings way over to interpreter, and right now it has swung back the other way. My personal taste is towards composer's intent is supreme, so I'm at my peak of happiness at this point in history. 10 years from now, in the event that I'm still alive, I will probably be totally on the outside of prevailing taste. So it goes. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 03:27:14 AM
You know, I felt that the Celibidache approach was more succesful with Bruckner than Beethoven.

Oh yeah, me too. Once was enough! :o

Historically, there has always been a dichotomy between following the perceived intent of the composer vs. interpreter's wishes reign supreme. At times the popular sentiment swings way over to interpreter, and right now it has swung back the other way. My personal taste is towards composer's intent is supreme...
8)

Especially when it comes to Beethoven (though there are notable exceptions, mostly in the chamber music).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 03:28:44 AM
You know, I just wrote about individual interpretation in Beethoven, and I have to admit, the Furtwangler "Nazi 9th" does have a Wagnerian feel that I just completely wins me over, whether it's a bit unadherent to the score or not.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:33:06 AM
You know, I felt that the Celibidache approach was more succesful with Bruckner than Beethoven.


I am not a Brucknerian, so can't comment on that. But I was modestly surprised that I enjoyed the Celi Beethoven 9th quite a lot, hadn't expected to as it is the Anti-HIP, so to speak. But really quite listenable. Go figure. :)

Quote
Especially when it comes to Beethoven (though there are notable exceptions, mostly in the chamber music).

I am intrigued by this statement. Could you expand on it just a tad? Don't want to derail my own thread, but I am curious what you mean. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:36:40 AM
You know, I just wrote about individual interpretation in Beethoven, and I have to admit, the Furtwangler "Nazi 9th" does have a Wagnerian feel that I just completely wins me over, whether it's a bit unadherent to the score or not.

Yes, that's why I totally refrain from knocking it at all. It doesn't suit my taste, but that doesn't make it a dog turd on the sidewalk either. It is very entertaining, and the playing is a total adventure, tempo-wise. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 03:49:20 AM


I am not a Brucknerian, so can't comment on that. But I was modestly surprised that I enjoyed the Celi Beethoven 9th quite a lot, hadn't expected to as it is the Anti-HIP, so to speak. But really quite listenable. Go figure. :)

I am intrigued by this statement. Could you expand on it just a tad? Don't want to derail my own thread, but I am curious what you mean. :)

8)

Oh yeah, the Celi definitely has some great qualities.

I like the Emerson's interpretation of the Grosse Fuge (it really grew on me after awhile), as well as some of their other adventures in the LvB SQ realm. I recently had the great pleasure of hearing Maria Yudina's interpretation of opus 111, and that wasn't a particularly sycophantic reading.


Yes, that's why I totally refrain from knocking it at all. It doesn't suit my taste, but that doesn't make it a dog turd on the sidewalk either. It is very entertaining, and the playing is a total adventure, tempo-wise. :)

8)

I agree, except for the Gould!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 24, 2010, 03:55:42 AM
Oh yeah, the Celi definitely has some great qualities.

I like the Emerson's interpretation of the Grosse Fuge (it really grew on me after awhile), as well as some of their other adventures in the LvB SQ realm. I recently had the great pleasure of hearing Maria Yudina's interpretation of opus 111, and that wasn't a particularly sycophantic reading.

But didn't Yudina die in, like 1893? :)  I have her Diabelli's, quite a nice interpretation, and seems straightforward to me, although parsing variations is almost more than I can handle. :-\

Quote
I agree, except for the Gould!

As a mod, I shouldn't say what I think of Gould's Beethoven. Wouldn't be proper... :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: AndyD. on September 24, 2010, 04:11:39 AM
But didn't Yudina die in, like 1893? :)  I have her Diabelli's, quite a nice interpretation, and seems straightforward to me, although parsing variations is almost more than I can handle. :-\

Oh, you'll probably like the opus 111, trust me on this.



As a mod, I shouldn't say what I think of Gould's Beethoven. Wouldn't be proper... :D

8)

(http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i97/Apostate_2006/eusa_naughty.gif)  ;D

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on September 26, 2010, 07:06:01 AM

Does anyone here know anything about Konwitschny?

8)

His Schubert 9th is one of the best that I've heard, much more rhythmically aware than even my favorite conductors.  Hope his Beethoven is worth hearing.  Not the same czech orchestra so who knows...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 26, 2010, 07:35:46 AM
His Schubert 9th is one of the best that I've heard, much more rhythmically aware than even my favorite conductors.  Hope his Beethoven is worth hearing.  Not the same czech orchestra so who knows...

Well, I thought it was... (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg448681.html#msg448681). :)  No, not Czechs, but the Leipzig Gewandhaus anyway, an orchestra that I have a lot of respect for even under lesser conductors. ;)

Who did he do the Schubert 9 with? Czech PO??  Sounds interesting if available. 

Today I am spinning the NYPO / Bernstein 9th for the first time. I had read a bunch of "oh, that one sucks" comments about it, but I haven't found that true at all. Other than a couple of peculiarities with the male soloists, I've found it most enjoyable. Glad I got it, it balances out the WP version tempo-wise... :D

8)

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Now playing:
NYPO \ Bernstein \ Martina Arroyo \ Regina Sarfaty \ Nicholas di Virgilio \ Norman Scott - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt pt 2 - Presto - Rezitativo - "O Freunde, nicht diese Tone!" - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Drasko on September 26, 2010, 10:04:06 AM
Who did he do the Schubert 9 with? Czech PO??  Sounds interesting if available. 

Well, I thought it was.... (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7679.msg444917.html#msg444917) ;) I think it is out of print, but I know Andre has it.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 26, 2010, 11:18:49 AM
Well, I thought it was.... (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7679.msg444917.html#msg444917) ;) I think it is out of print, but I know Andre has it.

Don't know how I missed this, probably wasn't around when the thread was active... :D  Yes, I see. Well, I bet I can find it here and there. Bubbly is good. :)

8)

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Now playing:
Fritz Kreisler & Franz Rupp - Op 047 Sonata #9 in A for Violin & Piano 1st mvmt - Adagio sostenuto - Presto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ccar on September 26, 2010, 11:53:09 AM
There are so many beautiful recordings of Beethoven Ninth. And as always we can go on discussing which were the most perfectly recorded or the more faithful to the composer’s “intent”. 

But contrary to many musicological arguments, I believe that in any musical performance, as an unique listening and personal experience, we may be able to hear and feel more than a “well played” and “historically faithful” performance. Particularly in this kind of timeless mythical masterpieces, we may expect something more special and unique, like a musical evocation of our symbolic remembrances or even some personal transforming experience.  And in this more searching spirit, recordings like the Furtwangler 1942, 1951 or 1954 Ninths do have, although differently, that special edge of tension and symbolic exaltation some of us may still need and look for. 

Looking at so many interesting suggestions of Beethoven Ninths in this thread I also noticed some references to Hermann Abendroth. He is probably one of the most underrated conductors. For me his various recordings of the Ninth (like his other Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, ...) include some of the most interesting and expressive readings.

There are at least 7 recordings of Beethoven Ninth by Abendroth - 7 Apr 1943 SO-Stockholm; 11 June 1950 RSOL-Leipzig; 31 Dec 1950 RSOB-Leipzig; 9 Jun 1951 CSO- Prague; 29 June 1951 RSOL-Leipzig; 18 Jan 1952 RSOL-Prague; 6 Jan 1953 RSOL-Leipzig .

For a first try of the Ninth by Abendroth I would recommend the more easily available (with good sound) Leipzig June 1951 (Berlin Classics). But if we want to explore further we shouldn’t forget some of his other very individual and intense readings like the RSOL 1953 (Arlecchino) or the RSOB 1950 (Tahra).



(http://i.ytimg.com/vi/kCfTrWiDgCY/0.jpg) (http://www.dra.de/online/dokument/2006/bilder/abendroth1.jpg)
 
(http://mp3.soundquake.com/shopserver/BinaryCacheServlet?albumid=1153919643329&datatype=fc300)(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/d3/f3/6792b220dca06c8620604010.L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)(http://image2.imusic.co.kr/cover/classic/0371/C0371129.jpg)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 26, 2010, 02:02:03 PM
ccar,
Thanks for the interesting post. I hadn't thought about Abendroth, mainly because I don't know his work (and I am not into historical recordings as many here know). That said, your advocacy prods me enough to go shopping. It will take more than a trip to Amazon, I'm afraid, for this one. They only had this one, (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NCc-UeTdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) which is the RSO/Leipzig, but not the one you mentioned on BC. And it is temporarily out of stock. That's OK, anything worth having is deserving of the hunt. I can afford to be patient with the 9th, since I have 65 to choose from right now... :)

Your bigger point, about the appeal of certain recordings for personal reasons, is undeniable. The historical aspect of Furtwängler's wartime and Bayreuth recordings stems as much from the where and when as it does from the who, IMO. What I have read and experienced has told me that there are 2 major 'schools' of listener, who are particularly polarized in this work. When you take it down to the very basic elements of belief, they come out very simply; there are those who believe that Beethoven had far greater aspirations for his work than merely a symphony in d minor, and those who don't believe that. Some are firmly in one camp or another. Most are somewhere in between. If you amuse yourself sometime by reading the reviews on Amazon (who are not professional reviewers) you can spot this immediately. Anyway, I am in the "not" camp, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying a bit of a thrill from time to time with a Furt or a Bernstein. :)

Regards,
8)


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Now playing:
Fritz Kreisler & Franz Rupp - Op 096 Sonata #10 in G for Violin & Piano 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Drasko on September 26, 2010, 02:15:18 PM
It will take more than a trip to Amazon, I'm afraid, for this one. They only had this one,

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-No-9-L-V/dp/B00007M859
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 26, 2010, 03:03:41 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-No-9-L-V/dp/B00007M859

Huh. I searched "Abendroth + Beethoven"  and that certainly didn't come up. I hate when that happens... :-\

8)

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Now playing:
Fritz Kreisler & Franz Rupp - Op 096 Sonata #10 in G for Violin & Piano 4th mvmt - Poco allegretto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on September 26, 2010, 03:22:46 PM
Vanska/Minnesota's performance for proms in the Royal Albert Hall was partially played on NPR's performance today.  If anyone wants to catch it, check here-- http://performancetoday.publicradio.org/?year=2010&month=9&day=24 (http://performancetoday.publicradio.org/?year=2010&month=9&day=24)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on September 26, 2010, 03:31:15 PM
. . . When you take it down to the very basic elements of belief, they come out very simply; there are those who believe that Beethoven had far greater aspirations for his work than merely a symphony in d minor, and those who don't believe that. Some are firmly in one camp or another. Most are somewhere in between. If you amuse yourself sometime by reading the reviews on Amazon (who are not professional reviewers) you can spot this immediately. Anyway, I am in the "not" camp, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying a bit of a thrill from time to time with a Furt or a Bernstein. :)

Regards,
8)

Hmm. And yet, just as I read the score, it strikes me as more than "merely a symphony in d minor." Id be interested in your further thoughts on the matter, Gurn.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 26, 2010, 04:08:39 PM
Hmm. And yet, just as I read the score, it strikes me as more than "merely a symphony in d minor." Id be interested in your further thoughts on the matter, Gurn.

Well, in the 21st century, nearly 200 years after he began to compose it, Beethoven's 9th is probably the most well-known piece of orchestral music in the Western tradition. It is played worldwide, and is the number 1 work as far away from Vienna as Japan. It is the national anthem of Europe. It has been used as a political tool nearly since its beginnings. The Nazis used it as a symbol of German culture. The Allies used it as an anti-Nazi propaganda tool. It has been assigned so many different meanings that they are hard to keep track of without a book... oh wait, I have one! It has a cool picture of Beethoven by Andy Warhol on the cover. (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CZ6TZ3ASL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg)

Anyway, my only point I was making is that when Beethoven was composing this work, thoughts of this outcome weren't driving him on. He had been made an offer by the Philharmonic Society of London for a symphony at a good price. He had also (the Romantic at heart) been enamored of a poem by Schiller back in 1790 or so and wanted to set it to music. His art had finally reached a point where it was up for that challenge.

I'm not saying that it isn't an extraordinary work, you know already that I am modestly obsessive about it. I'm saying that Beethoven wrote, for his own reasons, a symphony in d minor that was a cut above the rest. But all the baggage that this work carries with it is not Beethoven or anything to do with him. 200 years down the line, we are still talking about it, listening to it, having our passions stirred by it. I don't think that was part of Louie's master plan. :)

8)

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Now playing:
Les Musiciens du Louvre \ Marc Minkowski  - K 376 Ballet Music from Idomeneo
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on September 27, 2010, 05:08:43 AM
. . . I'm saying that Beethoven wrote, for his own reasons, a symphony in d minor that was a cut above the rest. But all the baggage that this work carries with it is not Beethoven or anything to do with him. 200 years down the line, we are still talking about it, listening to it, having our passions stirred by it. I don't think that was part of Louie's master plan. :)

Works for me, that summary ; )
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ccar on October 04, 2010, 12:01:44 PM
Jascha Horenstein is one of my favorite conductors. He was not popular among the major recording labels, rarely had first-rate orchestras to work with and most of his records have less than ideal sound. Yet, I always felt he was among the few with that rare gift of imprinting to any orchestra a sense of profound intensity and musical character.

Horenstein is more widely known for his Mahler or Bruckner. Much less for his Beethoven (or his Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Liszt, Bach, Strauss, Janacek, Stravinsky, Nielsen). But for me his Missa Solemnis (BBC Legends) is one of the most moving renditions of the work and I always explored his other Beethoven. Some months ago Doremi issued a DVD with the TV broadcast of Horenstein conducting Beethoven Ninth (French National Radio Orchestra with Pilar Lorengar, Marga Hoeffgen, Josef Traxel, Otto Wiener - 31 Oct 1963). This performance was already issued in CD (Music and Arts) with much better sound than in the more recent DVD - but with the image broadcast we now have the rare occasion of seeing the famous magnetism of Horenstein – his hypnotic eyes and face expressions seem more clear and intense than his precise but sparse gestures.       
     
There is also an earlier studio recording of the Beethoven Ninth by Horenstein with the Pro Musica Symphony Vienna and Wilma Lipp, Julius Patzak, Elizabeth Hoengen and Otto Wiener (1956 – Vox). The sound is very dry (the Vox Legends CD mono remastering is preferable to a fake stereo one) but the performance keeps an amazing tension from the beginning to the very end. Personally I am more captivated by the freshness and intensity of the live French performance, particularly if we combine the CD M&A sound with the magical live images of Horenstein. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qJxuez-UL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)(http://www.musicandarts.com/CDpages/CD1146.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TCD11K9EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 10, 2010, 06:02:19 AM
In responding to input I get on this thread, sometimes I do things for no apparent reason and get a result which differs from my expectations. This is one of those times.

A recurrent recommendation is "Barenboim" with nothing modifying it. So I had gotten a disk which is dated 2000, although that might not be recording date, maybe just release date. As it happens, the liner notes and all the packaging are in Spanish, but it is certainly Berlin Staatskapelle / Barenboim and the soloists are Soile Isokoski, Rosemarie Lang, Robert Gambill & René Pape. And they do a lovely job.

So then I saw an advert for Berlin Staatskapelle / Barenboim, but it was on Erato (which at the time wasn't a Warner company), and the picture on the front was Beethoven's life mask (the one people always call a death mask). So I thought I would pick it up since it was cheap and "Like New". Well, the soloists on this 1992 version are Alessandra Marc, Iris Vermillion, Siegfried Jeruselem and Falk Struckmann! Obviously an entirely different version.

And you guys never told me. In future you must be more definite when you rec "Barenboim" to me else I'll find out where you live. :D

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Berliner Staatskapelle \ Barenboim 2000 - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Presto - Allegro assai - Presto - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 10, 2010, 06:20:24 AM
And you guys never told me. In future you must be more definite when you rec "Barenboim" to me else I'll find out where you live. :D

I never recommended a Barenboim Ninth so I'm safe (I think  ;D )  I assume, though, that those who did were talking about the Ninth that's packaged in the box with Isokoski, Lang, Gambill, Pape. I wasn't aware of another version but see now that it is available, and quite cheap on the Apex label (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-Symphonie-Nr-9/hnum/7995901).

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 11, 2010, 12:31:57 PM
Sarge,
Yeah, that's the same one as (http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/32/f6/5d4279edd7a0be23dbdc7110.L._AA300_.jpg) this. Just a re-release apparently. I've never heard any mention that there was more than one out there. I will be doing some comparing later this week, I'm curious if 8 years made any difference in the approach. Having the same band is an unusual bonus for that sort of thing. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 07, 2010, 08:29:51 AM
Well, at the behest of many of you, I've been listening to a great variety of 9ths over the last 6 months. And many of them have been more than interesting, they've been very good indeed!

But this morning I pulled out an old friend that I have necessarily not listened to in a long while, since I only listen once a week. (Maybe I should listen more often?  But no... ;) ).

That would be this one:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/518FZVAM4WL.jpg)

Oh, I know, there is no possible criticism that I haven't heard already. ::)  Don't care about any of that; I really do like this version. The playing is as nearly precise as it is possible to get without slowing down to 'maestoso' throughout. The singing is excellent, and there is no lack of emotional energy either. It was a super experience! 

So now I'll go back to working with the traditional orchestras and enjoying them. But every now and again there is no harm coming from slipping off the beaten path and enjoying a little gem. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Zurich Tonhalle Orchestre/Zinman - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt pt 2 - Allegro assai - Alla marcia - Allegro ma non tanto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 07, 2010, 08:34:29 AM
Oh, I know, there is no possible criticism that I haven't heard already. ::)

Ha!  That's what you think! :D

My criticism: Zinman doesn't have enough hair to pull off the Beethoven 9th.  That is also why Paavo Jarvi's recording is lack luster. ;D

Following that logic Simon Rattle is the man for this symphony:

(http://www.musicomh.com/classical/proms/images/2006-65.jpg)
 :)
 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! :D



Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 07, 2010, 08:37:11 AM
Ha!  That's what you think! :D

My criticism: Zinman doesn't have enough hair to pull off the Beethoven 9th.  That is also why Paavo Jarvi's recording is lack luster. ;D

Following that logic Simon Rattle is the man for this symphony:

(http://www.musicomh.com/classical/proms/images/2006-65.jpg)
 :)
 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! :D

Aw crap. I knew I shouldn't have said that!  ::)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Anton Steck (Violin) \ Robert Hill (Pianoforte) - D 574 Sonata in A for Violin & Pianoforte 1st mvmt - Allegro moderato
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: MishaK on November 09, 2010, 11:18:30 AM
And you guys never told me. In future you must be more definite when you rec "Barenboim" to me else I'll find out where you live. :D

To complicate things further, there is now also a Barenboim 9th with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (Denoke/Meier/Fritz/Pape, soloists):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xf9DIM7oL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

BTW, amazon has it on sale for 8.95 right now. There is also a video version on DVD. Haven't heard this one yet, but at that price I may bite. I love his 2000 version.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: bwv 1080 on November 09, 2010, 11:48:36 AM
Fricsay and Norrington are my two favorites

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 12:00:29 PM
To complicate things further, there is now also a Barenboim 9th with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (Denoke/Meier/Fritz/Pape, soloists):

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xf9DIM7oL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

BTW, amazon has it on sale for 8.95 right now. There is also a video version on DVD. Haven't heard this one yet, but at that price I may bite. I love his 2000 version.

Mensch,
I've been eyeing that East-West Divan one for a while now. Somewhere I read some flattering things about it, so it intrigues me. Probably take advantage of that price. :)

I like both of the other versions, it's hard to choose between them. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 12:03:36 PM
Fricsay and Norrington are my two favorites

Fricsay, absolutely! It is the oldest performance that I really enjoy.

Which Norrington? There is the PI one with the London Classical Players, and then the modern instruments with the SWR orchestra. I lean towards the period instruments, of course, with the exception of that tragic alla marcia section in the final movement (sorry, Sarge, I just can't reconcile it). :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: bwv 1080 on November 09, 2010, 12:24:01 PM
Fricsay, absolutely! It is the oldest performance that I really enjoy.

Which Norrington? There is the PI one with the London Classical Players, and then the modern instruments with the SWR orchestra. I lean towards the period instruments, of course, with the exception of that tragic alla marcia section in the final movement (sorry, Sarge, I just can't reconcile it). :)

8)

the Fricsay has the bonus of being in the Clockwork Orange soundtrack - Kubrick always had great taste in music

did not know there was a second Norrington recording, I was referring to the late 80s London Classical Players
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 09, 2010, 12:31:54 PM
did not know there was a second Norrington recording, I was referring to the late 80s London Classical Players

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/asheville/bUTTHEAD.gif)


Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leon on November 09, 2010, 12:49:28 PM
Odd that there's no Szell on your (rather long) list of recordings.  ;)

His is one of my favorite's, as well, as Gardiner and, recently, Paavo Jarvi (but his march may also be too fast for you).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 01:02:36 PM
Odd that there's no Szell on your (rather long) list of recordings.  ;)

His is one of my favorite's, as well, as Gardiner and, recently, Paavo Jarvi (but his march may also be too fast for you).

I think there is just the one from 1963 (or 4?) on Sony. I didn't have that one when I started the list, and I guess I never got back to add it on. In any case, it is a very nice version that I have learned to like (with the older ones, I always have to work at it at first, except Konswitchny).

Oh, the march is never too fast, it is sometimes too slow. Like Norrington and Hogwood to be precise. Sarge is the one that prefers funeral marches... :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 09, 2010, 01:06:40 PM
Odd that there's no Szell on your (rather long) list of recordings.  ;)

His is one of my favorite's, as well, as Gardiner and, recently, Paavo Jarvi (but his march may also be too fast for you).

Szell is great, but I don't think that Gardiner or Jarvi are that interesting in the ninth.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 02:26:39 PM
Szell is great, but I don't think that Gardiner or Jarvi are that interesting in the ninth.

Actually, I think Gardiner is quite interesting and enjoy his recording a lot. Jarvi was so highly spoken of that I guess I expected to get blown out of my chair by it. I didn't. But it was a nice performance, just not special or memorable. And a 9th should be memorable, above all things. I hope that Dausgaard (sp) doesn't do me that way. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 09, 2010, 02:31:57 PM
Actually, I think Gardiner is quite interesting and enjoy his recording a lot. Jarvi was so highly spoken of that I guess I expected to get blown out of my chair by it. I didn't. But it was a nice performance, just not special or memorable. And a 9th should be memorable, above all things. I hope that Dausgaard (sp) doesn't do me that way. :)

8)

What is your favorite among those played on period instruments, Gurn?  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 09, 2010, 05:51:28 PM
What is your favorite among those played on period instruments, Gurn?  :)

Oh, dear, that's a toughie. Here's the ones I have (in no particular order (OK, maybe alphabetical)):

Brüggen OEC
Gardiner ORR
Goodman Hanover
Herreweghe  O. Champs d'Elysee
Hogwood AAM
Immerseel Anima Eterna
Emmanuel Krivine La Chambre Philharmonique
Norrington London Classical Players
Spering The New Orchestra (Das Neue Orchester)

The hard part is that I like all of them, and for different reasons. I would have to say that Norrington and Hogwood are my co-favorites, except for their shared major flaw (the Alla marcia). Everything else about them I like, the rough-hewn timbre of the instruments, the brisk tempi, the good singing even. One small step below, and with no flaws beyond being too 'big-band' is Gardiner. The remainder are about equal in my ears. They are all very well played and I don't feel the slightest letdown when the wheel spins to their turn. If anyone is aware of any PI versions that I haven't listed, please tell me about them so I can go hunting. And if you found one that you didn't know about before (like the Krivine) then pick it up and see what you think. There's always some exploring to be done! :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Capella Academica Wien \ Melkus  Ingrid Haebler (Fortepiano) - Bach JC Op 07 #2  Concerto in F for Fortepiano 2nd mvmt - Tempo di menuetto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: MishaK on November 09, 2010, 08:05:35 PM
I like both of the other versions, it's hard to choose between them. :)

I know what you mean (though I don't have the earlier Erato version myself). I had the pleasure of hearing Barenboim do the 9th live twice with the Staatskapelle: once as part of his complete 2000 Beethoven cycle at Carnegie and once as a New Year's Day concert in Berlin in 2006 and both were amazing. I have here also an mp3 recorded from streaming radio of a broadcast of his 2006 CSO farewell concert which is quite intense.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on November 10, 2010, 02:39:14 AM
Brüggen OEC
Gardiner ORR

Goodman Hanover
Herreweghe  O. Champs d'Elysee
Hogwood AAM
Immerseel Anima Eterna

Emmanuel Krivine La Chambre Philharmonique
Norrington London Classical Players
Spering The New Orchestra (Das Neue Orchester)


One small step below, and with no flaws beyond being too 'big-band' is Gardiner.
[/quote]

Precisely the reason why Gardiner is my favorite among the five HIPs I have.  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 10, 2010, 05:36:26 AM
Precisely the reason why Gardiner is my favorite among the five HIPs I have.  :)

On any given day I can say the same thing, Jens. I have heard people voice my comment, and I can clearly hear what they are saying, but I'm not entirely sure it's a flaw. For one thing, if you are wanting people to hear a PI 9th for the first time, it is the single version that will win over hearts and minds from the style of the 60's & 70's.

A now deceased friend happened to be in a place and time where the ORR was playing the 9th at Carnegie Hall, circa 1996. He made a recording, now on DVD (private issue, of course) and the copy he gave me is one of the things that provokes the fondest memories of him. They were 'on' that night and seriously kicked ass and took names. Fascinating to see some of those old instruments in action too. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 10, 2010, 05:40:02 AM
I know what you mean (though I don't have the earlier Erato version myself). I had the pleasure of hearing Barenboim do the 9th live twice with the Staatskapelle: once as part of his complete 2000 Beethoven cycle at Carnegie and once as a New Year's Day concert in Berlin in 2006 and both were amazing. I have here also an mp3 recorded from streaming radio of a broadcast of his 2006 CSO farewell concert which is quite intense.

I would have greatly enjoyed seeing that in person. In fact, I have yet to see any 9th 'Live', let alone a great one. So it goes. That may be my fate for the rest of my life, else I will see one soon, who can say?   :)   Barenboim, in any case, seems to have the measure of this work, something that not every conductor, even the acknowledged great ones, can say universally. Good for him. Good for us. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 10, 2010, 06:40:40 AM
Jens, you don't actually own the London speed demons?  Whether you love or hate it, it is infamous, you need to hear just to say that you have. ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on November 10, 2010, 06:44:34 AM
Jens, you don't actually own the London speed demons?  Whether you love or hate it, it is infamous, you need to hear just to say that you have. ;D

Maybe eventually (when available in nice packaging). But maybe his Stuttgart cycle, first.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on November 10, 2010, 06:50:38 AM
Jens, you don't actually own the London speed demons?

Yo, I think those recordings date from about the time of the Ramones' first visit to London, gabba gabba hey!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 10, 2010, 06:57:21 AM
Maybe eventually (when available in nice packaging). But maybe his Stuttgart cycle, first.

Well, you'll find a substantial difference between them. To my mind, it's the difference between passing on the shoulder and heading down the middle of the road. The Stuttgart are good, mind you, but nothing memorable really. The London's, you won't soon forget!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 10, 2010, 06:58:44 AM
That is to say that the Stuttgart performances are actually good. ;)  <Ducks!>
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on November 10, 2010, 07:16:33 AM
Well, you'll find a substantial difference between them. To my mind, it's the difference between passing on the shoulder and heading down the middle of the road. The Stuttgart are good, mind you, but nothing memorable really. The London's, you won't soon forget!  :)

8)

I should very much hope to find a difference between a still-finding-each-other-in-this-way-of-playing, nearly professional, London HIP group playing Beethoven and a well honed, modern instrument, full sized German Radio Orchestra playing 'HP-informed'.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 10, 2010, 07:18:16 AM
I should very much hope to find a difference between a still-finding-each-other-in-this-way-of-playing, nearly professional, London HIP group playing Beethoven and a well honed, modern instrument, full sized German Radio Orchestra playing 'HP-informed'.

Oh you will hear a difference, it is night and day!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 10, 2010, 07:20:45 AM
I should very much hope to find a difference between a still-finding-each-other-in-this-way-of-playing, nearly professional, London HIP group playing Beethoven and a well honed, modern instrument, full sized German Radio Orchestra playing 'HP-informed'.

FWIW, I wasn't being complimentary. I prefer the old one. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 11, 2010, 07:26:17 PM
Oh, dear, that's a toughie. Here's the ones I have (in no particular order (OK, maybe alphabetical)):

Brüggen OEC
Gardiner ORR
Goodman Hanover
Herreweghe  O. Champs d'Elysee
Hogwood AAM
Immerseel Anima Eterna
Emmanuel Krivine La Chambre Philharmonique
Norrington London Classical Players
Spering The New Orchestra (Das Neue Orchester)

The hard part is that I like all of them, and for different reasons. I would have to say that Norrington and Hogwood are my co-favorites, except for their shared major flaw (the Alla marcia). Everything else about them I like, the rough-hewn timbre of the instruments, the brisk tempi, the good singing even. One small step below, and with no flaws beyond being too 'big-band' is Gardiner. The remainder are about equal in my ears. They are all very well played and I don't feel the slightest letdown when the wheel spins to their turn. If anyone is aware of any PI versions that I haven't listed, please tell me about them so I can go hunting. And if you found one that you didn't know about before (like the Krivine) then pick it up and see what you think. There's always some exploring to be done! :)

Thanks, Gurn. I am not very symphonic, but I have some complete sets of Beethoven's symphonies, including three HIP cycles. Anyway, I noticed you didn't mention an interesting recording of the Ninth, performed by the American Bach Soloists:

(http://finearts.uvic.ca/music/recordings/_album_covers/ludwig_Van_x198.jpg)

HERE (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/americanbach) you can listen to some samples. HERE, too.

 :)

 (http://www.americanbach.org/recordings/BeethovenNotes.htm)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 11, 2010, 07:32:43 PM
When I first heard Norrington it was my first experience with PI and I hated it.  But... I'm giving it another shot with the 9th and... and... it is FANTASTIC!!! Oh man I love it, oh awesomeness!!! :)  So I was wrong, and I might buy the box set. ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 11, 2010, 07:37:07 PM
When I first heard Norrington it was my first experience with PI and I hated it.  But... I'm giving it another shot with the 9th and... and... it is FANTASTIC!!! Oh man I love it, oh awesomeness!!! :)  So I was wrong, and I might buy the box set. ;D

I forgot Norrington! Therefore, I have 4 HIP cycles: Hogwood (my favorite), Brüggen, Immerseel and Norrington. 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 11, 2010, 07:38:14 PM
Thanks, Gurn. I am not very symphonic, but I have some complete sets of Beethoven's symphonies, including three HIP cycles. Anyway, I noticed you didn't mention an interesting recording of the Ninth, performed by the American Bach Soloists:

(http://finearts.uvic.ca/music/recordings/_album_covers/ludwig_Van_x198.jpg)

HERE (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/americanbach) you can listen to some samples. HERE, too.

 :)
 (http://www.americanbach.org/recordings/BeethovenNotes.htm)

Aha! Thanks, Antoine. No, I never heard of it (or them, for that matter). But I will have it if it's have-able here. Oh, CDBaby. I've ordered several from them. Good place to deal with so far. :)

FWIW, I'm not very symphonic either. But hey, this is THE 9th!  0:)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Sviatoslav Richter - Chopin Op 61 Polonaise Fantaisie in Ab - Allegro maestoso
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 11, 2010, 07:39:46 PM
When I first heard Norrington it was my first experience with PI and I hated it.  But... I'm giving it another shot with the 9th and... and... it is FANTASTIC!!! Oh man I love it, oh awesomeness!!! :)  So I was wrong, and I might buy the box set. ;D

I only have the 9th, but I've heard that he actually does better in most of the rest of the cycle. So it might be a very good investment. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Sviatoslav Richter - Chopin Op 70 #3 Valse in Db - Moderato
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 11, 2010, 07:44:36 PM
Aha! Thanks, Antoine. No, I never heard of it (or them, for that matter).

It's probably because they are principally a Baroque ensemble. They have recorded, for instance, several discs with some lovely performances of Bach cantatas and other Baroque works.  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 11, 2010, 07:46:21 PM
It's probably because they are principally a Baroque ensemble. They have recorded, for instance, several discs with some lovely performances of Bach cantatas and other Baroque works.  :)

Ah, Bach cantatas. No wonder I never heard of them... :D

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Sviatoslav Richter - Chopin Op 25 #7 Etude in c# - Lento
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 11, 2010, 07:49:18 PM
Ah, Bach cantatas. No wonder I never heard of them... :D

Gurn was surprised to find out that the American Bach Soloists frequently played Bach... ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on November 11, 2010, 07:50:10 PM
I forgot Norrington! Therefore, I have 4 HIP cycles: Hogwood (my favorite), Brüggen, Immerseel and Norrington.

Hogwood is fantastic, but I like Immerseel, haven't heard Bruggen but I like his Schubert cycle. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 11, 2010, 08:01:08 PM
Hogwood is fantastic, but I like Immerseel, haven't heard Bruggen but I like his Schubert cycle. :)

I also like Immerseel, very much, especially his Fifth... the best Fifth that I have listened to. When I listened to it for the first time, it was almost a mystical experience, like to see the birth of the modern Europe.  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 11, 2010, 08:03:03 PM
Ah, Bach cantatas. No wonder I never heard of them... :D

After playing Bach, Beethoven is a piece of cake.  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 12, 2010, 03:39:17 PM
After playing Bach, Beethoven is a piece of cake.  ;D

:D  Kinda glad you didn't see where I was going with that. :)

I put that disk in my shopping basket, I'll pull the trigger next week as I'm not done shopping yet. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Sviatoslav Richter - Chopin Op 25 #7 Etude in c# - Lento
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 14, 2010, 09:53:58 AM
More or less a trip to the past this week, especially after last week's Zinman effort. This is the only recorded effort (and one of the few actual concerts) of this great conductor:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thBeecham1956cover.jpg)

It is interesting so far. It's a 'live' show with a smattering of ill-timed applause and a cough here and there, and a bit of raggedy playing too. The intro to the final movement, the recitative of the basses is taken as slow as I've ever heard it, although this does lend itself to clarity. It also lets you lose the track of the phrase.

Clearly this isn't the version to be one's sole 9th, but I'm glad to have it as a collector's item, and I will certainly listen to it again.

Soloists are Sylvia Fisher, Nan Merriman, Richard Lewis & Kim Borg. Borg has a bit of a struggle starting out, but gets into the flow nicely down the line. :)

8)




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Now playing:
Royal PO \ Beecham - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt pt 2 - Rezitativo: 'O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!' - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 18, 2010, 06:51:22 AM
I bought this the other day, having read some interesting things about it. Not the whole box, just the 9th.

(http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/1ba65b001dd99bc98e2a0d7538ddd39b/772401.jpg)

Nothing in the scanty liner notes tells me at all when it was recorded. Kegel began his career in Dresden in 1977 and the Beethoven cycle was an early project. So I'm guessing <>1980. Does anyone have more precise information than that?

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2010, 06:01:02 AM

Nothing in the scanty liner notes tells me at all when it was recorded. Kegel began his career in Dresden in 1977 and the Beethoven cycle was an early project. So I'm guessing <>1980. Does anyone have more precise information than that?

I own the complete set. The booklet says "recorded 1982/83".
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 19, 2010, 06:08:39 AM
I own the complete set. The booklet says "recorded 1982/83".

Well, my picture disappeared, but the info was enough! Thanks for that, Premont. I would also be interested in your opinion of the disk. I haven't listened to it yet, it is still 3 Sundays away from its turn. I read only that it is "idiosyncratic", but what isn't?  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (: premont :) on November 19, 2010, 06:15:30 AM
Well, my picture disappeared, but the info was enough! Thanks for that, Premont. I would also be interested in your opinion of the disk. I haven't listened to it yet, it is still 3 Sundays away from its turn. I read only that it is "idiosyncratic", but what isn't?  :)

8)

(http://static.rateyourmusic.com/album_images/1ba65b001dd99bc98e2a0d7538ddd39b/772401.jpg)

I have not yet listened to the Choral Symphony. As you know, my main musical interests rest elsewhere, and my listening-to pile is getting larger and larger.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on December 11, 2010, 02:01:26 PM
To Gurn, our moderator

Here is a short blurb about Konwitschny that I found at a Chinese website called VeryCd:



Konwitschny (1902-62), himself the son of a conductor, was born in northern Moravia, studying at Brno and then at Leipzig. As a violist he played under Furtwangler with the Gewandhaus. His conducting history began with the Stuttgart Opera from which début he moved successively as director to Freiburg, Frankfurt, Hannover, Hamburg and then to the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester from 1949 where he remained as chief conductor until his death. He held director positions with the Dresden and Berlin State Operas. His Ring at Covent Garden (1959) was reputedly outstanding. Indeed, his strengths were said to lie primarily in the opera house. He died in Belgrade while conducting in a TV broadcast.

A devout Catholic he was an adroit pragmatist operating with expedient aplomb in the service of music in both the Third Reich and in the DDR. His funeral, which attracted full state honours, was extraordinary, in the orthodoxy of East Germany, for including a Requiem Mass.

His taste was for opera but he rapidly secured a firmly founded reputation in the concert hall as documented by this set each disc of which can be had separately. Details from the reviewer if wished.

'Konwhiskey' was his nickname amongst orchestral musicians: before performances of Tristan und Isolde he was reputed to down six bottles of champagne. He would take out his handkerchief during a performance, mopping his brow and then using it to wave to friends in the audience. These eccentricities (at least the last one!) are reminiscent of pianist, Vladimir de Pachmann with his notorious but quite unselfconscious spoken asides to audiences.

Konwitschny's split-second drilled vigour and sheer heat are impressive. While he may have hated rehearsals and was noted for a relaxed hands-off approach he could instantaneously grasp control if the orchestra showed signs of 'slipping'.

If you are familiar with the Berlin Classics roster you will have known or known of these discs as individual entries since the mid-1990s. This is their first excursion together as a major boxed set.

More Info here:
Franz Konwitschny的一些介绍见:
http://www.wunderhorn.com/node/11547
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 11, 2010, 02:08:51 PM
RJR,
Hey, thanks for that. Not only a lot of information, but a nice consolidation of the things that I was able to discover since I first asked that question. :)

As you probably noted, earlier eras in performance style are not my favorites, however I can say confidently that the performance of the Liepzeig Gewandhaus / Konwitschny was at the top of the heap there, and most recommendable.

Do you have any other favorites that you would recommend we look into? Always pleased to discover. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Annie Fischer - Op 028 Sonata #15 in D for Piano 2nd mvmt - Andante
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on December 11, 2010, 05:55:10 PM
To Gurn, our moderator

Just wanted to say that there several moderators including Bruce, Que, Maciek, Knight... Gurn doesn't stand alone... except in perhaps obsessing over the 9th symphony. ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 11, 2010, 06:15:33 PM
Just wanted to say that there several moderators including Bruce, Que, Maciek, Knight... Gurn doesn't stand alone... except in perhaps obsessing over the 9th symphony. ;D

Yeah, but I'm the incredibly handsome one.... :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Kelemen (Violin) \ Kadduri (Cello) - Romberg A & B Duo #2 for Violin & Cello - Grave - Andante - Allegretto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on December 14, 2010, 03:41:42 PM
Yeah, but I'm the incredibly handsome one.... :)
And you seldom miss a chance to remind everyone how much you resemble me.  ;)

Think I'll go on a D minor binge, following Sibelius 6 with one of my favorite Beethoven 9th recordings ... wait for it ... no, not Brüggen this time, rather Abbado/BP!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 14, 2010, 03:53:54 PM
And you seldom miss a chance to remind everyone how much you resemble me.  ;)

Think I'll go on a D minor binge, following Sibelius 6 with one of my favorite Beethoven 9th recordings ... wait for it ... no, not Brüggen this time, rather Abbado/BP!

Oh, I've tried to keep a lid on that, but I guess the cat's out of the bag... :)

Abbado/BP is a very nice choice. I have the one at the right end of my signature here, and also the DVD version in Rome. Like them both. Well, hell, hard to go wrong with this music, it's just bigger than whoever performs it. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on December 15, 2010, 08:21:04 AM
To Gurn,

I love the piano music of Déodat de Séverac. Let's call it Country Classical Music. Ciccolini, among others.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 15, 2010, 08:49:00 AM
To Gurn,

I love the piano music of Déodat de Séverac. Let's call it Country Classical Music. Ciccolini, among others.

I'm guessing that you wanted to put this in the Classical Corner as oppposed to the 9th Symphony topic. :)  As for Séverac, I don't know his music, I will have to do some looking around for that. I thought Country Classical was like Hank Williams Senior! :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on December 15, 2010, 11:22:27 AM
To Gurn,
Following up on the info on Konwitschy that I found at website VeryCD, if you or anyone else is a connoisseur of classcial music album covers then you would have a field day clicking and saving hundreds, nay thousands, of classical album jpegs there. As well, copying and pasting many of the liner notes that accompany their downloads. Knock yourself out. As well, if you don't know Peter Gutmann, I suggest that you go to his website. He writes well and is a goldmine of information on recordings and music history. Todd McComb is another. His forte is medieval music and Indian music. He also loves to philosophize on many subjects.

Listening to Seiji Ozawa playing French classics: at this very moment: Bolero. I would love to create a Busby Berkeley style Bolero dance number.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 11:57:19 AM
AT the urging of several people, I broke down today and bought this. It is the same performance, different label (mine is on MCA). So we'll see in a few days if this old guy had what it took. :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kr5dCwhcL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Yesterday I got in the mail 2 versions that I had ordered a couple weeks ago. One of them is this period instrument performance:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AskuGZZgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and the other is quite the opposite:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-N1TNZ1UL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

So some new listening possibilities open up. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on December 29, 2010, 11:59:19 AM
AT the urging of several people, I broke down today and bought this. It is the same performance, different label (mine is on MCA). So we'll see in a few days if this old guy had what it took. :D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Kr5dCwhcL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Yesterday I got in the mail 2 versions that I had ordered a couple weeks ago. One of them is this period instrument performance:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AskuGZZgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

and the other is quite the opposite:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-N1TNZ1UL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

So some new listening possibilities open up. :)

8)

One can never have too many versions of B9 ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 12:15:44 PM
One can never have too many versions of B9 ...

True. I have <>80 now. Oddly, I like them all. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on December 29, 2010, 12:30:27 PM
True. I have <>80 now. Oddly, I like them all. :)

Is Ottmar Suitner among the <>80? . . .
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 01:25:21 PM
Is Ottmar Suitner among the <>80? . . .

No, but I've been looking at one of his. Is that a recommendation?  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on December 29, 2010, 01:35:00 PM
No, but I've been looking at one of his. Is that a recommendation?  :)

8)

A recommendation for whether you will continue to like all the ones you've got ; )

I heard a performance of the Opus 125 he conducted in Tokyo.  Nothing special.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 02:33:13 PM
A recommendation for whether you will continue to like all the ones you've got ; )

I heard a performance of the Opus 125 he conducted in Tokyo.  Nothing special.

Ah, I've seen that for sale. Special would have been nice... 0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on December 29, 2010, 04:48:57 PM
Ah, I've seen that for sale. Special would have been nice... 0:)

8)

Heavens, did they record that concert? I guess they would have . . . it was in the concert hall of NHK (Japan Radio).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 04:53:50 PM
Heavens, did they record that concert? I guess they would have . . . it was in the concert hall of NHK (Japan Radio).

Don't know if it's the same one, but I saw just today on eBay, IIRC, Suitner in Japan conducting the 9th. I bought the Monteux instead. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kaergaard on December 29, 2010, 07:58:40 PM
I bet you don't have that:

http://www.ricosaccani.com/album-69.html   ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 08:10:49 PM
I bet you don't have that:

http://www.ricosaccani.com/album-69.html   ;D
(http://www.ricosaccani.com/images/albums/1250810779.jpg)

:)  You would be wrong and lose all your money. It is a very nice recording, done in a '70's style, and with still a fair amount of leanness, not like the old super-maestoso German style held over from the Romantic. I like it, nice tempos, good performance. :)

8)

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 29, 2010, 08:17:15 PM
Yes, Fricsay is excellent. It seems like no conductor can go wrong driving the BP in this work, plus he brings his own style and elegance to this work, which he has in abundance. I am intrigued by your description of the Cluytens. It really is a pity about the baß singer, it is such a crucial part!

I do not have nearly as many LvB 9's as some, but when I was just starting to learn about CM as a kid of 12 or so, I almost wore the grooves out on the choral finale side of our family's copy of Toscanini's RCA-NBC set. (It was a 7-LP set, with a very soulful photo of AT on the cover.) That version is still my touchstone for the symphony, but though at this point in my life I am less drawn to the 9th than almost any other major work from the late period, Fricsay really nails it.

My top honors for a single movement from the 9th belong however to Harnoncourt COE, and that's a set I often dislike for a number of reasons - among them, the fussy, slow, underpowered Pastorale; the prissy treatment of the ending of 8:2; the tendency throughout to avoid articulating staccatos as truly detached notes and to turn them into tenutos instead. But Harnoncourt's treatment of the slow movement of the 9th makes up for nearly everything else in that set. Taking the movement close to B's metronome mark (not quite, as the movement would last only 10 minutes if he did), he somehow manages to make it a single seamless, inevitable paragraph. And I don't know any other recording that succeeds at this so well.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 29, 2010, 08:27:58 PM
Thanks for the input, Poco. That Toscanini must be the same version from 1952 that I have. It's the only one of his that's I've heard, and I feel like he impresses me more than other conductors of that time with his precision and the feeling I get like he is a servant to the music rather than the other way around.

I like the 9th the best of the works in that set of Harnoncourt's. I like the scherzo as well as that adagio.

I think there is something to like in every version I have. Some certainly have much more to like than others do, but none of them is a total loss, because the music is far larger than the performers. However, if I was choosing just one version before 1970, I am thinking right now BP / Fricsay. His is timeless. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on December 29, 2010, 08:42:28 PM
I like the 9th the best of the works in that set of Harnoncourt's. I like the scherzo as well as that adagio.

As best I can recall, I like the outer sections of H's scherzo. But his trio exhibits that same kind of fussing with the staccatos that I hear too often in this set. I.e., they are not articulated as detached notes but have a more tenuto or semi-legato feel. I don't know why H does this, but I find it an annoying and pervasive mannerism, especially since we know from the conversation books that B was very insistent on his scores being published with the proper articulations. As a result in H's set, the lack of sharpness of attack really vitiates a lot of the music IMO.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: karlhenning on December 29, 2010, 08:57:17 PM
Don't know if it's the same one, but I saw just today on eBay, IIRC, Suitner in Japan conducting the 9th.

'86-'87?

Quote from: Gurn
I bought the Monteux instead. :)

8)

This, you won't regret ; )
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 04, 2011, 05:31:23 PM
And it came today:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MonteuxLSO1962cover.jpg)

So along with this one here:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Ansermetcover.jpg)

I have some listening to do. These performances are only 4 years apart (Ansermet 1958 - Monteux 1962), but I am curious whether they will display the performance style differences that were beginning to take hold right about that time. My understanding of Monteux is that he was a lean, mean conducting machine. That would make him a natural 'father figure' for conductors to come. I've only heard Ansermet doing Tchaikovsky, so it is hard to feature how his Beethoven might be. That full rich Romantic sound was right for Tchaikovsky, hope Beethoven doesn't get the same sort of treatment though! :o   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 09, 2011, 09:01:11 AM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MackerrasLiverpoolcover.jpg)

So many 9th's, so little time. OK< well I was trying to get around to queuing up Monteux and I ran across this one that I hadn't listened to for a bit. I totally lack discipline vis-a-vis myself... Superb recording though. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic & Choir \ Sir Charles Mackerras - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 2nd mvmt - Scherzo: Molto vivace - Presto - Molto vivace
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Holden on January 09, 2011, 11:59:00 AM

My top honors for a single movement from the 9th belong however to Harnoncourt COE........... Harnoncourt's treatment of the slow movement of the 9th makes up for nearly everything else in that set. Taking the movement close to B's metronome mark (not quite, as the movement would last only 10 minutes if he did), he somehow manages to make it a single seamless, inevitable paragraph. And I don't know any other recording that succeeds at this so well.

This is almost worthy of a thread by itself. My top honours go to Leibowitz's Scherzo.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Clever Hans on January 09, 2011, 03:06:38 PM
As best I can recall, I like the outer sections of H's scherzo. But his trio exhibits that same kind of fussing with the staccatos that I hear too often in this set. I.e., they are not articulated as detached notes but have a more tenuto or semi-legato feel. I don't know why H does this, but I find it an annoying and pervasive mannerism, especially since we know from the conversation books that B was very insistent on his scores being published with the proper articulations. As a result in H's set, the lack of sharpness of attack really vitiates a lot of the music IMO.

The issue of classical staccato markings is not so simple, and you may be interested to read some of Clive Brown's article from Early Music on Immerseel's Beethoven cycle. Mezzo staccato or portato may be more accurate, so Harnoncourt may be exactly right!

"The question of what staccato marks mean in Beethoven has been discussed by scholars at length, not always with sufficient distinction between their implications for different instruments; they would often mean something different to a pianist than to a string or wind player whose model was the human voice. As Spohr's instructions in the Violinschule show, staccato strokes over the notes may not, for a violinist, even imply any sort of break between notes, merely separate bows. In a passage on p.118 (Bishop's translation) he explains that an eight-bar passage in quavers with staccato strokes, at a tempo of minim = 104, is to be played in the upper half of the bow so that ‘in changing from the down to the up-bow or the reverse, no break or chasm may be observed’. There are other contexts, too, in which the staccato mark may have a quite different meaning from the shortening by a half referred to in many tutors (which seems particularly to derive from the length of time a pianist would depress the note on the keyboard). It is quite clear that composers often used staccato marks as a means of making clear which notes were to be slurred and which were to be separated, without necessarily indicating a sharply detached execution. In the introduction to the first movement of the Seventh Symphony, for instance, in the figure at bar 23, the first oboe's last two quavers, immediately following a slur, are marked staccato and on Immerseel's recording they are played in a very short, detached manner. Simultaneously the second oboe, clarinets and bassoons play the same rhythm as the oboe, but in notes repeated at the same pitch, without staccato marks (in these parts staccato marks are not necessary to warn the player not to slur). We cannot, of course, be certain of Beethoven's intention here, but it seems quite likely that in Oboe I he wanted something much more like the articulation we would commonly mark with horizontal lines, or lines combined with dots in modern notational practice; had he wanted a very detached execution he would surely have marked the accompanying parts staccato (as he does on the repeated quavers in the principal theme of the second movement of the same symphony). The modern musician's ingrained tendency to react to a staccato mark by distinctly shortening the note is undoubtedly unhistorical in many such instances."

Harnoncourt has also written extensively on classical musical notation, e.g.
http://www.amazon.com/Musical-Dialogue-Thoughts-Monteverdi-Paperback/dp/1574670239
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on January 09, 2011, 06:15:20 PM
Just wanted to say that there several moderators including Bruce, Que, Maciek, Knight... Gurn doesn't stand alone... except in perhaps obsessing over the 9th symphony. ;D
Fine. Are any of the names that you've mentionned above familiar with Kletzki's recording of Beethoven's 9th? I listened to the first and second movements this morning, Sunday, January 9th, 2011. I was very impressed with the first movement and almost as impressed with the second. That was the best first movement I have ever heard. Lots of details in the woodwinds, strings and horns. No one section drowns out the others. The acoustics at Dvorak Hall  had a full resonance. Powerful.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on January 09, 2011, 06:17:19 PM
To Gurn,
Do you have Kletzki's recording of the Ninth in your collection?
The first movement is a knockout.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 09, 2011, 06:24:22 PM
To Gurn,
Do you have Kletzki's recording of the Ninth in your collection?
The first movement is a knockout.

Absolutely, one of my favorite recordings. You're right, the first movement IS a standout. The rest is above average too. That was recorded in 1967 or 68, right at the time that some really great recordings were being made (the Concertgebouw / Jochum 1968 stands out). It is right there with the best of them, IMO.  :)


As far as moderators go, I'm the best looking of the lot (I imagine), but the others can be equally useful even though their taste in some things leaves room for improvement. ;)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Smith / Banchini / Plantier / Courvoisier / Dieltens - Hob 03 006 Cassation in C for Lute, Violin & Cello 4th mvmt - Finale: Presto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on January 09, 2011, 06:53:42 PM
This is almost worthy of a thread by itself. My top honours go to Leibowitz's Scherzo.
I like it too. It's jocular, bouncy, humorous, sassy. It's what a scherzo should be.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 09, 2011, 06:59:38 PM
Collection as of 1/11/11

Year                          Orchestra                                          Conductor
1929   Berlin State Opera Orchestra                          Fried, Oscar
1935   Vienna Philharmonic                                         Weingartner, Felix
1942   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1948 & 53   New York Philharmonic                          Walter, Bruno
1952   Bavarian RSO                                                  Jochum, Eugen
1952   NBC Symphony                                                  Toscanini, Arturo
1953   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1954   Philharmonia                                                  Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1955   Philharmonia                                                  Karajan, Herbert von
1955   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Walter, Bruno
1956   Royal Philharmonic                                          Beecham, Thomas
1956   Royal Concertgebouw                                  Klemperer, Otto
1957   Philharmonia                                                  Klemperer, Otto
1958   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Fricsay, Ferenc
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande                          Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus                                          Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony                                          Reiner, Fritz
1962   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony                                          Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra                                          Szell, George
1966   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans
1967   Philadelphia Orchestra                                  Ormandy, Eugene
1968   Czech Philharmonic                                          Kletzki, Paul
1969   New York Philharmonic                                  Bernstein, Leonard
1969   Royal Concertgebouw                                  Jochum, Eugen
1970   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Böhm, Karl
1972   Chicago Symphony                                          Solti, George
1973   London Symphony                                          Giulini, Carl Maria
1974   Hungarian PO                                                  Ferencsik, János
1974   Munich Philharmonic                                          Kempe, Rudolf
1975   New York Philharmonic                                  Boulez, Pierre
1975   Leipzig Gewandhaus                                          Masur, Kurt
1977   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Karajan, Herbert von
1979   London Symphony                                          Jochum, Eugen
1979   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Karajan, Herbert von
1980   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Bernstein, Leonard
1980   Vienna Philharmonic                                          Böhm, Karl
1982   Dresden PO                                                  Kegel, Herbert
1983   New York Philharmonic                                  Mehta, Zubin
1985   Cleveland Orchestra                                          Dohnányi, Christoph von
1986   NDR Symphony                                                  Wand, Gunter
1987   London Classical Players                                  Norrington, Roger
1987   Chicago Symphony                                          Solti, George
1988   Hanover Band                                                  Goodman, Roy
1988   Northern Sinfonia                                          Hickox, Richard
1988   Academy of Ancient Music                                  Hogwood, Christopher
1988   Philadelphia Orchestra                                  Muti, Ricardo
1989   Munich Philharmonic                                          Celidibache, Sergiu
1989   NHK Symphony                                                  Wakasugi, Hiroshi
1991   Chamber Orchestra of Europe                          Harnoncourt, Nikolaus
1991   Royal Liverpool Philharmonic                          Mackerras, Charles
1992   Staatskapelle Berlin                                          Barenboim, Daniel
1992   Orchestra of the 18th Century                          Brüggen, Frans
1992   Royal Concertgebouw                                  Haitink, Bernard
1992   Boston Philharmonic                                          Zander, Benjamin
1994   Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique          Gardiner, John
1997   Staatskapelle Dresden                                  Sinopoli, Giuseppe
1998   Zurich Tönhalle Orchester                                  Zinman, David
1999   Orchestre des Champs Elysées                          Herreweghe, Phillippe
2000   Berlin Philharmonic                                          Abbado, Claudio
2000   Berliner Staatskapelle                                          Barenboim, Daniel
2002   Stuttgart RSO                                                  Norrington, Roger
2006   London Symphony                                          Haitink, Bernard
2006   Russian National Orchestra                                  Pletnev, Mikhail
2006   Minnesota Orchestra                                          Vänskä, Osmo
2007   Anima Eterna                                                  Immerseel, Jos van
2007   Scottish Chamber Orchestra                          Mackerras, Charles
2007   Das Neue Orchester                                          Spering, Christopher
2007   American Bach Soloists                                  Thomas, Jeffrey
2007   Cleveland Orchestra                                          Welser-Most, Franz
2009   German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen          Järvi, Paavo
2009   La Chambre Philharmonique                          Krivine, Emmanuel
2010   Leipzig Gewandhaus                                          Chailly, Riccardo
???           Staatskapelle Dresden                                  Blomstedt, Herbert
???           Budapest PO                                                  Saccani, Rico


8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ajlee on January 09, 2011, 09:26:21 PM
1) Traditional
Klemperer/Philharmonia: one gritty performance, especially in the 1st mvmt (the fugal section in the development is very intense); generally good orchestral playing (and very well-balanced)

Fricsay/Berlin: he's got a good grasp of the flow; there's no exaggeration of emotions; overall Fricsay simply makes it sound "natural", which probably isn't an easy thing to do. It's not the type that'll sweep you away, but you'll subconsciously want to listen to it repeatedly.

Bohm/Vienna: again, a straightforward approach with no pretensions. The playing is very good, and the finale is extremely exciting (Bohm can often be the opposite of that), esp. in the coda, where Bohm closes the work with a surge of Furtwanglerian-like energy. It is, IMO, one of the best endings recorded.

Szell/Cleveland: Since I started liking the 9th (actually symphonic works in general) done the "Germanic" (big, dark, grand, heavy) way, I never thought this performance would be the one I go back to most often. Sure, Szell's approach doesn't sound as "big" as, say, Klemperer, but he sacrifices NONE of the music's drama, and certainly is even more exciting in certain parts (e.g. The scherzo, the fugal sections in mvts 1 and 4, and virtually the entire finale). His recapitulation in the 1st mvt is actually quite intense, despite the fact he doesn't drag out the tempo like other traditional conductors do. The Scherzo's not dragged down by heaviness, the Adagio flows naturally, and the finale sounds like there's always plenty of reserve of energy.

2) Period instrument
Do not have any that I like---in general, I believe this approach simply doesn't do justice to the music.

3). Modern, HIP-infleunced
Vanska/Minnesota: I think it's very good; he combines the athleticism of the HIP approach with a true big-band sound. However, he can sound a little "clinical" at times.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Est.1965 on January 13, 2011, 01:57:32 AM
Quote
Period instrument
Do not have any that I like---in general, I believe this approach simply doesn't do justice to the music.

Aye, Beethoven would be in his element NOW with modern orchestras.  As we know, when it came to Symphonic form, Beethoven pulled out all the stops to make it exciting, dynamic and loud.
I think today he woul ask questions of period performances of his music - it would be inconceivable in his mind to perform with an orchestras which lacked the sonic punch of
todays instruments, as it was in his own era.

Still, I like Gardiners HIP Beethoven, but my favourite ninth is the one I first ever heard, Karajan, 1962.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 13, 2011, 05:35:52 AM
1) Traditional
Klemperer/Philharmonia: one gritty performance, especially in the 1st mvmt (the fugal section in the development is very intense); generally good orchestral playing (and very well-balanced)

Fricsay/Berlin: he's got a good grasp of the flow; there's no exaggeration of emotions; overall Fricsay simply makes it sound "natural", which probably isn't an easy thing to do. It's not the type that'll sweep you away, but you'll subconsciously want to listen to it repeatedly.

Bohm/Vienna: again, a straightforward approach with no pretensions. The playing is very good, and the finale is extremely exciting (Bohm can often be the opposite of that), esp. in the coda, where Bohm closes the work with a surge of Furtwanglerian-like energy. It is, IMO, one of the best endings recorded.

Szell/Cleveland: Since I started liking the 9th (actually symphonic works in general) done the "Germanic" (big, dark, grand, heavy) way, I never thought this performance would be the one I go back to most often. Sure, Szell's approach doesn't sound as "big" as, say, Klemperer, but he sacrifices NONE of the music's drama, and certainly is even more exciting in certain parts (e.g. The scherzo, the fugal sections in mvts 1 and 4, and virtually the entire finale). His recapitulation in the 1st mvt is actually quite intense, despite the fact he doesn't drag out the tempo like other traditional conductors do. The Scherzo's not dragged down by heaviness, the Adagio flows naturally, and the finale sounds like there's always plenty of reserve of energy.

That's a pretty good crop, probably verging on 'pick of the litter' from the 1955-70 era. I would happily rec Konswitchny (sic) to you, for an additional 50's version, and either Kletzky or Jochum/Concertgebouw for a 60's one. I think you would find that they mixed in nicely with what you already like. :)

Quote
2) Period instrument
Do not have any that I like---in general, I believe this approach simply doesn't do justice to the music.

No accounting for taste of course, but I totally believe you are wrong here. The music was written for these instruments, how could they not be appropriate?  However, there is no possible way that they can be made to sound like Karajan '62 for example, and if that (or Klemp or Böhm or even Fricsay) is your standard and you don't want to deviate, then of course, it will always sound wrong.


Quote
3). Modern, HIP-infleunced
Vanska/Minnesota: I think it's very good; he combines the athleticism of the HIP approach with a true big-band sound. However, he can sound a little "clinical" at times.

I like Vänskä too. I think his approach makes maximum good use of what he is working with, which is a very talented very big band. That sort of hybrid approach, using Barenreiter scores with modern instruments, seems to be the trend of the future. The earliest (1988) I've heard doing this was Hickox with the Northern Sinfonia. Seems like he was a pioneer in that regard, something else to be thankful for. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 13, 2011, 05:43:28 AM
Aye, Beethoven would be in his element NOW with modern orchestras.  As we know, when it came to Symphonic form, Beethoven pulled out all the stops to make it exciting, dynamic and loud.
I think today he woul ask questions of period performances of his music - it would be inconceivable in his mind to perform with an orchestras which lacked the sonic punch of
todays instruments, as it was in his own era.

Still, I like Gardiners HIP Beethoven, but my favourite ninth is the one I first ever heard, Karajan, 1962.

Well, just to make you think about your own argument for a second, John, I will first say that I never for a second subscribed to any argument based on "yeah, but if he were alive today..." sort of statements. "Yeah, if pigs had freakin' wings..." ::) . But to put it plainly, Beethoven pushed the envelope of then-current orchestration when he wrote the 9th. Even today, on modern instruments, you would be hard-pressed to ever find a player who said "shit, that was too easy". Ask Jocannon about playing the oboe in performance!   In any case, you actually don't like one because you like the other so much, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Karajan 62 is a fine performance. But better worse apples oranges yada yada doesn't mean anything in this context. Me not liking Furtwängler's approach doesn't amount to anything at all, since he doesn't need me to validate him. That's all I'm saying. :)

Good to see you back, BTW.


8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Est.1965 on January 13, 2011, 08:49:55 AM
Well, just to make you think about your own argument for a second, John, I will first say that I never for a second subscribed to any argument based on "yeah, but if he were alive today..." sort of statements. "Yeah, if pigs had freakin' wings..." ::) . But to put it plainly, Beethoven pushed the envelope of then-current orchestration when he wrote the 9th. Even today, on modern instruments, you would be hard-pressed to ever find a player who said "shit, that was too easy". Ask Jocannon about playing the oboe in performance!   In any case, you actually don't like one because you like the other so much, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. Karajan 62 is a fine performance. But better worse apples oranges yada yada doesn't mean anything in this context. Me not liking Furtwängler's approach doesn't amount to anything at all, since he doesn't need me to validate him. That's all I'm saying. :)
Good to see you back, BTW.
8)

Thanks Gurn.
I do not follow what you are positing here.  I am not presenting an argument and I don't doubt that in performance anyone would turn round and say it was easy.
Quote
In any case, you actually don't like one because you like the other so much, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.
What are you talking about?  There isn't a Beethovens 9th out there I've heard that I don't like.  I have two HIP sets (Gardiner, Norrington) which are great, but I prefer Gardiners.  And I have many 'modern' ones, of which I still stand beside the early Karajan BPO and Bohm with the VPO.
Quote
But better worse apples oranges yada yada doesn't mean anything in this context. Me not liking Furtwängler's approach doesn't amount to anything at all, since he doesn't need me to validate him. That's all I'm saying. :)
Eh?  What is it I'm presenting that brings your unusual assessment here?  It may be we 'validate' what we like by exploring and revealing what it is we like about it - but it is also it is also necessary for us to say WHY we DON'T like something, so we can stand corrected or be guided to a more rounded conclusion if appropriate lest we appear daft for saying we 'don't like it, period.'
Quote
Well, just to make you think about your own argument for a second, John, I will first say that I never for a second subscribed to any argument based on "yeah, but if he were alive today..." sort of statements. "Yeah, if pigs had freakin' wings..." ::)

Yes Gurn, it was rather foolish of me to put Beethoven in a Time Machine to make a point which could have been better substantiated with the arguments of his day...I learned a wee lesson from you there.
Thanks Gurn, despite that I'm uncertain as to why my post riled you so.   :(
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on January 13, 2011, 09:18:03 AM
Aye, Beethoven would be in his element NOW with modern orchestras.  As we know, when it came to Symphonic form, Beethoven pulled out all the stops to make it exciting, dynamic and loud.
I think today he woul ask questions of period performances of his music - it would be inconceivable in his mind to perform with an orchestras which lacked the sonic punch of
todays instruments, as it was in his own era.
I lack that special access to the mind of Beethoven to know what he could or couldn't conceive of.  My belief is that he wrote for the instruments of his time, orchestrating accordingly.  Had he access to today's resources, he might have changed some things a bit to take advantage of them without altering the sonic balances that are every bit as important (if not more!) than sheer amplitude.  Just my two cents. Others, of course, are welcome to their own opinions and preferences, supported or not by rationalization.

Part of the reason I enjoy Brüggen's Beethoven so much is precisely because of the balance of forces that gives the winds more prominence than typically heard in big band string heavy performances.  I like the raucous rusticity much more than the homogenous blanket of sound characteristic of Karajan, for instance.  (Of course, I'm also more enthusiastic about racing a crotch rocket on twisting canyon roads than driving a plush Cadillac on an interstate highway.  Different strokes.)

But also, as I've written elsewhere, I think the enthusiastic punchiness of Brüggen's band captures the spirit of Beethoven's own conducting as described by contemporary witnesses--though that's more a justification rationalizing my preference than an explanation for a preference that's much more a matter of how I'm wired to respond physically, intuitively, and emotionally rather than how my intellect, based on whatever premises I have to start with, determines I should respond.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Est.1965 on January 13, 2011, 09:28:39 AM
Quote
I lack that special access to the mind of Beethoven to know what he could or couldn't conceive of.

What special access?   Read his letters.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on January 15, 2011, 08:41:19 AM
Let's take the middle road and say that Beethoven might have preferred some modern instruments as opposed to his own period instruments, and vice-versa. Who knows? The Shadow? Perhaps.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Clever Hans on January 15, 2011, 12:28:03 PM
Hard to beat natural brass.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: david johnson on January 16, 2011, 12:06:01 AM
as i revisit this thread, i must add weingartner/vpo to my short list.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 16, 2011, 07:14:39 AM
Hard to beat natural brass.

Yes indeed! :)
as i revisit this thread, i must add weingartner/vpo to my short list.
It's a good choice. Mine is that Naxos Historical release, and it is amazingly listenable.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MonteuxLSO1962cover.jpg)

For today. First time I've ever heard Monteux conduct anything at all, and I like what he has done so far with the Londoners.

8)

----------------
Now playing:
London SO \ Pierre Monteux 1962 - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 1st mvmt - Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on January 16, 2011, 07:53:11 AM
To Gurn,
Whose recording of the Ninth is on tap today, Sunday, January 16, 2011?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 16, 2011, 08:00:34 AM
To Gurn,
Whose recording of the Ninth is on tap today, Sunday, January 16, 2011?

It is that Monteux. We are up to the Turkish March as I write this. The playing so far has been very good, although I have mixed feelings about how the chorus has been doing here. It may be a bit much for them! The soloists are good though, particularly Ward, the Bass/Baritone. And Monteux is building up steam as he moves it along. Overall, I would give it high marks. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
London SO \ Pierre Monteux 1962 - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Finale: Presto - Recitativo: 'O Freunde, nicht diese Töne' - Allegro assai
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ajlee on January 17, 2011, 01:44:14 AM
I think, with the right conductors, you don't really have to sacrifice the sort of instrumental balance (i.e. More prominent winds) more commonly found in period performances. For ex., I never felt any instrumental detail was lost in Szell's studio reading, and Klemperer always stressed balance b/w strings & winds. I guess what I'm trying to say is that with "big band" you can get the best of both worlds...when able figures are on the podium.

That said, I do admire the vigor and freshness imparted by period approach. But then again, that could be matched if the good "big band" conductor so wishes (e.g. Zinman/Tonhalle).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 30, 2011, 09:01:37 AM
I think, with the right conductors, you don't really have to sacrifice the sort of instrumental balance (i.e. More prominent winds) more commonly found in period performances. For ex., I never felt any instrumental detail was lost in Szell's studio reading, and Klemperer always stressed balance b/w strings & winds. I guess what I'm trying to say is that with "big band" you can get the best of both worlds...when able figures are on the podium.

That said, I do admire the vigor and freshness imparted by period approach. But then again, that could be matched if the good "big band" conductor so wishes (e.g. Zinman/Tonhalle).

All true, but a lot of 'ifs' in there. And it doesn't really address the fact that performance style changed a lot from 1824 through the entire Romantic period and 20th century. One of the main purposes of period performance is to try and shed off some of the encrustation that was stuck on there over 150 years.  You are quite right about the use of a period approach with modern instruments. Problem is, not everyone has Zinman's ability to drive that orchestra and keep it on the tracks. In any case, for those who truly enjoy the sound of period instruments, it doesn't matter who is playing and conducting, modern instruments will never match that sound. Nor should they, they have their own adherents and should be trying to please them.

"Ladies & Gentlemen; the management wishes to remind you that the next performance is an exhibition, it is not a competition. Please, no wagering".   :)

This morning:


(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MutiPhiladelphiacover-1.jpg)
(Added my own cover since apparently Amazon isn't cooperating with this one. Click to buy still works though!)
Every bit as nice as you would expect from the Philadelphians. Muti sort of surprised me here, he seemed to be doing his level best to keep to the Beethoven tempo indications. The music certainly didn't suffer for it either. Studer, Ziegler, Seiffert & Morris all performed admirably, as did the Westminster Choir. I get a certain puzzled amusement from the fact that EMI felt it necessary to point out that the following is sung in German. Mystery solved!  ::)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ajlee on January 31, 2011, 08:09:38 PM
Gurn,

Ya, I guess if you're talking about the "tone", modern instruments definitely will not become period instruments. I was solely talking about the balance issue, though.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 01, 2011, 05:36:40 AM
Gurn,

Ya, I guess if you're talking about the "tone", modern instruments definitely will not become period instruments. I was solely talking about the balance issue, though.

Yes, well as instruments evolved they did seem to have equivalent increases in volume, or else the numbers of them were balanced out so that good balance was achieved, so in that regard, you are probably right. Still, it depends on a thoughtful leader who will choose the right numbers of fiddlers, for example, and not mind not having the full complement if that's what it takes to let the winds show through. This may seem mind-numbingly simple, but in the event it is often not done. Thus the all-too-common string-heavy sound in a work that was written wind-heavy overall. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on February 02, 2011, 07:59:28 PM
RJR,
Hey, thanks for that. Not only a lot of information, but a nice consolidation of the things that I was able to discover since I first asked that question. :)

As you probably noted, earlier eras in performance style are not my favorites, however I can say confidently that the performance of the Liepzeig Gewandhaus / Konwitschny was at the top of the heap there, and most recommendable.

Do you have any other favorites that you would recommend we look into? Always pleased to discover. :)

8)

----------------
Now playing:
Annie Fischer - Op 028 Sonata #15 in D for Piano 2nd mvmt - Andante
Fritz Reiner. I do wish Nikisch had a chance to record the Ninth. Mahler as well. The Liszt transcription of the Ninth is also quite good.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 03, 2011, 05:29:45 AM
Fritz Reiner. I do wish Nikisch had a chance to record the Ninth. Mahler as well. The Liszt transcription of the Ninth is also quite good.

Ah yes, Reiner. I do enjoy that disk, the playing is powerful but precise, nice flow to the whole. I do have Neeme Jarvi and the Detroit band doing Mahler's version of the 9th. Not my thing, I'm afraid. However, Katsaris does a super job with the Liszt transcription; every time I listen to it I wonder where he keeps the extra hand between performances. :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: The Diner on February 03, 2011, 05:32:29 AM
Ah yes, Reiner. I do enjoy that disk, the playing is powerful but precise, nice flow to the whole. I do have Neeme Jarvi and the Detroit band doing Mahler's version of the 9th. Not my thing, I'm afraid. However, Katsaris does a super job with the Liszt transcription; every time I listen to it I wonder where he keeps the extra hand between performances. :D

8)

I think Fritz loses it a bit in the last movement, but the rest is killer.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 03, 2011, 05:37:56 AM
I think Fritz loses it a bit in the last movement, but the rest is killer.

Well, they DO get a bit wound up, don't they? Funny thing, when you read a lot of reviews of 9th performances, the vast majority of them rise or fall on the Ode. In Reiner's case, I think the rest of it is so good that a bit of coming apart at the seams is not so hard to overlook. If the rest of it sucked, then this would be mortal rather than venial. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: chung on February 04, 2011, 12:35:11 PM
My top 5 recordings of no. 9 right now are:

Leinsdorf, BSO (RCA)
Wand, NDRSO (RCA)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, VPO (London)
Barenboim, SB (Warner)
Blomstedt, SD (Brilliant)

Honourable mention to Munch, BSO (RCA). I haven't yet heard Fricsay, BPO but it's on the way from Amazon Marketplace.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 04, 2011, 12:39:55 PM
My top 5 recordings of no. 9 right now are:

Leinsdorf, BSO (RCA)
Wand, NDRSO (RCA)
Schmidt-Isserstedt, VPO (London)
Barenboim, SB (Warner)
Blomstedt, SD (Brilliant)

Honourable mention to Munch, BSO (RCA). I haven't yet heard Fricsay, BPO but it's on the way from Amazon Marketplace.

Welcome, Chung.

Those are good choices, the only one I don't have is the first, and in a remarkable twist   
Quote
but it's on the way from Amazon Marketplace.
  I ordered it this past Monday and expect it as soon as tomorrow. Fricsay will fit in well with that group; if that is the performance style that you like, he will be a perfect addition. :)

8)


----------------
Now playing:
Academy for Old Music Berlin \ René Jacobs  Rias Chamber Choir - K 620 Singspiel in 2 Acts 'The Magic Flute' pt 01 - Ouvertüre
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ajlee on February 04, 2011, 09:02:51 PM
Fricsay is awesome!! His may seem kind of "plain" upon first listening, but afterwards you'll get that feeling of "natural-ness" that makes everything feels so right. It certainly is enjoyable for the long-run.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2011, 12:22:43 AM
Leinsdorf seems to attract very contrasting opinions. There used to be a poster here who was clearly allergic to him. Seems though that he could be a hit or miss conductor. We had some of those in the UK, principally Sir Malcolm Sargent. I wonder what Leinsdorf's Beethoven 9th is like?

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 05, 2011, 07:46:36 AM
Leinsdorf seems to attract very contrasting opinions. There used to be a poster here who was clearly allergic to him. Seems though that he could be a hit or miss conductor. We had some of those in the UK, principally Sir Malcolm Sargent. I wonder what Leinsdorf's Beethoven 9th is like?

Mike

Well, I have never heard him conduct anything (I'm sure that most people know by now of my allergy to dead performers). But my 9th collection is an exception to nearly all of my rules, so when Amazon put the advert in my page (maybe you would like this?) I figured 'why not?'. So we'll see, probably next Sunday rather than this one. I have no preconceptions beyond that the Boston band was world-class at that time. And maybe still are. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2011, 07:54:56 AM
An interesting fetish you have been nourishing: No dead performers, no live composers.

Does this require a clear out as the passage of time culls generations of performers? Margaret Price just fell off her log....feel free to send the proscribed CDs over the pond. On the other hand Gorecki died fairly recently, so I imagine you are now scanning for bargains of his work.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 05, 2011, 07:59:22 AM
An interesting fetish you have been nourishing: No dead performers, no live composers.

Does this require a clear out as the passage of time culls generations of performers? Margaret Price just fell off her log....feel free to send the proscribed CDs over the pond. On the other hand Gorecki died fairly recently, so I imagine you are now scanning for bargains of his work.

Mike

:D  No, I'm not that active about it; status at the time of purchase lasts for MY lifetime. Although Gorecki sound interesting. Once I begin seeing disk stickers reading 'performed on period instruments' I will know enough time has passed. :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2011, 08:06:50 AM
I was once in choir for a Mahler 8th with Leinsdorf. I have a few of his discs, Butterfly, Walkure, Salome and then a Leontine Price disc of Richard Strauss, Hits and one conspicuous miss. I got rid of an Aida.

I will be interested in your opinion of his LvB.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Scarpia on February 05, 2011, 08:10:04 AM
Leinsdorf seems to attract very contrasting opinions. There used to be a poster here who was clearly allergic to him. Seems though that he could be a hit or miss conductor. We had some of those in the UK, principally Sir Malcolm Sargent. I wonder what Leinsdorf's Beethoven 9th is like?

Heard Leinsdorf live once, Mostly Mozart Festival in New York.  Did a good job on Mozart Symphony #39, as I recall.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 05, 2011, 08:11:07 AM
I was once in choir for a Mahler 8th with Leinsdorf. I have a few of his discs, Butterfly, Walkure, Salome and then a Leontine Price disc of Richard Strauss, Hits and one conspicuous miss. I got rid of an Aida.

I will be interested in your opinion of his LvB.

Mike

And you shall have it. That seems like a pretty good average on your list. I know a conductor takes ultimate responsibility for a production, but was that Aida failure his fault?  Just curious, an opera being such a sprawling affair... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on February 05, 2011, 08:16:39 AM
I don't want to take you off-topic; but the Aida was frankly dull. Hie fault. The Mahler 8th was probably the least successful performance of it I was in. He looked really quite elderly and not really 'with' it by 1976 and I think the scale of it was overwhelming for him. He was only in his 60s, but seemed a great deal older.

I have really enjoyed a number of his other recordings and have felt he is underrated. Looking on Amazon, I was surprised to see just how much of his work is available.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 05, 2011, 08:25:00 AM
I don't want to take you off-topic; but the Aida was frankly dull. Hie fault. The Mahler 8th was probably the least successful performance of it I was in. He looked really quite elderly and not really 'with' it by 1976 and I think the scale of it was overwhelming for him. He was only in his 60s, but seemed a great deal older.

I have really enjoyed a number of his other recordings and have felt he is underrated. Looking on Amazon, I was surprised to see just how much of his work is available.

Mike

No, that isn't OT, this is about the performance of a large-scale orchestral/choral work, so something comparative is handy reference. As long as you aren't laboring under the delusion that a Mahler 8th, no matter how well performed, can even carry Beethoven's jock; well that would be OT... :D 

Anyway, I think it's interesting. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on February 06, 2011, 05:23:34 PM
We watched the Leonard Bernstein's Sunday series in the early 60s. It was my first exposure to classical music. I was playing Oboe in my junior high school orchestra at the time. Erich Leinsdorf was the second conductor that I became familiar with. He recorded the Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos of Beethoven with Artur Rubinstein. Both concertos were televised in 1967. I bought both recordings. I used to listen to them on headphones late at night when everybody else was asleep. After that it was Ancerl's Moldau, Krips complete Beethoven, then Furtwangler's Bayreuth 1951, which I bought for my birthday in 1970.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: chung on February 07, 2011, 08:29:58 AM
Thanks for the welcome, Gurn.

On Leinsdorf, he gives a spirited reading of No. 9, and the last movement is definitely up there especially helped by Domingo in his solo. Yet I agree that he is fairly hit-and-miss (at least with Beethoven). I dislike his work with Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5 especially (No. 3 is played too slowly for me, while in No. 5 he seems rather disinterested) but like his work on Nos. 6 and 8 (in addition to no. 9). I'm indifferent to his take on the remaining symphonies.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 07, 2011, 08:37:00 AM
Thanks for the welcome, Gurn.

On Leinsdorf, he gives a spirited reading of No. 9, and the last movement is definitely up there especially helped by Domingo in his solo. Yet I agree that he is fairly hit-and-miss (at least with Beethoven). I dislike his work with Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5 especially (No. 3 is played too slowly for me, while in No. 5 he seems rather disinterested) but like his work on Nos. 6 and 8 (in addition to no. 9). I'm indifferent to his take on the remaining symphonies.

Thanks, Chung. As you saw later on, Leinsdorf is a great unknown to me, so it's good to have a basis to pick and choose a few disks. 3 & 5 would have been on my list, so I can save the $$ and feel better already!   :)

Yesterday,. I listened to Chicago/Solti 1972. While not my favorite performance, it is very good quality playing and especially work from the soloists. I can't say exactly what it is that brings it down for me; perhaps all the rave reviews have raised my expectations beyond possibility!  :-\  Anyway, certainly no disappointment, it was a very nice Sunday AM. :)



8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: MishaK on February 07, 2011, 09:42:26 AM
perhaps all the rave reviews have raised my expectations beyond possibility! 

Are you sure the rave reviews were about this recording? I think the 1986 recording is superior.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 07, 2011, 10:25:37 AM
Are you sure the rave reviews were about this recording? I think the 1986 recording is superior.

I have read any number of times that the 1972 is supposed to be far superior. As it happens, I prefer the 1986 too, although to be fair, it was my first recording of this work, so I don't trust my judgment. But read around at posted reviews and to a person, they lean towards the earlier version. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 20, 2011, 09:10:19 AM
The late 1960's was a watershed era for performance of the Ninth, IMO. Conductors were starting to shed some of the post-Romantic orchestral trappings that had dominated performance for the previous 75 years, and were playing leaner, soundwise if not size-wise. One of my favorite recordings from that era (1967 or 68, hard to tell from the liner notes) is the Czech PO / Paul Kletzki. And that was my most enjoyable treat today.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/51HKj0oii2BL.jpg)

If you get a chance to pick this one up (it's a double disk with a very nice 7 & 8), by all means take up the offer. It's a peach! :)

8)

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Now playing:
Czech PO \ Kletzki - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 4th mvmt - Presto - Allegro assai - "Ode to Joy"
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on February 20, 2011, 07:57:37 PM
The late 1960's was a watershed era for performance of the Ninth, IMO. Conductors were starting to shed some of the post-Romantic orchestral trappings that had dominated performance for the previous 75 years, and were playing leaner, soundwise if not size-wise. One of my favorite recordings from that era (1967 or 68, hard to tell from the liner notes) is the Czech PO / Paul Kletzki. And that was my most enjoyable treat today.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/51HKj0oii2BL.jpg)

If you get a chance to pick this one up (it's a double disk with a very nice 7 & 8), by all means take up the offer. It's a peach! :)


Cool, Gurn! I feel almost like a proud father seeing that Kletzki ninth turn up in your esteemed thread! ;D



Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 21, 2011, 05:19:24 AM
Cool, Gurn! I feel almost like a proud father seeing that Kletzki ninth turn up in your esteemed thread! ;D

Yes, DD, I might have been a long time running across this if it hadn't been for your rec. This is a highly recommendable account that anyone should enjoy, thus completely filling the aim of this thread. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 06, 2011, 10:03:23 AM

And now to Schuricht and the French National Orchestra.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thSchuricht1954cover.jpg)

Ordinarily, when I get a new 9th, as I did this one yesterday, I prepare it for the upcoming Sunday and leave it alone. This one intrigued me though, because the file size was so small. The total flac size was barely larger than what a typical 9th is in MP3 format, and the MP3's total only 65 megs. Little alarm bells went off, and so I listen today instead. So now I see; I bet that when this was played 'live' in 1954 at Montreaux, everyone who heard it was delighted. At least through 3 movements it is well played, nice tempos, really an acceptable performance for that time. However, there is nothing there for the sound engineer to work with. Different parts move to the fore and then fade to the back (worse at the beginning), and the overall sound experience is a bummer. :-\   Well, you can't win them all. If I am disappointed with it, it is only because such a nice performance deserved to be better recorded. But then, it was 57 years ago... :)

I brought this comment over from yesterday's "What are you listening to?" thread, since it disappears from there so quickly. I am interested in any comment that Someone may have, especially those of you who champion historic recordings. Not that I want to argue with you, I am actually curious whether I have just been lucky so far in not getting more disks with this sort of sound issue, or whether it is clearly the exception rather than the rule. :-\

Today, I pulled out Herb Blomstedt and the wonderful Staatskapelle Dresden.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thBlomstedtcover.jpg)

As I understand it, they did this for the record more than once, although I haven't run across a different recording yet. Anyone know any details about that?  In any case, this one is very good, although the Baß, Karl-Heinz Stryczek, seems a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing from time to time. For an inexpensive LaserLight special, it is a nice recording to have on hand. :)

8)


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Now playing:
USSR Symphony Orchestra / Svetlanov - Glazunov Op 87 Symphonic Prologue - 'To the Memory of N Gogol'
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on March 06, 2011, 11:06:30 AM
I'm trying Norrington/Stuttgart. Really pleasantly surprised after several years away from this recording; spunk and vigor and intelligent shaping of phrases. No trademark Norrington wackiness, either. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 06, 2011, 11:41:20 AM
I'm trying Norrington/Stuttgart. Really pleasantly surprised after several years away from this recording; spunk and vigor and intelligent shaping of phrases. No trademark Norrington wackiness, either. :)

Yes, that's a nice version. In a lot of ways I am very sorry that Norrington was the pioneer PI recorder of the 9th; he put that "wacky" brand on the entire genre forever after. Despite that I can now enjoy that other version, still, it shouldn't have been the standard against which all subsequent versions are judged.

That said, I like the Stuttgart version for all the reasons you gave. :)

8)

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Now playing:
USSR Symphony Orchestra / Svetlanov - Glazunov Op 97 Theme with Variations in g for Strings
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on March 06, 2011, 03:27:53 PM
Gurn, Have you listened to that Leinsdorf yet?

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 06, 2011, 03:48:18 PM
Gurn, Have you listened to that Leinsdorf yet?

Mike

Mike,
Yes, in fact. Been 4 weeks ago already and still hadn't got back here with it. My bad  :-\

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9LeinsdorfBoston1969cover.jpg)

Well, there were no tragedies recorded here, just a nice straightforward 9th. The final movement was very good, the soloists (especially Domingo & Marsh) really carried the day. I now have many recordings from the decade of the '60's (which this is from 1969) and I honestly don't know how people can say with a straight face that this or that one is the best recording ever. Certainly there are differences, an accelerando here, a skipped repeat there, the great Prague winds, the great Philadelphia strings... etc., but one could pick one out of a hat from that decade and (barring a collapse of the bass/baritone) be hard pressed to decide who it is. Not who it isn't, but who it is.  There feels like a lot more differences in years previous and and newer efforts too. Interesting phenomenon, I'm rather curious if there is a cause and effect wherein the homogeneity of the 60's and 70's led to the diversity of the 80's and 90's. :)

8)



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Now playing:
Ensemble Moderntimes 1800 - K 201 Symphony #29 in A 3rd mvmt - Menuetto - Trio - Menuetto
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on March 07, 2011, 10:24:27 AM
I'm rather curious if there is a cause and effect wherein the homogeneity of the 60's and 70's led to the diversity of the 80's and 90's.
Plausible hypothesis.  From this consumer's point of view, it led to declining interest and demand - both rekindled by the HIP revolution (and increasing confidence in the validity of my own taste).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 07, 2011, 11:02:15 AM
Plausible hypothesis.  From this consumer's point of view, it led to declining interest and demand - both rekindled by the HIP revolution (and increasing confidence in the validity of my own taste).

Yes, clearly what I had in mind. And it isn't because they weren't good back then either; they were universally very good. But it would take a far keener ear than my own to differentiate them, and therein lies the issue, I think. But it's a good thing, it shows that there is yet a dynamism inherent that makes unexpected moves. That makes things interesting, even if certain curmudgeonly old-timers want to grumble... :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on March 08, 2011, 12:06:31 AM
Thanks for the report back Gurn.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on March 08, 2011, 11:34:00 AM
This thread is inspiring me to return to this work again this week. It hasn't been too long since I heard it, as i recently bought the Furtwanger SACD, which I enjoyed immensely:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T11pnKTdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

When I was young and new to Beethoven, my favorites were Norrington/LCP, Bernstein (Berlin wall performance) and this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61VQJCZA3AL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

It's been years since I heard the Abbado/VPO, but when I was in High School, this and the Norrington were my main recordings. I especially remember how the Abbado/VPO was always a profound listening experience, each time I played it. I would listen to the Abbado on cassette (in 1988 or so) in the mornings before school, and late into the night, when I should of been doing homework. I no longer own this recording, but this thread is inspiring me to buy it again, for the sake of returning to a much beloved, old recording from my past  ;D

These days I definitely prefer the traditional, ultra-romantic, Furtwangler-mystical Beethoven 9ths, but once in awhile I still love to listen to the old Norrington/LPC and the Hogwood version too. Sometime I want to hear more of the other HIPs I haven't heard, like the Bruggen.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on March 11, 2011, 10:08:53 AM
This thread is inspiring me to return to this work again this week. It hasn't been too long since I heard it, as i recently bought the Furtwanger SACD, which I enjoyed immensely:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T11pnKTdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


Upon revisting this the other day, I have to say I am more impressed the second time around, and the sound quality is very good for a recording of this age. Great stuff. I was floored.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2011, 10:52:31 AM
Upon revisting this the other day, I have to say I am more impressed the second time around, and the sound quality is very good for a recording of this age. Great stuff. I was floored.

I have to admit, I am intrigued by the concept of integrating SACD with recordings of that age. Not quite sure how that happens. They must start with a master of extraordinary quality...  :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on March 11, 2011, 11:57:47 AM
I have to admit, I am intrigued by the concept of integrating SACD with recordings of that age. Not quite sure how that happens. They must start with a master of extraordinary quality...  :-\

8)

I'll have to revist the booklet to see if anything is said about the source of this SACD. Although this mono recording is not, nor can ever be, pristine in a modern sense, at least who ever mastered this recording did beautifully with the tonality of the recording, as it has a beautiful sound :) There is hardly any ear piercing EQ applied as far as I can hear  ;D

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 14, 2011, 04:02:38 AM
Just listened to these... and the slow movement of the Thielemann 9th with the Vienna Philharmonic is un-be-lievable.


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0047QRXYE.01.L.jpg)
L.v.B. Symphonies 7, 8, 9
C.Thielemann / WPh
 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0047QRXYE/nectarandambr-20)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2011, 04:18:43 AM
Thanks for the rec, Jens. This is one that I will certainly look into. In the event that it is available with USA coding, of course... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 14, 2011, 06:21:57 AM
Thanks for the rec, Jens. This is one that I will certainly look into. In the event that it is available with USA coding, of course... :-\

8)

Oh, it will be. The stuff is distributed by Naxos as both, DVDs and BluRays... I think this one will be out next month.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2011, 07:12:14 AM
Oh, it will be. The stuff is distributed by Naxos as both, DVDs and BluRays... I think this one will be out next month.

Yup, Amazon have it for pre-order right now. I would have been happy with CD.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 20, 2011, 08:08:26 AM
Today, one of my favorites. The 2 disk set is a repeat of the lineup of the world premiere of the 9th, on May 7, 1824. It starts with the Overture to "The Consecration of the House", followed by what were called (thanks to the edict against playing church music outside of church) "3 Hymns", which were the Kyrie, the Credo and the Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis. Not a world premiere, but a Vienna one since it had premiered already in Moscow (IIRC). And finally, the grand event of the evening, "a new, grand symphony by our Louis van Beethoven...".



This is a very well played set, first rate all the way and overall a great set to just sit and enjoy from beginning to end. Highly recommended. :)

8)


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Now playing:
Das neue Orchester \ Spering - Op 125 Symphony #9 in d 3rd mvmt - Adagio molto e cantabile
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on March 20, 2011, 12:52:47 PM
Today, one of my favorites. The 2 disk set is a repeat of the lineup of the world premiere of the 9th, on May 7, 1824. It starts with the Overture to "The Consecration of the House", followed by what were called (thanks to the edict against playing church music outside of church) "3 Hymns", which were the Kyrie, the Credo and the Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis. Not a world premiere, but a Vienna one since it had premiered already in Moscow (IIRC). And finally, the grand event of the evening, "a new, grand symphony by our Louis van Beethoven...".



This is a very well played set, first rate all the way and overall a great set to just sit and enjoy from beginning to end. Highly recommended. :)

8)


Thanks for the recommend, as I have not heard of this recording yet...it looks really good.

 :D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield on April 01, 2011, 03:26:57 PM
Permit me a semi-exhausted exhalation, as I emerge from quite a few pages of catching up.

:o


Right.


Oh, here's another new (to me) one that I forgot to mention. It's funny because I read people writing about Karajan all the time, but I totally missed any reference to this:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanLive79cover.jpg)

Unlike most of you (apparently) I don't have the '77 or '83 (?) versions, only the '55 and '63, so this filled in the gap in his later output quite nicely. I've only had 1 go at it so far, so no solid opinion of it yet, but I liked what I heard, even though it was in the same vein as most traditional recordings. :)

I'm sure I've mentioned it at some point in the past, but either way this is in many ways the 'finished' version of Karajan's reading of the 9th until 1980. It's got the oomph, the clarity, the precision, and the streamlined refinement, without coming off as too genteel (as was sometimes the risk, if not the case, in the '77 studio version).

[Edit] Clarification: When I say 'Karajan's reading of the 9th' I mean with the BPO.


So, long story short, it's the pre-80s Karajan 9th to have - a good choice! The '83 one, by contrast, a very different animal. I can go into greater detail if you're interested. :)


I bought this today, having heard or read absolutely nothing about it. Anyone specifically heard this? London SO / Haitink.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PHBPC8KEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Amazon's 6 reviewers say 4 or 5 stars, but that has little value since apparently only people who like things post a review there... :)

8)

Did you listen to that one? It's not too bad, although the highlight of that cycle for me is the Pastoral. I recall arguing about it with Mark(!) ca. 2007.



Finally, and the main reason I went through the rest of the thread tonight: you don't seem to have the Abbado/CSO 9th. Is that correct?




I picked it up last year, and finally listened to around Christmas. All in all, it's one of the strongest performances of the 9th I've heard. Tempi (though bear in mind I don't exactly pore over the Bärenreiter Urtext), articulation, the reading, the playing and the signing are remarkably, consistently good!

To be clear, I did not find it better than my long-established, mostly 'mystical' favourites (Furtwängler et al.); but I try as I might, I cannot think of a more successful 'pulling off' of almost each and every one of the 9th's tricky individual segments, in a purely musical - and unlike Abbado/BPO, unaffected* - sense.


*By which I mean that the Abbado/BPO 9th sounds like Abbado and the BPO playing Beethoven, to me, whereas this one somehow just sounds like the 9th.


So there's another one to consider, if you haven't already. :D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Antoine Marchand on April 01, 2011, 04:17:55 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D8xdsxDmL._SS450_.jpg)

For those who liked Krivine's performance of the Ninth on period instruments, this will be a good news because now has been released the complete set of Beethoven's symphonies:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IOhzFKH7OH8/TXyReDSxQFI/AAAAAAAAAk0/_FtS_5aJc6c/s1600/Krivine0001.jpg)

Quote
Sinéad Mulhern (soprano), Carolin Masur (mezzo-soprano), Dominik Wortig (tenor) & Konstantin Wolff (bass-baritone)

La Chambre Philharmonique (on period instruments) & Choeur de Chambre les Éléments, Emmanuel Krivine

This specially priced 5CD set of the complete symphonies of Beethoven is performed by the period instrument orchestra La Chambre Philharmonique under conductor Emmanuel Krivine. It includes a critically-acclaimed recording of the Symphony No. 9 (V5202) released in 2009, the only one of the CDs to have been previously available.

La Chambre Philharmonique was formed by Emmanuel Krivine and is made up of instrumentalists from the finest European ensembles. Its structure is original, in that conductor and players enjoy equal status and current members choose new players. The size of the ensemble is flexible, bringing together players, instruments and historical techniques as appropriate for each programme. The orchestra’s first recording of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor (V5043) marked the beginning of its collaboration with Naïve. This was followed by the world premiere recording on period instruments of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’, coupled with Schumann’s Konzertstück for four horns and orchestra, which won a Classique d’Or RTL on its release in 2008. Since then its CDs of Mendelssohn’s Symphonies (V5069) and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (V5202) have received numerous awards in the press. These performances of the complete Beethoven Symphonies were recorded in three French venues, Cite de la Musique in Paris, MC2: Grenoble, and the Theatre de Caen).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2011, 04:21:24 PM
Permit me a semi-exhausted exhalation, as I emerge from quite a few pages of catching up.

:o


Right.


I'm sure I've mentioned it at some point in the past, but either way this is in many ways the 'finished' version of Karajan's reading of the 9th until 1980. It's got the oomph, the clarity, the precision, and the streamlined refinement, without coming off as too genteel (as was sometimes the risk, if not the case, in the '77 studio version).

[Edit] Clarification: When I say 'Karajan's reading of the 9th' I mean with the BPO.


So, long story short, it's the pre-80s Karajan 9th to have - a good choice! The '83 one, by contrast, a very different animal. I can go into greater detail if you're interested. :)

You are clearly in it for the long haul, Renfield! Thanks for the comments, much appreciated.

I liked this Karajan. I am not overly whelmed by the 77, I think the statements he made in 62 hold up to any revision in studio editions. However, the Tokyo version is a different critter. Maybe they didn't bother messing with it like they do the studio ones, but I feel that it has a rawer and more visceral feel to it. This work could find no more appreciative audience on Earth than the Tokyo one, so maybe that brought out the best in the band and its leader. In any case, I like this one a lot. :)

Quote
Did you listen to that one? It's not too bad, although the highlight of that cycle for me is the Pastoral. I recall arguing about it with Mark(!) ca. 2007.

I do listen to it (as recently as late February), and find it one that I like to come back to. I didn't get the entire cycle (I have my favorite work, and don't see me needing more than 20 each of the others). I like the choral work in this one especially. I have Haitink also with the Concertgebouworkest, and despite their exquisite playing I like this one as well. I am not someone to look to for picking a favorite, since I take each performance strictly on its own terms and don't tend to judge it versus others, but I do like Haitink, he pays homage to the past but doesn't overlook the stylishness of the present either. :)

Quote
Finally, and the main reason I went through the rest of the thread tonight: you don't seem to have the Abbado/CSO 9th. Is that correct?




I picked it up last year, and finally listened to around Christmas. All in all, it's one of the strongest performances of the 9th I've heard. Tempi (though bear in mind I don't exactly pore over the Bärenreiter Urtext), articulation, the reading, the playing and the signing are remarkably, consistently good!

To be clear, I did not find it better than my long-established, mostly 'mystical' favourites (Furtwängler et al.); but I try as I might, I cannot think of a more successful 'pulling off' of almost each and every one of the 9th's tricky individual segments, in a purely musical - and unlike Abbado/BPO, unaffected* - sense.


*By which I mean that the Abbado/BPO 9th sounds like Abbado and the BPO playing Beethoven, to me, whereas this one somehow just sounds like the 9th.


So there's another one to consider, if you haven't already. :D

I have this BP/Abbado:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Abbado9thcover.jpg)

I get confused by the numbers of them, I don't which is the early and which the later. In any case, the one that I listen to a lot is actually the one they did in Rome on DVD. I not only enjoy the performance, I enjoy watching as well as listening. I would welcome someone to tell me which is which on these. Also including the WP performance which I would like to have even though many say it isn't up to snuff. :-\

Cheers 
8)


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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2011, 04:25:45 PM
Digging into my database, this is the Abbado I have on CD:

2000 - Berlin Philharmonic - Abbado, Claudio - Swedish Radio Choir & Eric Ericson Chamber Choir - Kaljuste, Tönu - Mattila, Karita - Urmana, Violeta - Moser, Thomas - Quasthoff, Thomas

I am a fan of Quasthoff, due to his work on behalf of Haydn... :)

8)

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Collegium musicum 90 - Richard Hickox - Hob 22 04 Missa in honorem BVM pt 06 - Credo - Et incarnatus est
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2011, 04:28:24 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D8xdsxDmL._SS450_.jpg)

For those who liked Krivine's performance of the Ninth on period instruments, this will be a good news because now has been released the complete set of Beethoven's symphonies:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IOhzFKH7OH8/TXyReDSxQFI/AAAAAAAAAk0/_FtS_5aJc6c/s1600/Krivine0001.jpg)

Thanks for that, Antoine. I listened to that 9th just last Sunday, in fact. I was lukewarm towards it at the first, but after several trials now, the soloists have won me over. They are especially good. :)

8)

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Collegium musicum 90 - Richard Hickox - Hob 22 04 Missa in honorem BVM pt 07 - Credo - Et resurrexit
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Renfield on April 01, 2011, 04:45:41 PM
Finally, and the main reason I went through the rest of the thread tonight: you don't seem to have the Abbado/CSO 9th. Is that correct?





Renfield, concentrate! Sorry, Gurn: the cold I apologised to MishaK for over at the violin babes thread seems to still be addling my wits. I was thinking about Abbado's Tchaikovsky with the CSO, and somehow they ended up playing Beethoven. At least we know for sure it's not the violin babes perpetrating the wit-addling.


So, this is an earlier Abbado/BPO 9th, which is what I meant to type, recorded live in Salzburg. It's a different performance to the one you have on CD, which is itself different from the DVD Rome version, but is nonetheless the one Abbado opted to include in the subsequent CD release (the red box) with the Rome 1-8. Go figure. :P

To sum up, there are four Abbado 9ths that I know of, from Vienna (VPO), Salzburg (BPO), Berlin (BPO) and Rome (BPO).

You have the Berlin BPO 9th, and the Rome BPO 9th on DVD. I have the Berlin and Salzburg BPO 9ths.


The Salzburg BPO 9th is the performance to which my above comments pertain, and the Berlin BPO 9th is the one I mention in my comparison, when I say it sounds (to me) like Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic playing Beethoven, whereas the Salzburg performance just sounds like Beethoven's 9th symphony.

That's the one I recommend you hear!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 01, 2011, 04:52:58 PM

Renfield, concentrate! Sorry, Gurn: the cold I apologised to MishaK for over at the violin babes thread seems to still be addling my wits. I was thinking about Abbado's Tchaikovsky with the CSO, and somehow they ended up playing Beethoven. At least we know for sure it's not the violin babes perpetrating the wit-addling.


So, this is an earlier Abbado/BPO 9th, which is what I meant to type, recorded live in Salzburg. It's a different performance to the one you have, which is itself different from the DVD Rome version, but is nonetheless the one Abbado opted to include in the subsequent CD release with the Rome 1-8. Go figure. :P

To sum up, there are four Abbado 9ths that I know of, from Vienna (VPO), Salzburg (BPO), Berlin (BPO) and Rome (BPO).

You have the Berlin BPO 9th, and the Rome BPO 9th on DVD. I have the Berlin and Salzburg BPO 9ths.


The Salzburg BPO 9th is the performance to which my above comments pertain, and the Berlin BPO 9th is the one I mention in my comparison, when I say it sounds (to me) like Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic playing Beethoven, whereas the Salzburg performance just sounds like Beethoven's 9th symphony.

That's the one I recommend you hear!

;D ;D  It sucks when our health is niggling with us, I know!  Allergy meds make me quite daft this time of year myself. :-\

OK, well that all makes perfect sense then. I have seen your Salzburg version, I think it can be had quite reasonably still. I'll certainly have a go at it. :)

And if I can get the WP one, I will do that too. Not for complete-ism's sake, since that is virtually impossibly (and at best, undesirable!) but simply because I have versions by that orchestra spanning decades and always enjoy hearing the evolution (or really, the opposite of that, yet in a good way).

8)


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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DarkAngel on April 23, 2011, 03:24:28 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51uoNhYluDL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B00006IGIO/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51T1QoponXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B003YI3CXC/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music)
 
1958 Munch/BSO 9th included on the very expensive 2CD Munch collection is now also sold as stands alone RCA Living Stereo  release with Sony DSD remaster for very cheap $7 new at Amazon USA, this has always been in my top 5 recordings of 9th so I highly recommend checking this out
 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 23, 2011, 03:32:54 PM
DA,
Thanks. Bought it. I've been (not diligently) keeping an eye open for a Munch version, and this looks ideal. Maybe I can report back next Sunday. :)

8)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: zauberharfe on April 25, 2011, 10:41:19 AM
@Renfield

can you please specify the disc number of that Salzburg/BPO/Abbado recording? Unfortunately I could not find it, that is to say, I'm not sure if I've found the right one. The place of the recording is rarely mentioned outside his releases...  :(

Thank you!

(a digression: for what is it worth that Munch recording is among my favourites, too!)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 01, 2011, 08:45:03 AM
DA,
Thanks. Bought it. I've been (not diligently) keeping an eye open for a Munch version, and this looks ideal. Maybe I can report back next Sunday. :)

And so I did.



Contemporaneous versions that I have;
1958   Berlin Philharmonic           Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic           Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO                           Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest

Boy, 1958/59 was a great period for 9ths! Not only were the recordings themselves getting better (Fricsay's was the first stereo 9th released, although all 4 of those are in stereo) for sound quality, but also the performance practice itself was evolving into something far more like we hear today.  In the next few years, the standard for performance of this piece would become possibly less fluid than it was in the late '50's, but at least in part that is because it was so good.

And that is very true with this version too. A great quartet of soloists (led by Leontyne Price), and a fine choral backup keep the last movement on par with any. I've never been disappointed with the playing of the Boston SO, and here under Munch they are as good as ever, possibly even a bit better. He doesn't play around with tempos, not a great lot of rubato or other stuff that I don't like, just a brisk and steady beat throughout. If this is Toscanini inspired, then more power to him. :)

8)


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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on May 10, 2011, 12:58:12 AM

To sum up, there are four Abbado 9ths that I know of, from Vienna (VPO), Salzburg (BPO), Berlin (BPO) and Rome (BPO).

You have the Berlin BPO 9th, and the Rome BPO 9th on DVD. I have the Berlin and Salzburg BPO 9ths.
The Salzburg BPO 9th is the performance to which my above comments pertain,... [it] just sounds like Beethoven's 9th symphony.

Incidentally my favorite Beethoven 9th, too.


Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 2)
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=360 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=360)


I think there is even another (or more) Abbado Beethoven 9th out there...

As you mentioned:

Vienna / DG - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001G80/goodmusicguide-20)
Berlin in Salzburg / Sony - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001ENYEY/goodmusicguide-20)
Berlin in Berlin Beethoven Cycle and in Rome Beethoven Cycle / DG - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005UW44/goodmusicguide-20)
(Berlin Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YZ33/goodmusicguide-20)), (Rome Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001795SH8/goodmusicguide-20))
Berlin in Rome on Rome Beethoven DVD cycle / medici arts, EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001IMFHTS/goodmusicguide-20)

and then this:


Berlin in Berlin DVD (not Quasthoff) / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00016MSZS/goodmusicguide-20)
same as the
coupling DVD with Pletnev PC #2 / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005R5H9/goodmusicguide-20)
possibly, presumably same as the
"Discovering Beethoven's Ninth" performance / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004KDO2NE/goodmusicguide-20) ????

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2011, 03:25:12 AM
Incidentally my favorite Beethoven 9th, too.


Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 2)
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=360 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=360)


I think there is even another (or more) Abbado Beethoven 9th out there...

As you mentioned:

Vienna / DG - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001G80/goodmusicguide-20)
Berlin in Salzburg / Sony - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001ENYEY/goodmusicguide-20)
Berlin in Berlin Beethoven Cycle and in Rome Beethoven Cycle / DG - CD (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005UW44/goodmusicguide-20)
(Berlin Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YZ33/goodmusicguide-20)), (Rome Cycle (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001795SH8/goodmusicguide-20))

and then this:

Berlin in Rome on Rome Beethoven DVD cycle / medici arts, EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001IMFHTS/goodmusicguide-20)
Berlin in Berlin DVD (not Quasthoff) / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00016MSZS/goodmusicguide-20)
same as the
coupling DVD with Pletnev PC #2 / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005R5H9/goodmusicguide-20)
possibly, presumably same as the
"Discovering Beethoven's Ninth" performance / EuroArts (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004KDO2NE/goodmusicguide-20) ????

Thanks, Jens. Yes, I have that DVD version myself and am actually quite fond of it. I wondered a few years back if it would ever be released on CD, and I'm guessing by now that the answer is no.

Anyway, it has that certain joie de vivre that only a live performance seems able to bring out. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2011, 03:28:12 AM
Purchased this week;
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CGcuutTgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have had this as a modest quality download for several years and always given it the nod as a very nice version, but this was the first time I have seen it available for under my price point. It should be here this week, looking forward to hearing it in all its glory!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: chung on May 10, 2011, 12:25:43 PM
Purchased this week;
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CGcuutTgL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have had this as a modest quality download for several years and always given it the nod as a very nice version, but this was the first time I have seen it available for under my price point. It should be here this week, looking forward to hearing it in all its glory!

8)

This is a fine recording and I've liked it since I heard it on cassette many years ago. It's a shame that Universal/Decca has not bothered to reissue Schmidt-Isserstedt's cycle, and we're left fighting over used copies or single CDs from the cycle on Amazon Marketplace.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 10, 2011, 02:14:14 PM
This is a fine recording and I've liked it since I heard it on cassette many years ago. It's a shame that Universal/Decca has not bothered to reissue Schmidt-Isserstedt's cycle, and we're left fighting over used copies or single CDs from the cycle on Amazon Marketplace.

This is so. I actually received this disk today, and I see that it was issued in 1988. AFAIK, it hasn't been released since then. I saw a box set of the symphonies, but without any children to sell I'm afraid I will have to do without... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 11, 2011, 03:28:58 AM
I am curious whether or not anyone here has heard the 9th by the Vienna Philharmonic / Elihu Inbal on Denon? It dates from <>1988, IIRC, and was recorded at the New Year concert. I've been thinking of having a go at it. If you have an impression of it, please leave a line here. :)

Thanks,
Gurn  8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR on July 11, 2011, 01:53:24 PM
This is so. I actually received this disk today, and I see that it was issued in 1988. AFAIK, it hasn't been released since then. I saw a box set of the symphonies, but without any children to sell I'm afraid I will have to do without... :-\

8)
I have an old cassette of Schmidt-Isserstedt conducting Beethoven's 7th, but it has been a long time since I've listened to it. Going to listen to his recording of the Ninth sometime this week after I finish processing it.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 11, 2011, 02:03:24 PM
I have an old cassette of Schmidt-Isserstedt conducting Beethoven's 7th, but it has been a long time since I've listened to it. Going to listen to his recording of the Ninth sometime this week after I finish processing it.

I think you will be pleased, I found it to be a very nice recording. It's interesting, listening to the same orchestra (WP) over a long period of time (1935-2000+), how they have responded to different conductors' input, and yet consistently the WP no matter who is up front. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 10, 2012, 04:25:12 PM
Recopied from WAYLT?.

Sunday morning here, must be The 9th!

I recently acquired this version by Wiener Symphoniker / Eliahu Inbal. Recorded at the 1990 New Year Concert at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Of course, you never know with live recordings, but I have to say that this is one of the best I've heard. Playing excellent, singing excellent, Inbal's vision for the rhythms and tempi are very congruent with my own, so it makes me happy. No applause. :)  If you run across this Denon disk, do yourself a favor.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Inbalcover.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 07:57:52 AM
With the recent addition of Maazel, I have been re-listening to my various Cleveland Orchestra Recordings. I now have these four;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/9thSzell.jpg)(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thMaazelCleveland1982cover.jpg)(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thDohnnyicover.jpg)(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Welser-Most9thcover.jpg)

SONY 1963 Szell, George Cleveland Orchestra Choir/Shaw, Robert Addison, Adele Hobson, Jane Lewis, Richard Bell, Donald

CBS   1982 Maazel, Loren   Cleveland Orchestra Chorus/Page, Robert Popp, Lucia Obraztsova, Elena Vickers, Jon  Talvela, Martti

Telarc 1985  Dohnányi, Christoph von  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus/Page, Robert Vaness, Carol Taylor, Janice Jeruselem, Siegfried Lloyd, Robert

D-G 2007    Welser-Most, Franz   Cleveland Orchestra Chorus/Porco, Robert     Brueggergosman, Measha O'Connor, Kelley Lopardo, Frank Pape, René

and they are all pretty fine! Anyone have any favorites among them? Are there any I don't know about? They give a nice overview of the state of the orchestra over a nearly 50 year period. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 12, 2012, 08:31:50 AM
and they are all pretty fine! Anyone have any favorites among them? Are there any I don't know about?

I checked the Cleveland Orchestra discography. Those are the official four. I don't know if there are any pirated versions out there. My favorite of the four: Dohnänyi...not only my favorite Cleveland performance, my favorite MI version period.

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 12, 2012, 08:36:41 AM
I haven't looked through the thread to see of its been mentioned, but my choice is Leinsdorf with Boston, has been for many, many years.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 08:38:45 AM
I checked the Cleveland Orchestra discography. Those are the official four. I don't know if there are any pirated versions out there. My favorite of the four: Dohnänyi...not only my favorite Cleveland performance, my favorite MI version period.

Sarge

Thanks, Sarge. I knew you would know if anyone did!  I like the singing, both chorus and soloists, on the Dohnányi the best, but I think I prefer the playing in other movements on the Szell better. He keeps a mean tempo! The Maazel is interesting, I just listened to it this AM for the first time so I don't have a lot to say about it yet, but I can hear more of the instrumental solos in that recording than in any other I have. Whether that is a good thing or a bad one, I'm not sure, since it sounds like it is made possible by a bit of recording imbalance, kind of like you see when you watch a concert video and the instrument that the camera is on is more audible than the others. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 08:40:42 AM
I haven't looked through the thread to see of its been mentioned, but my choice is Leinsdorf with Boston, has been for many, many years.

We spoke briefly of it about 3 or 4 pages back. I like it too, although picking a favorite is no easy task for me since they all have their moments. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on August 12, 2012, 09:44:03 AM
We spoke briefly of it about 3 or 4 pages back. I like it too, although picking a favorite is no easy task for me since they all have their moments. :)

8)

It's probably a little easier for me to pick a favorite only because I've listened to a far less number of recordings. I dont listen to it often, but it's hard to deny the power and genius of Ludwig Van. Especially no 9.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on August 12, 2012, 11:03:41 AM
The Leinsdorf set is there on the shelf, still wrapped. I should get to it in due time. I've enormously liked that team's Prokofieff set. Tart and biting as I like them. Maybe these qualities will spill over in their Beethoven?

I urge anyone who likes the Munch Boston to listen to the concert made the day before the recording - obviously with the same soloists. It's available as a free and legal download on Metrognome blogspot. But beware of another Munch BSO on that same blog. It's from Munch's final concert as MD in Boston in 1962. It is not only ragged in execution but quite badly sung. The 1958 concert is almost 5 minutes faster than the recording made 1 day later  :o. Sound is good broadcast quality. It doen't come more volcanic than this. Absolutely hair-raising.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on August 12, 2012, 11:10:50 AM
Dohnányi and Cleveland is easily my favorite 9th....but then nothing new for you to hear, Gurn. ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 11:31:59 AM
It's probably a little easier for me to pick a favorite only because I've listened to a far less number of recordings. I dont listen to it often, but it's hard to deny the power and genius of Ludwig Van. Especially no 9.

Yeah, I know what you mean. When I had 2 or 3, it was easy to say "I like this one the best". When I got over 25 it was a lot harder. Now, at nearly 100, it's damn near impossible. :o  I don't care though, I keep listening and enjoying all my favorite bits and the different ideas that people have had over the years as to what that music needs to sound like. There is a palpable evolution in performance/interpretation from my first version of 1929 (Fried) to my most recently performed in 2011(Chailly). Which in itself is very interesting. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 11:43:51 AM
The Leinsdorf set is there on the shelf, still wrapped. I should get to it in due time. I've enormously liked that team's Prokofieff set. Tart and biting as I like them. Maybe these qualities will spill over in their Beethoven?

I urge anyone who likes the Munch Boston to listen to the concert made the day before the recording - obviously with the same soloists. It's available as a free and legal download on Metrognome blogspot. But beware of another Munch BSO on that same blog. It's from Munch's final concert as MD in Boston in 1962. It is not only ragged in execution but quite badly sung. The 1958 concert is almost 5 minutes faster than the recording made 1 day later  :o. Sound is good broadcast quality. It doen't come more volcanic than this. Absolutely hair-raising.

I have this one that you mention;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/51T1QoponXL.jpg)

RCA / Sony   1958   Boston SO/Munch, Charles   
New England Conservatory Chorus/Cooke de Varon, Lorna   
Price, Leontyne   
Forrester, Maureen   
Poleri, David   
Tozzi, Giorgio

and it's a pretty fine effort. Easy to see using these soloists for something else as long as they are there! Thanks for the tip on that, I need to go look it up. 

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 11:46:24 AM
Dohnányi and Cleveland is easily my favorite 9th....but then nothing new for you to hear, Gurn. ;)

Indeed not, Bill. You were the one who pointed me at it. It's on my top shelf, albeit with company. Nice performance all around. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on August 12, 2012, 12:07:30 PM
Indeed not, Bill. You were the one who pointed me at it. It's on my top shelf, albeit with company. Nice performance all around. :)

8)

That is the key for me. It let it be known that I would never rec. that one owns, well, only one. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on August 12, 2012, 02:55:49 PM
My favorite of the four: Dohnänyi...not only my favorite Cleveland performance, my favorite MI version period.

Sarge

Seconded, with the caveat that I've not heard the Maazel and that, as great as this is, it's not my favorite MI version.
At least Fricsay and Abbado/Salzburg are ahead of it.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 12, 2012, 03:58:01 PM
Seconded, with the caveat that I've not heard the Maazel and that, as great as this is, it's not my favorite MI version.
At least Fricsay and Abbado/Salzburg are ahead of it.

Fricsay is on MY short list too. I noticed today when I was checking the Munch earlier that one of the reviews called it the first great recorded 9th. I think that laurel goes to Fricsay. The stereo is just a bonus; the performance is superb!   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mjwal on August 13, 2012, 04:51:11 AM
The Leinsdorf set is there on the shelf, still wrapped. I should get to it in due time. I've enormously liked that team's Prokofieff set. Tart and biting as I like them. Maybe these qualities will spill over in their Beethoven?

I urge anyone who likes the Munch Boston to listen to the concert made the day before the recording - obviously with the same soloists. It's available as a free and legal download on Metrognome blogspot. But beware of another Munch BSO on that same blog. It's from Munch's final concert as MD in Boston in 1962. It is not only ragged in execution but quite badly sung. The 1958 concert is almost 5 minutes faster than the recording made 1 day later  :o. Sound is good broadcast quality. It doen't come more volcanic than this. Absolutely hair-raising.
- Unfortunately, that Munch #9 was hosted on fileserve  :(  - but the blog author says he will re-up it.
I haven't listened to this lately, but hope to re-ignite my youthful enthusiasm some time soon - for some years now it has been a problematic work for me. The 1942 Furtwängler is my point de repère or reference recording; I liked the Schuricht recording, too, and the live Gielen I once heard.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on August 13, 2012, 07:54:09 AM
my favorite MI version period.
?
Modestly Informed?
Mainstream Interpretation?
Monstrously Insane?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 13, 2012, 08:52:22 AM
?
Modestly Informed?
Mainstream Interpretation?
Monstrously Insane?

Modern Instruments. Here at GMG, we no longer use the term HIP. It is hopelessly outdated. Performances are either P(eriod)I or MI. Always on the cutting edge...  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on August 13, 2012, 09:11:44 AM
Modern Instruments. Here at GMG, we no longer use the term HIP. It is hopelessly outdated. Performances are either P(eriod)I or MI. Always on the cutting edge...  :)
Let's not forget PIMP -- Period Informed Modern Performance.

Having just visited the previous few pages of this thread, I was scoping out Abbado's recordings on Amazon when I noted that my favorite PIMP LvB cycle was available on DVD at a remarkably modest price: Abbado's "Rome" BP cycle, for $30, delivered. I scarcely hesitated to one-click it! As with operas these days, I'm bewildered by marketing/pricing decisions that have multi-DVD sets with audio-visual recordings plus extras selling for less than audio-only CDs.

I also one-clicked the BP-Salzburg recording that Jens and Renfield recommend so highly. Have you heard that one yet?

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: The Raven on August 13, 2012, 09:12:37 AM
bernstein's with Bavarian RSO, LSO, DS, NYPO, OdeP, Kirov & Dresden Children's Choir, fricsay's with BPO and kletzki's with Czech PO are the best for my taste among my 40+ 9th recordings
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on August 13, 2012, 09:18:29 AM
bernstein's with Bavarian RSO, LSO, DS, NYPO, OdeP, Kirov & Dresden Children's Choir, fricsay's with BPO and kletzki's with Czech PO are the best for my taste among my 40+ 9th recordings
Thanks! Guys like you and Gurn help me to convince my wife that 20+ isn't especially insane!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 13, 2012, 10:01:40 AM
Let's not forget PIMP -- Period Informed Modern Performance.

Having just visited the previous few pages of this thread, I was scoping out Abbado's recordings on Amazon when I noted that my favorite PIMP LvB cycle was available on DVD at a remarkably modest price: Abbado's "Rome" BP cycle, for $30, delivered. I scarcely hesitated to one-click it! As with operas these days, I'm bewildered by marketing/pricing decisions that have multi-DVD sets with audio-visual recordings plus extras selling for less than audio-only CDs.

I also one-clicked the BP-Salzburg recording that Jens and Renfield recommend so highly. Have you heard that one yet?

Yes to both those. I have derived great enjoyment from the DVD cycle most of all, as I actually like to watch a concert on TV as I listen. Thousands wouldn't admit it... ::)  And the BP-Salzburg has given me a new appreciation for Abbado. He really is a good conductor!

Terminology-wise, I personally grew tired of the endless debate over whether this or that performance was or wasn't HIP, even though it used modern instruments. "Scherchen was the first HIP conductor..."  ::) . So in the interest of pointing out that my real enthusiasm is for period instruments, I only use PI for just what it is any more. Let others argue.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: The Raven on August 14, 2012, 02:58:20 AM
Thanks! Guys like you and Gurn help me to convince my wife that 20+ isn't especially insane!

I've been there. The only solution I'd recommend is to divorce her before it's too late  ???
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on August 14, 2012, 06:49:39 AM
Yes to both those. I have derived great enjoyment from the DVD cycle most of all, as I actually like to watch a concert on TV as I listen. Thousands wouldn't admit it... ::)  And the BP-Salzburg has given me a new appreciation for Abbado. He really is a good conductor!
He might be my all-time favorite. First-rate in an astonishing wealth of repertoire.

Last year I bought a Roku device for the TV, partly because it featured a classical music performance channel. Seeing some of Abbado's Lucerne Mahler performances, I learned that I enjoyed watching as well as hearing them. I even bought a pair of decent speakers and hooked them up to an old amplifier so as to improve my "home concert hall" experience.

Roku promptly discontinued the classical music channel. Neither Netflix nor Amazon offers much in the way of non-pop music videos and for some reason I've never particularly enjoyed opera videos (though I keep trying!). So I am looking forward to seeing whether this DVD set rekindles the magic. If so, my buying habits may change!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on August 14, 2012, 06:52:09 AM
I've been there. The only solution I'd recommend is to divorce her before it's too late  ???
It's too late. I love her. I'm committed to our marriage. And she's counting on me. And in her more lucid moments, she seems to recognize that she's not entirely sane, either. ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 14, 2012, 07:36:17 AM
He might be my all-time favorite. First-rate in an astonishing wealth of repertoire.

Last year I bought a Roku device for the TV, partly because it featured a classical music performance channel. Seeing some of Abbado's Lucerne Mahler performances, I learned that I enjoyed watching as well as hearing them. I even bought a pair of decent speakers and hooked them up to an old amplifier so as to improve my "home concert hall" experience.

Roku promptly discontinued the classical music channel. Neither Netflix nor Amazon offers much in the way of non-pop music videos and for some reason I've never particularly enjoyed opera videos (though I keep trying!). So I am looking forward to seeing whether this DVD set rekindles the magic. If so, my buying habits may change!

I'm thinking that there are a lot of concert DVD's now available, and as you noted, the prices are very decent. I got one recently of the Juilliard's doing some Beethoven quartets that was really excellent and a pleasure to watch. I also have a pile of home-made concerts that were burned off broadcast TV from as long as 15 years ago, many of which are outstanding performances. Like Gardiner doing the 9th from Carnegie Hall. So I do get to enjoy more than I would have predicted. I probably won't be streaming video in my lifetime, given where I have chosen to live. And it's also the only way to go with opera; just sayin'. :)

8)

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Beale on August 18, 2012, 01:50:33 AM
This post may be a little off-topic.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has just completed a tour playing the 9th with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. The reviews are full of superlatives. http://www.aco.com.au/whats_on/event_detail/beethoven9 (http://www.aco.com.au/whats_on/event_detail/beethoven9)

Local composer/reviewer Stephen Whittington wrote: "... possibly the most exciting performance of this work that has ever been given in Australia." "All sorts of details in the score that are so often submerged in the overall sound were distinctly audible, so much so that at times it was like hearing this extremely familiar work for the first time." "It was magnificent and deeply moving."

Now if they release a recording of this performance it should be something really worth checking out.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 18, 2012, 06:02:30 AM
This post may be a little off-topic.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has just completed a tour playing the 9th with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. The reviews are full of superlatives. http://www.aco.com.au/whats_on/event_detail/beethoven9 (http://www.aco.com.au/whats_on/event_detail/beethoven9)

Local composer/reviewer Stephen Whittington wrote: "... possibly the most exciting performance of this work that has ever been given in Australia." "All sorts of details in the score that are so often submerged in the overall sound were distinctly audible, so much so that at times it was like hearing this extremely familiar work for the first time." "It was magnificent and deeply moving."

Now if they release a recording of this performance it should be something really worth checking out.

Not really OT since, if the best result happens, we will all have a copy of it soon! :)  I would certainly snap it up. OTOH, it is possible that a recorded version will, in its turn, resubmerge those lovely details back into the overall sound, since they certainly exist in every live performance... no matter though, I'd love to have something from Australia to bolster that corner of the globe in my collection. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 19, 2012, 06:07:22 AM
Sunday AM excellence;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Herreweghecover-1.jpg)

IMO, this is one of the best efforts on period instruments. If you are one who has been hesitant for whatever reason to invest in a PI 9th, or conversely if you are a big fan of PI performances, this is a disk to have. Unusually enough, it was rec'd to me by a singer, one who is unusually critical of recorded singing efforts, and the result is that besides being wonderfully well-played, it also has just about the best choral work I've heard, in addition to really good soloists. Strongly recommended. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on August 19, 2012, 06:12:43 AM
Sunday AM excellence;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Herreweghecover-1.jpg)

IMO, this is one of the best efforts on period instruments. If you are one who has been hesitant for whatever reason to invest in a PI 9th, or conversely if you are a big fan of PI performances, this is a disk to have. Unusually enough, it was rec'd to me by a singer, one who is unusually critical of recorded singing efforts, and the result is that besides being wonderfully well-played, it also has just about the best choral work I've heard, in addition to really good soloists. Strongly recommended. :)

8)

Still waiting for its first Sunday spin, sitting in the amber-and-black box. Incidentally, this is my 3rd overall and 2nd PI Ninth. (All unintended of course, since no-one in their right mind would invest in more than one recording of a work. Right? 0:))
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 19, 2012, 06:16:34 AM
Still waiting for its first Sunday spin, sitting in the amber-and-black box. Incidentally, this is my 3rd overall and 2nd PI Ninth. (All unintended of course, since no-one in their right mind would invest in more than one recording of a work. Right? 0:))

Why no, of course not!  All 90 of mine came as throw in's with other purchases.... :D

You really need to take this one out for a test drive though, Navneeth, it is superb.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on August 19, 2012, 06:20:52 AM
You really need to take this one out for a test drive though, Navneeth, it is superb.  :)

8)

I've been wanting to, truth be told. Will do as soon as the presently-in-the-state-of-fritz CD player is set right again. I don't really want to première it on computer speakers. :-\
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 19, 2012, 06:24:05 AM
I've been wanting to, truth be told. Will do as soon as the presently-in-the-state-of-fritz CD player is set right again. I don't really want to première it on computer speakers. :-\

Ouch. Electronics can drive you nuts sometimes. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on September 16, 2012, 07:16:16 AM
Listened to Herreweghe's Ninth, this evening. Lovely performance, but I probably wouldn't recommend this to a conservative ;) who is about to invest in PI for the first time. Of the three I have (Fricsay and Gardiner are the other two), this is what I would call the more rustic. The pacing, especially in the last two movements, is wonderful. The third movement is virtually ball room music and flows smoothly without dragging (not that I mind dragging; a little is OK). I've mentioned my love for the woodwinds in period performances a few times, and in that respect this recording did not fail me. And the measured finale had a sense of dance to it, that I could almost imagine all the "brooder" holding hands and dancing :D, and which was unlike the mad rush to the finish that I usually hear.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: North Star on September 16, 2012, 07:25:40 AM
Listened to Herreweghe's Ninth, this evening. Lovely performance, but I probably wouldn't recommend this to a conservative ;) who is about to invest in PI for the first time. Of the three I have (Fricsay and Gardiner are the other two), this is what I would call the more rustic. The pacing, especially in the last two movements, is wonderful. The third movement is virtually ball room music and flows smoothly without dragging (not that I mind dragging; a little is OK). I've mentioned my love for the woodwinds in period performances a few times, and in that respect this recording did not fail me. And the measured finale had a sense of dance to it, that I could almost imagine all the "brooder" holding hands and dancing :D, and which was unlike the mad rush to the finish that I usually hear.

The Herreweghe is abslutely wonderful. Immerseel's last three movements have practically identical timings, but Herreweghe's first movement is two minutes faster - a rather significant difference, and the faster tempo works very well. Anyway, both of them are excellent, but the Herreweghe is by far my favourite.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2012, 07:27:27 AM
Navneeth,
Well, but it was just right for you though, yes? I have to say, if I had 3 versions to rotate listening of, Gardiner, Herreweghe and Fricsay would certainly keep my interest up for a long time.  All 3 are well up in my Top 10. I like your description of the last movements. I get that, and it is an uncommon approach. :)

Today;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/MackerrasBeethoven07cover-1.jpg)

When I listen to this I miss Mack more and more. Such a great conductor.  :'(

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on September 16, 2012, 07:39:34 AM
Navneeth,
Well, but it was just right for you though, yes?

Most certainly!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2012, 07:43:00 AM
Most certainly!

Ah, splendid. There is simply no better way to end the week than with such a great piece of music, well played. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidW on September 16, 2012, 01:31:32 PM
He might be my all-time favorite. First-rate in an astonishing wealth of repertoire.

Last year I bought a Roku device for the TV, partly because it featured a classical music performance channel. Seeing some of Abbado's Lucerne Mahler performances, I learned that I enjoyed watching as well as hearing them. I even bought a pair of decent speakers and hooked them up to an old amplifier so as to improve my "home concert hall" experience.

Roku promptly discontinued the classical music channel. Neither Netflix nor Amazon offers much in the way of non-pop music videos and for some reason I've never particularly enjoyed opera videos (though I keep trying!). So I am looking forward to seeing whether this DVD set rekindles the magic. If so, my buying habits may change!

I miss that app on the roku too Dave.  There are a few CM apps on my sony blu-ray player and will try them one day.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Coopmv on September 16, 2012, 03:24:37 PM
Sunday AM excellence;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Herreweghecover-1.jpg)

IMO, this is one of the best efforts on period instruments. If you are one who has been hesitant for whatever reason to invest in a PI 9th, or conversely if you are a big fan of PI performances, this is a disk to have. Unusually enough, it was rec'd to me by a singer, one who is unusually critical of recorded singing efforts, and the result is that besides being wonderfully well-played, it also has just about the best choral work I've heard, in addition to really good soloists. Strongly recommended. :)

8)

After having added the Beethoven Symphonies cycles by Gardiner, Goodman and Hogwood to my collection, I am still not convinced if HIP is the way to go for these classical masterpieces.  But there is no doubt in my mind I always prefer HIP for any baroque works ...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 16, 2012, 03:34:19 PM
After having added the Beethoven Symphonies cycles by Gardiner, Goodman and Hogwood to my collection, I am still not convinced if HIP is the way to go for these classical masterpieces.  But there is no doubt in my mind I always prefer HIP for any baroque works ...

Well, Stewart, as I tried to point out, this performance has so many things to recommend it apart from period instruments that it scarcely bears discussion in that context. It is quite simply a great performance.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 23, 2012, 07:17:30 AM
In view of last week's discussion, this week I decided to return to this true classic performance, one of the all-timers on record;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thFricsaycover_zps006c418d.jpg)

Not a bad thing can be said about the instrumental performance, the singing or the leadership. Even the recorded sound is damned near perfect. :)

More than makes up for a marginal day on the golf course.   ;)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 30, 2012, 06:38:24 AM
This week, with 5"+ (13cm) of rain in the gauge since yesterday morning, no golf on the agenda! So got to listen to the 9th early times, and just now enjoying the dulcet tones of the Minnesota Chorale led by Osmo Vänskä in this first rate version from 2006:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thVanskacover.jpg)

I've read mixed reactions to this performance although I find it hard to sympathize with the naysayers on it. Universally agreed upon though (so far) is that the recording quality itself is absolutely outstanding in its sound engineering values. If you are looking for a performance from this millennium that you can happily enjoy for years to come, you would be hard-pressed to top this one. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on September 30, 2012, 06:47:05 AM
Today I heard an overblown version, and for some reason the last movement kept on repeating for nearly an hour. Strangely enough, the file was named "Mass in D major, Op. 123 'Missa Solemnis'. :-\
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 30, 2012, 06:50:12 AM
Today I heard an overblown version, and for some reason the last movement kept on repeating for nearly an hour. Strangely enough, the file was named "Mass in D major, Op. 123 'Missa Solemnis'. :-\

???  Well, that's an oddity. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on September 30, 2012, 06:54:32 AM
???  Well, that's an oddity. :)

8)

Oops! I forgot to add this -> ;)

;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on September 30, 2012, 07:06:41 AM
Oops! I forgot to add this -> ;)

;D

Ah; now I see from whence stems the oddity. :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on September 30, 2012, 05:26:08 PM
This week, with 5"+ (13cm) of rain in the gauge since yesterday morning, no golf on the agenda! So got to listen to the 9th early times, and just now enjoying the dulcet tones of the Minnesota Chorale led by Osmo Vänskä in this first rate version from 2006:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thVanskacover.jpg)

I've read mixed reactions to this performance although I find it hard to sympathize with the naysayers on it. Universally agreed upon though (so far) is that the recording quality itself is absolutely outstanding in its sound engineering values. If you are looking for a performance from this millennium that you can happily enjoy for years to come, you would be hard-pressed to top this one. :)

8)

I got that one as a single issue when I was in the midst of assembling the Zinman and P. Jarvi cycles.  I thought it was a good performance, but not good enough to motivate me to get the rest of Vanska's cycle.
Perhaps I should repair that omission?   (To be clear, I've moved on, and now have 16 sets of the symphonies, including two of which I have yet to hear a note, so I have absolutely no reason to rush to get it even now.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Rinaldo on September 30, 2012, 09:21:17 PM
I urge anyone who likes the Munch Boston to listen to the concert made the day before the recording - obviously with the same soloists. It's available as a free and legal download on Metrognome blogspot. But beware of another Munch BSO on that same blog. It's from Munch's final concert as MD in Boston in 1962. It is not only ragged in execution but quite badly sung. The 1958 concert is almost 5 minutes faster than the recording made 1 day later  :o. Sound is good broadcast quality. It doen't come more volcanic than this. Absolutely hair-raising.

Great tip! Just snatched this and whoa, I'm hooked.

And while I'm here, let me add another +1 to Fricsay. 1958 seems to be a year of the Ninth.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on October 01, 2012, 03:56:39 AM
I got that one as a single issue when I was in the midst of assembling the Zinman and P. Jarvi cycles.  I thought it was a good performance, but not good enough to motivate me to get the rest of Vanska's cycle.
Perhaps I should repair that omission?   (To be clear, I've moved on, and now have 16 sets of the symphonies, including two of which I have yet to hear a note, so I have absolutely no reason to rush to get it even now.)

Well... then don't rush. But perhaps think of getting the 4th with Vanska some time, because I truly think that that's a spectacular, ear-opening performance... the "slender Greek Maiden" turns into the "Apotheosis of Dance", to mix Schumann and Wagner in their responses to Beethoven.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on October 01, 2012, 08:21:42 AM
Well... then don't rush. But perhaps think of getting the 4th with Vanska some time, because I truly think that that's a spectacular, ear-opening performance... the "slender Greek Maiden" turns into the "Apotheosis of Dance", to mix Schumann and Wagner in their responses to Beethoven.

Thank you; it (and the full box set) are now sitting on the wishlist.  But while looking for it on Amazon, I found the listing for the Ninth, which is apparently (on its own) OOP.  At least, Amazon US itself doesn't offer it.  But there are four Marketplace vendors who offer new copies.  Apparently the MP vendors agree with Gurn that this is an underrated treasure.

The_book_community : $87.36
Silverplatters: $109.20
any_book: $109.21
Quick_N_Easy Marketplace: $999.99

Used copies start at $19.83
But given the prices of the boxed set (approximately $32 including s/h),  it's probably just as economical to get the full set.  Or at least get the full set as a collectible,  in which case you'd only be one cent more for the full set than you would for Mr. Quick N Easy's single CD.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 01, 2012, 08:59:55 AM
Thank you; it (and the full box set) are now sitting on the wishlist.  But while looking for it on Amazon, I found the listing for the Ninth, which is apparently (on its own) OOP.  At least, Amazon US itself doesn't offer it.  But there are four Marketplace vendors who offer new copies.  Apparently the MP vendors agree with Gurn that this is an underrated treasure.

The_book_community : $87.36
Silverplatters: $109.20
any_book: $109.21
Quick_N_Easy Marketplace: $999.99

Used copies start at $19.83
But given the prices of the boxed set (approximately $32 including s/h),  it's probably just as economical to get the full set.  Or at least get the full set as a collectible,  in which case you'd only be one cent more for the full set than you would for Mr. Quick N Easy's single CD.

Geez, sometimes I just can't believe some of the crap I see. I paid ~$10 for that disk a couple of years ago. Those prices are ridiculous!   >:(

Jens is right about the 4th too, it's very nice indeed. I originally got the downloads of these from eClassical.com. I added in the 9th to have the physical recording in hand. It is now available there as a flac, I'm sure. Despite you don't like downloads, I would check before paying $999.  ::)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 01, 2012, 03:45:31 PM
Has ever a musical work so quadraplicated as the ninth? It's become really hard to figure which is the 'real' ninth  :(.

When faced (drowned) with such abundance things get so mixed up that one could (should) be forgiven for not always abiding by one's own aesthetic allegiances. The ninth challenges our conception of music. And the fact that it was written at the tail end of the Classical era and the dawn of the Romantic one do not facilitate things.

I will give the Herreweghe another turn this week. I have put it in the 'good but not inspiring' category, mainly IIRC on account of the uncathartic vocal assembly. But I may have been wrong. Nothing is more fragile than an opinion based on a single exposure  ::)

So far my favourite ninths are from every corner: Fricsay BP, Karajan 1963 and 1977, Böhm 1972, Ansermet SRO, Spering, Munch 1958 (live, not studio) and possibly Schmidt-Isserstedt WP, Bernstein WP (not the oversentimental 1989 live happening). Even the first Solti (CSO 1972?), Cluytens BP from 1958, Böhm 1981 WP, Ozawa NPO  :o and a couple others. No matter what tempi, what orchestral or vocal proficiency, what counts is the conductor's burning commitment. Nothing will make that particular boat stay afloat if the captain is not ready to sail or sink with it
I wish the Markevitch Lamoureux version was available. THAT is one I'd like to add to my collection.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 01, 2012, 04:08:30 PM
Has ever a musical work so quadraplicated as the ninth? It's become really hard to figure which is the 'real' ninth  :(.

When faced (drowned) with such abundance things get so mixed up that one could (should) be forgiven for not always abiding by one's own aesthetic allegiances. The ninth challenges our conception of music. And the fact that it was written at the tail end of the Classical era and the dawn of the Romantic one do not facilitate things.

I will give the Herreweghe another turn this week. I have put it in the 'good but not inspiring' category, mainly IIRC on account of the uncathartic vocal assembly. But I may have been wrong. Nothing is more fragile than an opinion based on a single exposure  ::)

So far my favourite ninths are from every corner: Fricsay BP, Karajan 1963 and 1977, Böhm 1972, Ansermet SRO, Spering, Munch 1958 (live, not studio) and possibly Schmidt-Isserstedt WP, Bernstein WP (not the oversentimental 1989 live happening). Even the first Solti (CSO 1972?), Cluytens BP from 1958, Böhm 1981 WP, Ozawa NPO  :o and a couple others. No matter what tempi, what orchestral or vocal proficiency, what counts is the conductor's burning commitment. Nothing will make that particular boat stay afloat if the captain is not ready to sail or sink with it
I wish the Markevitch Lamoureux version was available. THAT is one I'd like to add to my collection.

That is an interesting concept, André. I find myself being quite in agreement with it. I was recently accused of being much too picky in my tastes (can you believe that?!? :o ), but my collection of 9th's, all on its own, shows that statement in its true light. I have every one that you mention there (except the Markevitch, alas), along with such exotic wonders as NYPO/Boulez and NHK/Wakasugi. And the point is that I enjoy each of them, no matter the deviation from my personal ideal, for the fact that each has its strengths and weaknesses, and the music transcends any idiosyncrasy of the performers. There is no preconceived mold for this work that is so strong that it can't be broken, or at least cracked a bit, by some part of some performance. It's true that we each tend to favor the version which conforms most closely to this personal preconception,  but since none of them are exactly correct, and the work transcends them anyway, it simply doesn't matter. Of course, this is the reason that I called this thread "Recordings you enjoy..." instead of "Best Recording of...". Because I enjoy them all!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on October 02, 2012, 04:53:28 PM
Geez, sometimes I just can't believe some of the crap I see. I paid ~$10 for that disk a couple of years ago. Those prices are ridiculous!   >:(

Jens is right about the 4th too, it's very nice indeed. I originally got the downloads of these from eClassical.com. I added in the 9th to have the physical recording in hand. It is now available there as a flac, I'm sure. Despite you don't like downloads, I would check before paying $999.  ::)

8)

Fear not.  I've had the Vanska 9th for a few years;  bought in Barnes and Noble for perhaps $15.  Now it's a just a question of getting the 4th alone, and risk deciding I should get the rest later on, or give in to the inevitable and get the entire set even though I've already got the 9th as a single issue.  But not before I get through those 15th and 16th sets (Blomstedt/Dresden Staatskap. and Clutens/BPO) and a bunch of other music.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2012, 08:37:01 AM
Cluytens and Blomstedt share a number of affinities in terms of overall conception, orchestra size, wind/ strings balances, general spaciousness  (not to be equated with slow tempi) allied to unaffected phrasing, and a definite willingness to let their orchestra's personality and culture bloom unhindered. Even though the EMI Cluytens is the older set, I prefer its translucency and bloom - except in the ninth, where the age of the recording shows some limitations.

Böhm WP and Schmidt-Isserstedt WP can be included in the same category: big, sonorous, cultivated performances impeccably and beautifully played by a great orchestra. They are the very definition of that hackneyed term, 'satisfying' in every sense. The flip side of the coin is that in some individual movements a sense of discovery, of chances taken, of rythmic urgency or surprising harmonic turns is conspicuously missing. Too comfortable, which is not a quality I associate with these works. But that is really the exception. Each of these conductors and orchestras make their point tellingly, if not obviously.

I listened to Herreweghe and was most pleasantly surprised. My reservations are exactly the same I had felt the first time around, and concern mostly the finale : slightly unalluring and underpowered solo singing, a certain slackness that borders on stasis in the slow section halfway in, and a surprisingly comfortable trot in the coda. The first movement is also slightly underpowering. What I did like - and very much so - are impeccable tempo relationships, excellent playing, superb orchestral balances, gorgeous engineering (pellucid, transparent, at once  spacious and crisp).

Overall a most uplifting and generous performance. It seems to me that his conception of the ninth is hat of a first part in three sections, followed by the choral second part. His choice of tempi in first three movements emphasize the seamlessness he tries to achieve in that orchestral first part. The 'sense of discovery, of chances taken' is not really to the fore here. Herreweghe is not a firebrand. His taste is impeccable, and he is ever the gentleman. Overall it works much better in the ninth than in his definitely understated Missa Solemnis.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on October 04, 2012, 08:52:21 AM
The 'sense of discovery, of chances taken' is not really to the fore here. Herreweghe is not a firebrand. His taste is impeccable, and he is ever the gentleman. Overall it works much better in the ninth than in his definitely understated Missa Solemnis.
Seconded. An apt description of Herreweghe's approach in most everything I've heard. His recordings have considerable virtues, but always leave me wanting something more.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 04, 2012, 10:43:47 AM
Seconded. An apt description of Herreweghe's approach in most everything I've heard. His recordings have considerable virtues, but always leave me wanting something more.

The one recording of Herreweghe I thoroughly enjoy is his Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream. He may lack the rythmic succulence and gravitas of Klemperer, but he nails the pointillistic opalescence of the score and its translucent instrumentation like no other. It's a sea of magic and beauty under his direction. A *shade* too gentle, but I forgive him for what he gives us. Other than that, I still have to be moved by a Herreweghe recording. But that Beethoven comes very close.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on October 04, 2012, 03:36:40 PM
The one recording of Herreweghe I thoroughly enjoy is his Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream. He may lack the rythmic succulence and gravitas of Klemperer, but he nails the pointillistic opalescence of the score and its translucent instrumentation like no other. It's a sea of magic and beauty under his direction.
Enticing description. I just one-clicked it. ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 07, 2012, 07:22:01 AM
This morning's choice, after a (very) brisk round of golf, is one of the more talked about versions of the new millennium.  I'm not much of a talker about such things, but I am quite a listener, and I must say that the listening here is very nice.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9DausgaardSCO2009cover-1.jpg)

Dausgaard brings out more of the individual solo parts than some other conductors, particularly in the Adagio molto e cantabile 3rd movement. I always come away from his version with a renewed appreciation for Beethoven's efforts there. Swedish Chamber Orchestra has all it takes to bring out the best in this piece. Complaints that I have heard about it being too speedy just don't ring true to me. It seems just right for the capabilities of the players, which is a fine judgment by a conductor. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on October 13, 2012, 05:13:53 AM
Can I ask what the distinction is between a performance on period instruments and a HIP?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: xochitl on October 13, 2012, 06:30:20 AM
HIP is applying the 'lessons' learned from period performance/research/editions using modern instruments

right? :unsure:
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 13, 2012, 06:36:09 AM
Can I ask what the distinction is between a performance on period instruments and a HIP?

HIP is applying the 'lessons' learned from period performance/research/editions using modern instruments

right? :unsure:

<>  Type of instruments used is less relevant than are the other items in your list.

The only reason I point out in this thread that a performance is PI or not PI is so that those who are interested will know. No inference should be drawn from that as to whether the performance is historically informed.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 13, 2012, 06:54:59 PM
Enticing description. I just one-clicked it. ;D

Has it arrived?  ;)

Back to the thread: the only 'old style' performance that coincides aesthetically with the HIP ones is the live Munch 1958 in Boston. Same forces (soloists and al) as the next day's commercial studio recording, only 5 minutes faster :o.  Munch has tons of passion and heart to bring to the mix. Possibly one of those 'one on' occasions... Much as I truly admire Spering and Herreweghe in the 9th, they sound slightly manicured, mechanical and calculated next to Munch's disheveled, volcanic performance.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 13, 2012, 07:03:25 PM
Has it arrived?  ;)

Back to the thread: the only 'old style' performance that coincides aesthetically with the HIP ones is the live Munch 1958 in Boston. Same forces (soloists and al) as the next day's commercial studio recording, only 5 minutes faster :o.  Munch has tons of passion and heart to bring to the mix. Possibly one of those 'one on' occasions... Much as I truly admire Spering and Herreweghe in the 9th, they sound slightly manicured, mechanical and calculated next to Munch's disheveled, volcanic performance.

Maybe it takes the dress rehearsal situation for a conductor and performers to let their hair down so to speak, and make a relaxed, ass-kicking performance since they are doing it just for themselves. If you were driving that huge machine, what better chance to put your foot down and see what it will do!! Conceptually, I love it!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on October 14, 2012, 02:45:39 AM
Is it not true that the recording of the Furtwangler Bayreuth 1951 9th that we have all known and revered for many years turned out not to be the performance, but stitched together from elements of the dress rehearsal, and that the 2008 release on Orfeo D'Or was the actual live performance?  Is that true or did I dream it up?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 14, 2012, 06:43:24 AM
Is it not true that the recording of the Furtwangler Bayreuth 1951 9th that we have all known and revered for many years turned out not to be the performance, but stitched together from elements of the dress rehearsal, and that the 2008 release on Orfeo D'Or was the actual live performance?  Is that true or did I dream it up?

There are people here who specialize in that sort of information. Dancing Divertimentian among them. For me though, I haven't the vaguest idea... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 14, 2012, 06:47:19 AM
Having mentioned this disk yesterday made it difficult to not pull out this AM;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thZinman.jpg)

Remembering back to the release of this cycle, the controversy surrounding it seems ridiculous in retrospect. It is indeed an individual vision, done at a pace that Beethoven would have loved (I believe) and splendidly performed. I've liked it since the first time I heard it and this (100th?) time through is just the same; satisfactory. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Que on October 14, 2012, 06:49:14 AM
Is it not true that the recording of the Furtwangler Bayreuth 1951 9th that we have all known and revered for many years turned out not to be the performance, but stitched together from elements of the dress rehearsal, and that the 2008 release on Orfeo D'Or was the actual live performance?  Is that true or did I dream it up?

Orfeo claimed at the time of release that their issue was the first "uncut" version, implying that the EMI was a "cut" version of more that one live recording.

Q
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 14, 2012, 07:59:11 PM
Is it not true that the recording of the Furtwangler Bayreuth 1951 9th that we have all known and revered for many years turned out not to be the performance, but stitched together from elements of the dress rehearsal, and that the 2008 release on Orfeo D'Or was the actual live performance?  Is that true or did I dream it up?

There are people here who specialize in that sort of information. Dancing Divertimentian among them. For me though, I haven't the vaguest idea... :-\

Orfeo claimed at the time of release that their issue was the first "uncut" version, implying that the EMI was a "cut" version of more that one live recording.

Don't know any more than what I've read in Fanfare (July/August 2008, pg. 83) in a review of a CD issue of the Bayreuth 9th by the Wilhelm Furtwängler Centre of Japan.

A snippet from that review: "The history is simple: the Bavarian Radio broadcast the concert live, and then locked away the tapes of that live broadcast in their archives. EMI, separately from the Bavarian Radio engineers, recorded the rehearsals and performances live, and that is what EMI issued - without ever acknowledging that any rehearsal segments were edited in."

Apparently the advantage of the Furwängler Center of Japan release is it's in better sound than the EMI, owing to the use of the original Bavarian Radio tapes.


Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on October 15, 2012, 02:50:01 AM
Is it not true that the recording of the Furtwangler Bayreuth 1951 9th that we have all known and revered for many years

Not we all. I really hate what Furtwangler made with Beethoven music. Nazi blasphemy.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on October 15, 2012, 03:03:13 AM
Not we all. I really hate what Furtwangler made with Beethoven music. Nazi blasphemy.
  If you don't like Furtwängler conduct Beethoven because of musical taste, it is fine . But hating performer because political reasons, I'm sorry  when I  say  impolite words, is stupid
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on October 16, 2012, 06:19:06 AM
  If you don't like Furtwängler conduct Beethoven because of musical taste, it is fine . But hating performer because political reasons, I'm sorry  when I  say  impolite words, is stupid


I don't care what he thought I hate what he put into the music: http://youtu.be/qDZ49F1N38A

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 16, 2012, 05:54:09 PM

I don't care what he thought I hate what he put into the music: http://www.4shared.com/mp3/OA3VxVOr/freude.html

An unknown link to download, just what I like.. :P

That doesn't help understand your POV. Can't you put it into your own words?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on October 19, 2012, 06:25:27 AM
An unknown link to download, just what I like.. :P

That doesn't help understand your POV. Can't you put it into your own words?

I'm sorry. We had used 4shared last year in "Name that piece! The game" thread and I remembered it as useful. And there was no need to download the file for the listening. Now I changed it to youtube: http://youtu.be/qDZ49F1N38A

I know only two Furtwängler's recordings of  the 9th  - of 1942 and of 1954. Both are for me extremly uninteresting as Furtwängler was not building music around the dialogue of phrases (which is for me the core of the Classical Era aproach to the music), he was trying instead to achieve extramal intensity of every single sound. There is nothing of blasphemy in this approach however, I find it just dull - you don't need Beethoven to play like this, you can play scales - they will be mystical as well.) But that of 1942 is for me like a horror - this is the joy which is the privilege of  the power and the cruelty.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lilas Pastia on October 20, 2012, 06:45:57 PM
Extremely interesting post, and very well written. If only I could connect your thought with their subject (the Furtwängler LvB 9, I gather). When I click on the link I can't find anything in it. But now that you mention it's Furt's 1942 LvB 9th I suppose that a youtube search will give me the desired clue. As a matter of fact his Bayreuth 9th has always been a mystery wonder for me. I've never found anything really special in it. But then again, I'm a perseverent fellow. Maybe some day it will dawn on me.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Que on October 21, 2012, 01:18:50 AM
As a matter of fact his Bayreuth 9th has always been a mystery wonder for me. I've never found anything really special in it. But then again, I'm a perseverent fellow. Maybe some day it will dawn on me.

Considering myself a Furtwägler fan, I honestly think the Bayreuth 9th will be never sound to you other than rather disjointed, relatively uninsprired and heavily over-hyped. 8)

Q
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 21, 2012, 03:03:14 AM
Considering myself a Furtwängler fan, I honestly think the Bayreuth 9th will be never sound to you other than rather disjointed, relatively uninspired and heavily over-hyped. 8)

Q

A frank admission. :)   FWIW, I have both of those recordings and haven't listened to either of them in years. I know some people consider them the greatest ever, but...  :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 21, 2012, 03:05:10 AM
This morning's listening;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Kubelikcover.jpg)

My first listen to this one, actually. We just made it to the end of the scherzo and things are going nicely so far.... ;)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on October 21, 2012, 04:42:22 AM
Extremely interesting post, and very well written. If only I could connect your thought with their subject (the Furtwängler LvB 9, I gather). When I click on the link I can't find anything in it. But now that you mention it's Furt's 1942 LvB 9th I suppose that a youtube search will give me the desired clue. As a matter of fact his Bayreuth 9th has always been a mystery wonder for me. I've never found anything really special in it. But then again, I'm a perseverent fellow. Maybe some day it will dawn on me.

But there is something in this link - about 1s of music with choral "Freude".

In fact my remark was not only about Furtwängler but about me as well. I haven't even heard  his Bayreuth performance because he insult me personally in 1942. (And I had considered the 9th of 1954 the worst ever one before I heard that of 1942.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on October 21, 2012, 05:21:10 AM
A frank admission. :)   FWIW, I have both of those recordings and haven't listened to either of them in years. I know some people consider them the greatest ever, but...  :-\

8)
   Everyone has his own taste. I think the Furtwängler's Beethoven 9 accounts was consider by numbers of people as the best because they are very unique, and represent the most extreme interpretation, the 1942 "ode to hell" is the most daemonic interpretation, in this term it outclasses both Toscanini's and Karajan's account. And the 1954 performance is a most angelic, and heaven performance. Not everyone agree with that interpretation but that kind of performance can not be duplicate and  I doubt anyone ,even Beethoven himself, can  imagine this piece can be performed with so much emotion and intensity.
   
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 21, 2012, 07:11:05 AM
   Everyone has his own taste. I think the Furtwängler's Beethoven 9 accounts was consider by numbers of people as the best because they are very unique, and represent the most extreme interpretation, the 1942 "ode to hell" is the most daemonic interpretation, in this term it outclasses both Toscanini's and Karajan's account. And the 1954 performance is a most angelic, and heaven performance. Not everyone agree with that interpretation but that kind of performance can not be duplicate and  I doubt anyone ,even Beethoven himself, can  imagine this piece can be performed with so much emotion and intensity.
   

That's fine with me, everyone in the whole world can love it to death, but don't mean I would change my mind over it. I don't like extremes in anything, including music. To me, what you describe isn't Beethoven's 9th, it's Furtwängler's 9th.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on October 21, 2012, 07:36:34 AM
That's fine with me, everyone in the whole world can love it to death, but don't mean I would change my mind over it. I don't like extremes in anything, including music. To me, what you describe isn't Beethoven's 9th, it's Furtwängler's 9th.  :)

Oh, it is too far, they do it together. But Furtwängler was the boss.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on October 21, 2012, 08:17:07 AM
That's fine with me, everyone in the whole world can love it to death, but don't mean I would change my mind over it. I don't like extremes in anything, including music. To me, what you describe isn't Beethoven's 9th, it's Furtwängler's 9th.  :)

8)
   Blanston, our taste is so different :) But music needs diversity. With me, music like a girl. If they are normal, that is fine. But if she make up (or recreate music) to become more beautiful, attractive I think that is better.  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 21, 2012, 08:24:09 AM
   Blanston, our taste is so different :) But music needs diversity. With me, music like a girl. If they are normal, that is fine. But if she make up (or recreate music) to become more beautiful, attractive I think that is better.  ;D

Well, this is a good thing. As I say, I certainly don't want anyone to think that just because something doesn't appeal to me, I think it shouldn't appeal to them too. But see, girls are more attractive underneath the makeup...   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Scarpia on October 21, 2012, 08:28:47 AM
Well, this is a good thing. As I say, I certainly don't want anyone to think that just because something doesn't appeal to me, I think it shouldn't appeal to them too. But see, girls are more attractive underneath the makeup...   0:)

And a real beauty doesn't need make-up.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 04, 2012, 09:41:12 AM
Today it is a conductor about whom I know very little. This is my only recording by him, but I am quite fond of it. The Staatskapelle Berlin are on the list of Central Euro orchestras who seem to play Beethoven like he was their own. a style I admire, I must say.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Suitnercover.jpg)

We are just now beginning the recitativo for the basses, so I must leave off writing for a bit... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on November 04, 2012, 07:38:28 PM
Today it is a conductor about whom I know very little. This is my only recording by him, but I am quite fond of it. The Staatskapelle Berlin are on the list of Central Euro orchestras who seem to play Beethoven like he was their own. a style I admire, I must say.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Suitnercover.jpg)

We are just now beginning the recitativo for the basses, so I must leave off writing for a bit... :)

8)

A lot of people here on GMG like his Dvorak symphony set.  And when I say "like", I mean seriously like it.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 11, 2012, 06:36:29 AM
Well, today started out with getting rained off the golf course, but a recovery is in the offing now, as the Philadelphia Orchestra visit for my weekly pleasure;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Muti9thcover.jpg)

Recorded in 1988, this is still a classic traversal, Muti gets the goods from the Philadelphians and his soloists, including Cheryl Studer.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 15, 2012, 06:37:06 AM
Gurn, I was wondering, if you had time, whether you could make a short list of recommended recordings of the 9th?  I gather you have dozens (scores? hundreds??) of different interpretations...

I'm not in any sense a completist, and I have no desire to have shelves and shelves of the same work.  However Beethoven is a serious matter, to me the most serious of all, and one certainly needs a range of recordings of the great works because they are capable of such variety of interpretation.  I could not for example live without any of Krebbers, Schneiderhan, Hubermann or Zehetmair playing the Violin Concerto, because all of these recordings has a completely different and unique quality to it - particularly the first three who are so different they can hardly be compared.

So my appeal to your greater experience of the 9th is this:  which 6 or 8 or so recordings do you feel are most essential in terms of representing the diverse possible interpretations of the work?

We can agree to ignore Furtwangler, I have all of them, and as I think you said yourself somewhere, they are almost Furtwangler's 9th. I also have von Karajan's 1962/3 BPO.  I've got a few others too, lurking about, but have not listened to most of them critically, and I don't want to prejudge the issue...

Bong
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 15, 2012, 06:39:45 AM
Gurn, I was wondering, if you had time, whether you could make a short list of recommended recordings of the 9th?  I gather you have dozens (scores? hundreds??) of different interpretations...

I am guessing scores, though I should not be surprised if he is trending towards hundreds ; )
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Carnivorous Sheep on November 16, 2012, 03:36:51 AM
Gurn, I was wondering, if you had time, whether you could make a short list of recommended recordings of the 9th?  I gather you have dozens (scores? hundreds??) of different interpretations...

I'm not in any sense a completist, and I have no desire to have shelves and shelves of the same work.  However Beethoven is a serious matter, to me the most serious of all, and one certainly needs a range of recordings of the great works because they are capable of such variety of interpretation.  I could not for example live without any of Krebbers, Schneiderhan, Hubermann or Zehetmair playing the Violin Concerto, because all of these recordings has a completely different and unique quality to it - particularly the first three who are so different they can hardly be compared.

So my appeal to your greater experience of the 9th is this:  which 6 or 8 or so recordings do you feel are most essential in terms of representing the diverse possible interpretations of the work?

We can agree to ignore Furtwangler, I have all of them, and as I think you said yourself somewhere, they are almost Furtwangler's 9th. I also have von Karajan's 1962/3 BPO.  I've got a few others too, lurking about, but have not listened to most of them critically, and I don't want to prejudge the issue...

Bong

I too would be interested in seeing this list;

In addition, you wouldn't happen to have a list of all the 9th recordings you have lying around somewhere, would you? I'm extremely curious to see the extent of your collection  :o
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 06:30:12 AM
I too would be interested in seeing this list;

In addition, you wouldn't happen to have a list of all the 9th recordings you have lying around somewhere, would you? I'm extremely curious to see the extent of your collection  :o

I've only got about 90 or so. I know there are people who do literally have hundreds, but other than some for representational purposes, I avoid the pre-stereo era. And not just for sound quality!  But I do have a spreadsheet at home, I'll copy/paste it tonight. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 16, 2012, 06:58:41 AM
In addition, you wouldn't happen to have a list of all the 9th recordings you have lying around somewhere, would you? I'm extremely curious to see the extent of your collection
not only does he have 90 9ths,  we have reason to believe he has pretty much every Haydn disc in existence...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on November 16, 2012, 07:02:45 AM
I've only got about 90 or so. I know there are people who do literally have hundreds, but other than some for representational purposes, I avoid the pre-stereo era. And not just for sound quality!  But I do have a spreadsheet at home, I'll copy/paste it tonight. :)

8)

I know it's two years old (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg480442.html#msg480442). But I expect a silver star at the least.

not only does he have 90 9ths,  we have reason to believe he has pretty much every Haydn disc in existence...

Every PI recording, to be sure. ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 07:18:05 AM
I know it's two years old (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg480442.html#msg480442). But I expect a silver star at the least.

Every PI recording, to be sure. ;)

You da man, Nav!  Yes, there are some additions since then, but that's a start. :)

And right there, too. Every PI recording, to be sure.   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: xochitl on November 16, 2012, 01:51:07 PM
i'm curious, does anyone know the Mehta/NYPO live recording from the 80s?

it was my first 9th, and i still have a bit of a soft spot for it.  the first movement is still one of my favorites
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 02:02:30 PM
i'm curious, does anyone know the Mehta/NYPO live recording from the 80s?

it was my first 9th, and i still have a bit of a soft spot for it.  the first movement is still one of my favorites

I have this one;



but I don't remember that it was 'live'. Which means only that I don't remember, not that it isn't. I quite enjoy it. One of our members here rec'd it to me and quite rightly. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 16, 2012, 04:44:10 PM
I've only got about 90 or so.

And...?  Is it possible to pick out half a dozen that are the cream of the 90, the finest examples of various styles of interpretation?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on November 16, 2012, 04:47:04 PM
And right there, too. Every PI recording, to be sure.   0:)

... the new Bruggen too, Gurn?  ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 05:13:44 PM
And...?  Is it possible to pick out half a dozen that are the cream of the 90, the finest examples of various styles of interpretation?

Not sure that it is, but I'll give it a try over weekend. Like a few others here, I'm not too competitive that way. Certainly there are favorites though. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 05:15:14 PM
... the new Bruggen too, Gurn?  ;)

Which would that be, Gordo? Certainly I made an exaggeration, since there are recordings I never even heard of. I always try to correct small slip-ups  as I go, though. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on November 16, 2012, 07:07:08 PM
Ha! On that 2011 list, I see (or more accurately, don't see) a couple of performances I have that you don't.

Most importantly,  Sawallisch conducting the Concertgebouw in December 1992  (unless you've gotten it since then).  There's also Rattle and Thielemann each conducting the VPO, but it's only Sawallisch I would suggest.

ETA: going to find an image to add to this post from Amazon,  I don't see the re-issue I have (an EMI double with the second CD being piano concertos--Beethoven Fifth and Mozart Twentieth), but I do see a complete cycle re-issued by Brilliant back in 2005
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511Q37586BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 16, 2012, 08:07:36 PM
Ha! On that 2011 list, I see (or more accurately, don't see) a couple of performances I have that you don't.

Most importantly,  Sawallisch conducting the Concertgebouw in December 1992  (unless you've gotten it since then).  There's also Rattle and Thielemann each conducting the VPO, but it's only Sawallisch I would suggest.

ETA: going to find an image to add to this post from Amazon,  I don't see the re-issue I have (an EMI double with the second CD being piano concertos--Beethoven Fifth and Mozart Twentieth), but I do see a complete cycle re-issued by Brilliant back in 2005
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511Q37586BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I do have this Sawallisch now;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Sawallischcover.jpg)

It's very good. I think it's the same one as yours. I've always avoided Rattle, although not for any good reason other than I don't like his name or his hair. :D  Thielemann I would like, just haven't run across it, although I know I could find it if I looked. I just like to get them as I find them rather than shop hard, which is what I do with Haydn, for example. The Ninth is more relaxing than that. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on November 16, 2012, 08:25:15 PM
I do have this Sawallisch now;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Sawallischcover.jpg)

It's very good. I think it's the same one as yours. I've always avoided Rattle, although not for any good reason other than I don't like his name or his hair. :D  Thielemann I would like, just haven't run across it, although I know I could find it if I looked. I just like to get them as I find them rather than shop hard, which is what I do with Haydn, for example. The Ninth is more relaxing than that. :)

8)

Yes, that's the same one I have.

EMI put the Rattle out on its budget re-issue line, so you can snap it up if you want as an unconsidered trilfe.  I've got the Thielemann as part of his full cycle, and it's really the full set that bores me; I don't remember any details about the Ninth in particular, but from that lack of memory I'd presume it left me as unenthused as the rest of the set. It's like Glenlivet--not really bad, just bland and boring when it could be so much more.   (And if you want a truly negative opinion of that set, look up what Harry wrote about it!)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 17, 2012, 07:57:14 AM
OK, here's the updated list;

Year                           Orchestra               Conductor
Performed   
1929       Berlin State Opera Orchestra     Fried, Oscar
1935       Vienna Philharmonic            Weingartner, Felix
1942       Berlin Philharmonic                    Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1948-53       New York Philharmonic            Walter, Bruno
1952       Bavarian RSO                    Jochum, Eugen
1952       NBC Symphony                    Toscanini, Arturo
1953       Vienna Philharmonic            Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1953       Vienna State Opera Orchestra   Scherchen, Hermann
1954       Philharmonia                            Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1954       National Orchestra                    Schuricht, Carl
1955       Philharmonia                            Karajan, Herbert von
1955       Vienna Philharmonic            Walter, Bruno
1956       Royal Philharmonic                    Beecham, Thomas
1956       Royal Concertgebouw            Klemperer, Otto
1957       Philharmonia                            Klemperer, Otto
1958       Berlin Philharmonic                    Cluytens, André
1958       Berlin Philharmonic                    Fricsay, Ferenc
1958       Boston SO                            Munch, Charles
1959       Orchestre Suisse-Romande    Ansermet, Ernest
1960       Leipzig Gewandhaus            Konwitschny, Franz
1961       Chicago Symphony            Reiner, Fritz
1961       Royal Philharmonic                    Leibowitz, Rene
1962       Berlin Philharmonic                    Karajan, Herbert von
1962       London Symphony            Monteux, Pierre
1963       Cleveland Orchestra            Szell, George
1965       Vienna Philharmonic            Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans
1967       Philadelphia Orchestra            Ormandy, Eugene
1968       Czech Philharmonic            Kletzki, Paul
1969       New York Philharmonic            Bernstein, Leonard
1969       Royal Concertgebouw            Jochum, Eugen
1969       Boston Symphony                    Leinsdorf, Erich
1970       Vienna Philharmonic            Böhm, Karl
1972       Chicago Symphony            Solti, George
1973       London Symphony            Giulini, Carl Maria
1974       Munich Philharmonic            Kempe, Rudolf
1974       Hungarian PO                    Ferencsik, János
1975       New York Philharmonic            Boulez, Pierre  (radio broadcast)
1975       Leipzig Gewandhaus            Masur, Kurt
1975       Symphonieorchester des
                    Bayerischen Rundfunks            Kubelik, Rafael
1977       Berlin Philharmonic                    Karajan, Herbert von
1979       Berlin Philharmonic                    Karajan, Herbert von (live in Tokyo)
1979       London Symphony            Jochum, Eugen
1979       Philharmonia                            Sanderling, Kurt
1979       Staatskapelle Dresden            Blomstedt, Herbert
1980       Vienna Philharmonic            Bernstein, Leonard
1980       Vienna Philharmonic            Böhm, Karl
1982       Dresden PO                            Kegel, Herbert
1982       Staatskapelle Berlin            Suitner, Otmar
1982       Cleveland Orchestra            Maazel, Loren
1983       New York Philharmonic            Mehta, Zubin
1985       Cleveland Orchestra            Dohnányi, Christoph von
1986       NDR Symphony                    Wand, Gunter
1987       London Classical Players    Norrington, Roger
1987       Chicago Symphony            Solti, George
1988       Hanover Band                    Goodman, Roy
1988       Northern Sinfonia                    Hickox, Richard
1988       Academy of Ancient Music    Hogwood, Christoopher
1988       Philadelphia Orchestra            Muti, Ricardo
1989       Munich Philharmonic            Celidibache, Sergiu
1989       NHK Symphony                    Wakasugi, Hiroshi
1990       Vienna Symphony                    Inbal, Eliahu
1991       Chamber Orchestra of
                    Europe                                    Harnoncourt, Nikolaus
1991       Royal Liverpool Philharmonic    Mackerras, Charles
1992       Boston Philharmonic            Zander, Benjamin
1992       Orchestra of the 18th
                    Century                                    Brüggen, Frans
1992       Staatskapelle Berlin            Barenboim, Daniel
1992       Royal Concertgebouw            Sawallisch, Wolfgang
1992       Royal Concertgebouw            Haitink, Bernard
1994       Orchestre Revolutionnaire
                    et Romantique                    Gardiner, John
1995       Orchestra di Padova
                     e del Veneto                            Maag, Peter
1997       Staatskapelle Dresden            Sinopoli, Giuseppe
1998       Zurich Tönhalle Orchester    Zinman, David
1999       Orchestre des
                    Champs Elysées                    Herreweghe, Phillippe
2000       Berlin Philharmonic                    Abbado, Claudio
2000       Berliner Staatskapelle            Barenboim, Daniel
2000       Budapest PO                            Saccani, Rico
2002       Stuttgart RSO                    Norrington, Roger
2006       Minnesota Orchestra            Vänskä, Osmo
2006       London Symphony            Haitink, Bernard
2006       Russian National Orchestra    Pletnev, Mikhail
2007       Anima Eterna                            Immerseel, Jos van
2007       Scottish Chamber Orchestra    Mackerras, Charles
2007       Cleveland Orchestra            Welser-Most, Franz
2007       Das Neue Orchester            Spering, Christopher
2007       American Bach Soloists            Thomas, Jeffrey
2009       German Chamber
                     Philharmonic Bremen             Järvi, Paavo
2009       La Chambre Philharmonique     Krivine, Emmanuel
2009       Swedish Chamber Orchestra     Dausgaard, Thomas
2009       Gewandhausorchester             Chailly, Riccardo
2010       Leipzig Gewandhaus             Chailly, Riccardo (TV broadcast)


So anyway, that doesn't count 3 recordings of Liszt's reduction (including the Glenn Gould sing-along version :D ).

IMO, the 1960's were the greatest decade for 9th recordings. Just an observation. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on November 17, 2012, 08:05:13 AM
Which would that be, Gordo? Certainly I made an exaggeration, since there are recordings I never even heard of. I always try to correct small slip-ups  as I go, though. :)

8)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8424562211162.jpg)(http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/3107492)

The one included in the new complete set of Beethoven's symphonies recorded by Brüggen, recently released on the Spanish label Glossa.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 17, 2012, 08:08:17 AM
(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/8424562211162.jpg)(http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Symphonien-Nr-1-9/hnum/3107492)

The one included in the new complete set of Beethoven's symphonies recorded by Brüggen, recently released on the Spanish label Glossa.

Ah, I thought you were referring to the Haydn. No, I don't have this one yet, but it is on my watch list, so when it comes readily and affordably available, it shall be mine. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on November 17, 2012, 08:14:49 AM
Ah, I thought you were referring to the Haydn. No, I don't have this one yet, but it is on my watch list, so when it comes readily and affordably available, it shall be mine. :)

8)

If you like Brüggen as a flutist, I have posted something about him in the "New Releases" thread.  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on November 17, 2012, 08:18:32 AM
N/G               Staatskapelle Dresden             Blomstedt, Herbert (on Laserlight. Anyone know the recording date? Not on the packaging)

On the Eterna double LP (together with the 2nd) there is a date of recording 1979/80.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 17, 2012, 08:19:11 AM
If you like Brüggen as a flutist, I have posted something about him in the "New Releases" thread.  :)

Yes, actually I do. I'll check that out. Thanks!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 17, 2012, 08:20:48 AM
On the Eterna double LP (together with the 2nd) there is a date of recording 1979/80.

Aha! Thanks for that, mszczuj! I actually found 2 or 3 web pages that had discographies of the 9th, and that one was never quite resolved. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 18, 2012, 06:33:15 AM
A first time listen this morning. As I understand it, Peter Maag was loathe to record any Beethoven due to political reservations (I'm sure that phrase isn't strong enough) over the Nazis in general and Furtwängler in particular. In any case, near the end of his life he realized, I think, that it wasn't Beethoven's fault, and indulged himself an opportunity to record the entire symphony cycle. I only have the 9th, it is recorded in a way that is certainly different from Furtwängler (except for being 'live'). I'm well into it now and quite enjoying. Maag has a unique way of phrasing that brings out the meat of the dish, so to speak. I'll be back....

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Maag.jpg)


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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on November 18, 2012, 11:02:13 AM
Aha! Thanks for that, mszczuj! I actually found 2 or 3 web pages that had discographies of the 9th, and that one was never quite resolved. :)

8)

Assuming it's the same recording--the Brilliant 100 CD Symphony box gives it as "Lukaskirche Dresden 1980".

(Co-ordinating  mszczuj's LP dates and the dates given on for the Brilliant CD containing the recordings of 2 and 4, it was the Second Symphony that was recorded in 1979.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 20, 2012, 08:51:06 AM
Just reading through this thread and making casual notes,  I've come up with an empirical list of recommendations, for starting a library! 

These are the recordings that emerge as group favourites, in that they are strongly recommended or mentioned as favourites by more than one person, or very strongly recommended by someone with a large number of recordings.  The starred ones are noticeable from their repeated recommendation here or in other threads.

1940       Concertgebouw                    Mengelberg                   
1942       Berlin Philharmonic              Furtwängler *
1954       Philharmonia                        Furtwängler         
1957       Philharmonia                        Klemperer               
1958       Berlin Philharmonic              Fricsay *         
1962       Berlin Philharmonic              Karajan *
1963       Cleveland Orchestra             Szell               
1965       Vienna Philharmonic             Schmidt-Issersted   
1968       Czech Philharmonic              Kletzki                 
1970       Vienna Philharmonic             Böhm             
1972       Chicago Symphony              Solti         
1985       Cleveland Orchestra             Dohnányi *
1988       Academy of Ancient Music    Hogwood *       
1991       Royal Liverpool Phil               Mackerras     
2000       Berlin Philharmonic               Abbado         
2004       Residentie Orchestra            Van Zweden
2006       Minnesota Orchestra            Vänskä           

This could probably be narrowed down a bit.  Is there any obvious duplication of style and interpretation do you think?

This evening I shall see what the vicarage expedits contain....
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 20, 2012, 08:57:43 AM
Just reading through this thread and making casual notes,  I've come up with an empirical list of recommendations, for starting a library! 

These are the recordings that emerge as group favourites, in that they are strongly recommended or mentioned as favourites by more than one person, or very strongly recommended by someone with a large number of recordings.

1940       Concertgebouw                    Mengelberg                   
1942       Berlin Philharmonic              Furtwängler         
1954       Philharmonia                        Furtwängler         
1957       Philharmonia                        Klemperer               
1958       Berlin Philharmonic              Fricsay               
1962       Berlin Philharmonic              Karajan         
1963       Cleveland Orchestra             Szell               
1965       Vienna Philharmonic             Schmidt-Isserstedt   
1968       Czech Philharmonic              Kletzki                 
1970       Vienna Philharmonic             Böhm             
1972       Chicago Symphony              Solti         
1985       Cleveland Orchestra             Dohnányi   
1988       Academy of Ancient Music    Hogwood         
1991       Royal Liverpool Phil               Mackerras     
2000       Berlin Philharmonic               Abbado         
2004       Residentie Orchestra            Van Zweden
2006       Minnesota Orchestra            Vänskä           

Certainly some nice choices on there. I've got the Van Zweden on my wish list, working its way up. Looks interesting. I would add Gardiner, wouldn't be without it, and Herreweghe too.  And I would start the list with Fricsay, but hey, that's just me.  0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 20, 2012, 09:04:42 AM
Certainly some nice choices on there. I've got the Van Zweden on my wish list, working its way up. Looks interesting. I would add Gardiner, wouldn't be without it, and Herreweghe too.  And I would start the list with Fricsay, but hey, that's just me.
I tend to agree with you actually.  The Furtwanglers are a special case.  I actually have the old Mengelberg on a CD that I've never listened to, I'll give it a go but in general I can live without historical mono recordings.

I certainly have no PI recordings.  I'd been thinking about Immerseel's cycle as a Christmas present to myself as I've been enjoying them on Spotify but haven't listened to #9.  Do you feel there is enough of a difference between Hogwood, Gardiner and Herreweghe to make them all essential?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on November 20, 2012, 09:09:48 AM
Hrm, I would definitely rank Gardiner my favorite period 9th, love it as much as Gurn does, but I don't remember being too enthused about Hogwood. Very much agree with the picks of Karajan '62, Szell '63, Dohnanyi '85, and Abbado '00.

I really enjoy the Immerseel cycle a lot, especially my all-time favorite Fifth. Informative book in the package, too.

Drahos has my favorite tenor soloist but really nothing else unusual or interesting. OH OH YOUR LIST it needs Gunter Wand.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 20, 2012, 11:10:39 AM
I tend to agree with you actually.  The Furtwanglers are a special case.  I actually have the old Mengelberg on a CD that I've never listened to, I'll give it a go but in general I can live without historical mono recordings.

I certainly have no PI recordings.  I'd been thinking about Immerseel's cycle as a Christmas present to myself as I've been enjoying them on Spotify but haven't listened to #9.  Do you feel there is enough of a difference between Hogwood, Gardiner and Herreweghe to make them all essential?

They are certainly all different. Hogwood and Herreweghe are at opposite ends of the spectrum, Hogwood is (damn, hard to find an adjective that fits here) rough, but not rough in a negative way if you take my meaning. Of all of the recordings I have heard, this one is probably closest to what I believe the original was. Herreweghe is, instead, smooth. Really lovely, I feel like (other than the more aggressive tempos) that the sound is more like modern instruments although the performance is not. The singing is superb.  Gardiner is in between somewhere. He can kick your ass 3 times before you know you been kicked. Fast, rugged, perfectly played; it is faultless to anyone who doesn't find fault with everything.  So, yeah.

Needless to say, I like performances that span the entire spectrum of possibilities. I never imprinted on any one performance, so I don't have a benchmark or ideal. Now I have so many that I won't ever have a chance to imprint. This can only be a good thing. :)

Hrm, I would definitely rank Gardiner my favorite period 9th, love it as much as Gurn does, but I don't remember being too enthused about Hogwood. Very much agree with the picks of Karajan '62, Szell '63, Dohnanyi '85, and Abbado '00.

I really enjoy the Immerseel cycle a lot, especially my all-time favorite Fifth. Informative book in the package, too.

Drahos has my favorite tenor soloist but really nothing else unusual or interesting. OH OH YOUR LIST it needs Gunter Wand.



Yeah, Wand needs to be in there somewhere too. That's a fine one. Also, this one;

1969       Royal Concertgebouw            Jochum, Eugen

Jochum's finest 9th (I have a couple of others too). This is not the disk I have, but it's the same performance;



(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/51Oo89kNTNL.jpg)

Very pleasing.

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: San Antone on November 20, 2012, 11:22:34 AM
In today's NYT there is a review of Gardiner leading his Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a flame-drawn rendition of the Ninth (Friday); on Saturday he gave a glowing performance of the “Missa Solemnis.”

RTRH (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/arts/music/john-eliot-gardiner-leads-ensembles-at-carnegie-hall.html?ref=todayspaper)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 20, 2012, 03:15:24 PM
2004       Residentie Orchestra            Van Zweden

Ah, someone else who's heard something from Van Zweden's cycle. I'd thought I was the only one. Yes, a fine 9th (and the rest ain't chopped liver either).


Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 21, 2012, 03:35:48 AM
OH OH YOUR LIST it needs Gunter Wand.


what date was that recorded, I can only find the remastering date of 2001....

image of back cover on Amazon isn't quite sharp enough to read.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 21, 2012, 05:19:43 AM
what date was that recorded, I can only find the remastering date of 2001....

image of back cover on Amazon isn't quite sharp enough to read.

1986. It's on my list. Well worth having, a traditional Central European approach and sound, very well executed. Reminds me a lot of Kletzki's performance with the Czech's (although 20 years newer).  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 21, 2012, 06:15:29 AM
1986. It's on my list. Well worth having, a traditional Central European approach and sound, very well executed. Reminds me a lot of Kletzki's performance with the Czech's (although 20 years newer).

Got it.  Cheers.  So do you think Kletzki could be dropped?  If you had to lose half a dozen of these, in the interest of having a best of the best essentials core collection, which would you drop first?

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on November 21, 2012, 07:11:54 AM
If I must drop many performances from your list, this will be Schmidt-Isserstedt's, Dohnanyi's and Wand's performance. They has  good (Schmidt-Isserstedt) to exceptional sound (Dohnanyi, Wand) but all are too uninspired and middle-of-the road interpretation.
   Reverend Bong, what is the Klemperer's performance you have? EMI or Testament?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 21, 2012, 07:19:40 AM
If I must drop some performances from your list, this will be Schmidt-Isserstedt's, Dohnanyi's and Wand's performance. They are all good, no doubt but compare to other performance, they doesn't have enough special quality and vision to be remembered.

I could be content with that, except for the Wand. As you say, the other 2 are very good, but they are surpassed here and there. Actually, I prefer the Maazel/Cleveland recording to the Dohnanyi. But not to throw too many names into the hat.  :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on November 21, 2012, 07:49:55 AM
I could be content with that, except for the Wand. As you say, the other 2 are very good, but they are surpassed here and there. Actually, I prefer the Maazel/Cleveland recording to the Dohnanyi. But not to throw too many names into the hat.  :)

8)
  I agree with your evaluation about Maazel's performance. Though I don't like this, too fast, underplayed the dramatic quality but at last, it has the "vision". The only recording of Beethoven 9 in digital era can move my blood is Tennstedt's performance on LPO live. Full of passionate expression, heartfelt Adagio , only the last movement is somewhat let  down by the wrong balance of the recording.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 21, 2012, 07:55:50 AM
  I agree with your evaluation about Maazel's performance. Though I don't like this, too fast, underplayed the dramatic quality but at last, it has the "vision". The only recording of Beethoven 9 in digital era can move my blood is Tennstedt's performance on LPO live. Full of passionate expression, heartfelt Adagio , only the last movement is somewhat let  down by the wrong balance of the recording.



Thanks for the tip on that, I put it in my basket. I like Tennstedt, and haven't noted a recording before of his.

Yes, 'the Vision'. That inexpressible quality that, with this music, must be there to make it work. But also a subjective thing which exists upon one listening, and yet not in every one.  0:)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Carnivorous Sheep on November 21, 2012, 10:17:57 AM
I love the Tennstedt live ninth. Definitely one of my favorite recordings of this work.

Regarding Kletzki: It's such a distinctive recording that I would not drop in favor of the Wand, even though I enjoy the Wand very much also.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on November 21, 2012, 10:27:08 AM
A first time listen this morning. As I understand it, Peter Maag was loathe to record any Beethoven due to political reservations (I'm sure that phrase isn't strong enough) over the Nazis in general and Furtwängler in particular. In any case, near the end of his life he realized, I think, that it wasn't Beethoven's fault, and indulged himself an opportunity to record the entire symphony cycle. I only have the 9th, it is recorded in a way that is certainly different from Furtwängler (except for being 'live'). I'm well into it now and quite enjoying. Maag has a unique way of phrasing that brings out the meat of the dish, so to speak. I'll be back....

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Maag.jpg)


8)

It's a great cycle, indeed. I was prompted to purchase it after reading this superlative review by the great harpsichordist Peter Watchorn:

Quote
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Maag's Magnificent Legacy April 3, 2003
By Peter G. Watchorn
Amazon Verified Purchase

For those who wonder what Peter Maag was up to in the many years since his classic recordings for Decca in the 1950's and (early) 1960's, here is perhaps the "last will and testament" of this uniquely great Swiss conductor, who, to the incalculable loss of all music-lovers, passed away in November, 2001. Maag's accounts of the nine symphonies of Beethoven constitute one of the very finest sets, a genuine "sleeper" which is destined (especially in view of Maag's departure from us) to become a classic. Perhaps only Nikolaus Harnoncourt's exemplary readings with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe can truly match the present set in fire, verve and imagination.

Maag, a one-time piano student of Alfred Cortot, and disciple of Wilhelm Furtwaengler, was one of the most impressively sensitive conductors of his era, noted for his beautiful and searching interpretations of, especially, Mozart and Mendelssohn, whose spirits, he clearly felt, were closely related to one another. His complete recording (with the London Symphony) of Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream" has been rightly revered for forty years, and his more recent achievements with the Orchestra of Venice and Padua are no less impressive. In addition, the recordings are remarkably well engineered (fine ambience, excellent attention given to matters of balance).

The orchestra should also be singled out for praise - wonderfully warm string tone, and some of the finest wind-playing to come out of Europe in recent times. It is damning with faint praise to characterise this set as the work of a major conductor directing a minor league orchestra. There is nothing second rate about these musicians and Maag's presence lends an authority and assurance that places the results well beyond the goals and achievements of many so-called "star" conductors. Simply put, Maag was one of the great musicians of the century and these recordings are a worthy testament to his extraordinary gifts. Those interested in discovering details in the Beethoven symphonies that they didn't imagine existed should invest in this set forthwith. Contributing strongly to the overall effect is Maag's decision to reduce the size of the string section. Far from representing any handicap, this results in a satisfyingly "classical" Beethoven, with winds and brass suitably prominent, and with plenty of fire and drama where and when it's called for.

Has any other conductor better realised Beethoven's cautionary designation "non troppo", attached to the opening Allegro of the Pastoral? Or summoned more energy in the great seventh symphony? Or shaped the opening of the slow movement of the same work so tellingly?
The delights which await the listener are far too numerous to enumerate in any detail here. Suffice it to say that those wise enough to invest in this set (knowing Maag's reputation) will be rewarded by performances of almost transcendental beauty, conducted by an undisputed master, in state-of-the-art recorded sound. At one time, Peter Maag removed himself from the professional conducting circuit to devote his life to Buddhist study, in part to reclaim his "humility" as an interpreter. What is presented here (as well as in Maag's equally fine set of Mozart's later symphonies, also recorded with the Italian orchestra, of which he was chief conductor) is music-making of the greatest power, insight and humility by one of the most fascinating and satisfying conductors of the twentieth century. Strongest recommendation. Five stars.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2012, 04:19:12 AM
This Sunday, a version that also has had its share of love/hate, one I have always liked a lot though;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven_9_HarnoncourtCOE2cover.jpg)

Harnoncourt seems to have the measure of these works throughout the cycle, and his 9th is no exception. I'm thinking that waiting until later on in his career to record it was not a bad thing at all, he may have done it 100 times before, but it still sounds like he has a fresh attitude about it, which shows through. Definitely a nice one to have!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 25, 2012, 04:25:46 AM
It's a great cycle, indeed. I was prompted to purchase it after reading this superlative review by the great harpsichordist Peter Watchorn:

Thanks for that review, Gordo, it was interesting and informative. I quite agree with Watchorn over the playing of the (smallish) orchestra; rather than being a drawback it is a plus. Very nice!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Reverend Bong on November 26, 2012, 03:48:43 AM
It's a great cycle, indeed. I was prompted to purchase it after reading this superlative review by the great harpsichordist Peter Watchorn:

Thanks from me too.  I've been listening to these on Spotify and I think I have to have them.  Just listening to the 8th, splendid precision and definition and authority to it, and even on the lower quality of free spotify, very good recording indeed.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 02, 2012, 09:20:57 AM
This morning, just got back from golf in record high temps for the date, now listening to;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thSperingcover-1.jpg)

This is an excellent version of this work, also the 3 pieces of the Missa Solemnis which Beethoven was allowed to premiere at the same time under the title "Three Hymns". Spering and New Orchestra are very skilled players (the timpanist is ass-kickin'!!) and the singing is very fine. I haqve always like 'theme' albums, and this one's is, of course, May 7 1824, the World Premiere of the 9th + the Vienna Premiere of the Missa. Very satisfactory. :)

8)
Title: Re: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2012, 09:55:04 AM
This morning, just got back from golf in record high temps for the date....

Good on ya!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 09, 2012, 09:09:32 AM
Today, a little contrast with last week's selection!   :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Reinercover.jpg)

This is the version that America grew up on, the Scherzo was the theme of the NBC Evening News  for many years. And it still sounds so familiar! This is one of the great versions to come out of America, IMO.  In the first movement, Reiner does some little tempo things, unexpected slowing down and speeding back up again, not sure what he is trying to say there. It isn't off-putting, just different. The 2 inner movements are as good as it gets in classic performance.  We're just getting to the Finale now; I can't wait! :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on December 09, 2012, 12:49:34 PM
Today, a little contrast with last week's selection!   :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Reinercover.jpg)

This is the version that America grew up on, the Scherzo was the theme of the NBC Evening News  for many years. And it still sounds so familiar! This is one of the great versions to come out of America, IMO.  In the first movement, Reiner does some little tempo things, unexpected slowing down and speeding back up again, not sure what he is trying to say there. It isn't off-putting, just different. The 2 movements are as good as it gets in classic performance.  We're just getting to the Finale now; I can't wait! :)

8)
   Gurn, I have this performance. Fritz Reiner is one of my favorite Beethoven performer (especially his exceptional Fifth). Like you say, Reiner did many fluctuation of tempo in first movement, something reminds me of Furtwängler, but IMHO it doesn't create the same impact because the playing is so clean, so cold, lacks the wildness and weighty. Other movement is lively, songfullness, well-played and well-sung. Soloist in forth movement is only adequate, not distinctive.  Overall, it is an enjoyable performance, but not Reiner's best effort
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 16, 2012, 08:00:30 AM
This week I decided to continue with that little cluster of great performances that ranges from '58 to '63. Following last week's Reiner with the wonderful, warm performance of the Orchestre Suisse-Romande / Ansermet.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Ansermetcover-3.jpg)

The horns in the Adagio on this recording are superb. In fact, all of the winds really put together a standout performance that was well-captured by the original engineers. Ansermet seems to have been a forward looking conductor, since he takes the tempos at a bit of a more brisk pace than do some of his contemporaries. Overall, I really like this version.

Just to savor the goodness of this group, I will spend the 10 weeks it takes to listen to all of them.

1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 23, 2012, 09:07:43 AM
And now, another from the list. Berliner Philharmoniker / Cluytens. If I don't mention that the Berliners play beautifully throughout these performances, you can take it as given. These 3 performances from a period only 4 years apart, Fricsay, Cluytens and von Karajan are a lasting monument to a truly great band.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Cluytens.jpg)

Cluytens has a bit slower tempo in the first movement, but he does a great job of imparting that air of mystery that should accompany that movement. The Scherzo and Adagio are both pretty well mainstream (which isn't a bad thing at all!). The Adagio has a lot of clarity though, and even though taken a bit more slowly than some, it doesn't suffer from it.

The Finale is one of the earliest that I've heard where the double basses actually seem to understand what playing recitativo entails. They do quite a splendid job of it. Although the initial presentation of the 'Joy' theme is lacking a bit in Lebensfreude, overall the entire choral section is pretty kickin'! The lady soloists are superior to the men, but overall it's not bad at all. A nice start to my personal 'Golden Age'. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 30, 2012, 07:16:27 AM
Continuing on with the cream of the early stereo era, this morning we will slide over to the former East Germany, where pride of place, despite the political upheavals of the time, remains with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and their leader at the time, an all-time great, Franz Konwitschny;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Konwitschnycover.jpg)

Despite being in less than state-of-the-art sound (but it is quite acceptable), Konwitschny makes one rapidly forget all that and fall into the unique sound-world of the Beethoven Era. As in 'this was OUR guy'. :)  A nicely uptempo performance without a lot of personal idiosyncrasy. I've liked this performance since first hearing and it has worn well. Plus, you get extra bonus points on your lifetime score if you can figure out what the balloons mean. Double that if you share the solution with me...  :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on December 30, 2012, 09:46:11 AM
Balloons fly higher and higher just like the mind which rises above the tent of the stars in the seeking of the God?

I have got Konwitschny on LPs (all symphonies) and I like it.
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lake Swan on December 30, 2012, 09:48:37 AM
Continuing on with the cream of the early stereo era, this morning we will slide over to the former East Germany, where pride of place, despite the political upheavals of the time, remains with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and their leader at the time, an all-time great, Franz Konwitschny;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Konwitschnycover.jpg)

Despite being in less than state-of-the-art sound (but it is quite acceptable), Konwitschny makes one rapidly forget all that and fall into the unique sound-world of the Beethoven Era. As in 'this was OUR guy'. :)  A nicely uptempo performance without a lot of personal idiosyncrasy. I've liked this performance since first hearing and it has worn well. Plus, you get extra bonus points on your lifetime score if you can figure out what the balloons mean. Double that if you share the solution with me...  :D

8)

I will try this one, Gern. Thanks!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 30, 2012, 09:52:35 AM
Balloons fly higher and higher just like the mind which rises to the tent of the stars in the seeking of the God?

I have got Konwitschny on LPs (all symphonies) and I like it.

Oh, that's good! It would even explain this one (Krivine), which I (coincidentally) bought at the same time;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Krivinecover-1.jpg)

Are those LP's like original pressings from ~1960? Or later on reissues? I know nothing about LP's, but always curious. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 30, 2012, 09:54:38 AM
I will try this one, Gern. Thanks!

I think you'll like it, Dive. Y'er welcome. :)

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Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lake Swan on December 30, 2012, 10:09:03 AM
I think you'll like it, Dive. Y'er welcome. :)

8)

I can't help that you've misspelled your forum name. ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 30, 2012, 10:10:32 AM
I can't help that you've misspelled your forum name. ;)

I know. So it goes. :-\

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Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Lake Swan on December 30, 2012, 10:12:03 AM
I know. So it goes. :-

8)

I'm listening to that recording. Pretty sweet so far. STILL my favorite symphony of all time.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on December 30, 2012, 10:31:51 AM
Are those LP's like original pressings from ~1960? Or later on reissues? I know nothing about LP's, but always curious. :)

GDR Eterna records from 70s (probably, black label on records) - Nos. 6,7,2 and 9.
GDR Eterna records from 80s (probably, blue label on records) - Nos. 3,4,5.
Polish Muza records from 70s - Nos. 4, 8, 1 and 9.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 30, 2012, 10:38:36 AM
GDR Eterna records from 70s (probably, black label on records) - Nos. 6,7,2 and 9.
GDR Eterna records from 80s (probably, blue label on records) - Nos. 3,4,5.
Polish Muza records from 70s - Nos. 4, 8, 1 and 9.

Ah. Same performance of the 9th though?

Leipzig Gewandhaus / Konwitschny, Franz   --- Rundfunkchor Leipzig / Knothel, Dietrich   
Wenglor, Ingeborg   Zollenkopf, Ursula   Rotzsch, Hans-Joachim   Adam, Theo

Interesting set makeup. Blessed with 2 9ths though, you can't beat that!   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on December 30, 2012, 11:25:52 AM
Ah. Same performance of the 9th though?

Leipzig Gewandhaus / Konwitschny, Franz   --- Rundfunkchor Leipzig / Knothel, Dietrich   
Wenglor, Ingeborg   Zollenkopf, Ursula   Rotzsch, Hans-Joachim   Adam, Theo

Yes, the same.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on December 31, 2012, 08:27:08 PM
The Tennstedt/LPO recording landed today, and therefore to see 2012 off in proper style, I'm listening to it now.   If the neighbors are noisy enough with their fireworks, I may play Bruggen's recording (from the new set, the live Rotterdam performances in 2011) to usher in 2013 in proper style.

One thing I'm noticing in this recording is the drums.  They seem to be unusually prominent, especially in the first and fourth movement.  I've noticed them on other recordings, but I don't remember them being that vividly forward in the musicmaking.....Or am simply picking something my ears didn't pay attention to the several hundred times I've heard the Ninth before now?


Excuse me,  Rene Pape is calling the proceedings to order....
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on December 31, 2012, 09:59:07 PM
Final rating for the Tennstedt:  A.  Points taken away for the too-prominent timpani, which may have been the result of the engineering set up, I suppose.

Went on the Bruggen.  Here it was the woodwinds that were unexpectedly prominent, especially in the opening bars;  everything went well until the baritone entered for his recitative--he sounded unsure of his notes after a minute, and the tenor was straining too much in his solo.  (Yes, I know most tenors strain a bit in that passage, but this time he almost seemed to have lost the high notes.)  Final result, because of the less than ideal singing,  A-

ETA: perhaps Bruggen's singers suffered because I heard them almost directly after Pape and Rolfe-Johnson,  but even taking that into account,  I still have to call them substandard.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 01, 2013, 09:20:20 AM
I've got to know the ninth symphony as a lad through Ansamet's performance which came out in Mono Decca budget. It had a fine group of soloists including Joan Sutherland. The performance wasn't bad. Not earthshaking but very enjoyable in a straightforward way.
However I really discovered how tremendous this symphony was when I listened to Karajan 77 for the first time.
I have this recording on CD plus the Vienna Philharmonic one with Bernstein.
I have also got Karajan 62 as part of a complete set. Is really impossible to choose between them but I think the later one just has it on points.
I also have two Klemperer complete sets which have performances of Beethoven ninth from 1950s. Say what you will Klemperer may be out of fashion but these are almighty performances.
I also have Roger Norrington which is a bit disappointing. He simply doesn't Generate the awe that this symphony takes but nevertheless hearing him on original instruments is interesting.
I have just invested in the high-octane Chailly set which I have heard only part of the ninth. The recording is incredible.
And not to forget I also have the RCA Toscanini sets of the symphonies will simply tremendous ninth. The recording is difficult to live with but the performance is beyond price.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 06, 2013, 07:59:11 AM
Final rating for the Tennstedt:  A.  Points taken away for the too-prominent timpani, which may have been the result of the engineering set up, I suppose.

Went on the Bruggen.  Here it was the woodwinds that were unexpectedly prominent, especially in the opening bars;  everything went well until the baritone entered for his recitative--he sounded unsure of his notes after a minute, and the tenor was straining too much in his solo.  (Yes, I know most tenors strain a bit in that passage, but this time he almost seemed to have lost the high notes.)  Final result, because of the less than ideal singing,  A-

ETA: perhaps Bruggen's singers suffered because I heard them almost directly after Pape and Rolfe-Johnson,  but even taking that into account,  I still have to call them substandard.

Jeffrey,
Thanks for the feed back on that disk. I have heard a whole range of prominence for timpani, some of it based on the conductor's preference, maybe some on the timpanist's personal sense of style and what 'forte' means, and some of it as a result of the recording engineers and/or sound editors in post-production. I think at that point one will have to measure against ones own aesthetics. I like it on the more prominent side, which is to say, I don't like versions where they are distant and muffled. Somewhere I suppose there is a 'just right'. :)

I've got to know the ninth symphony as a lad through Ansamet's performance which came out in Mono Decca budget. It had a fine group of soloists including Joan Sutherland. The performance wasn't bad. Not earthshaking but very enjoyable in a straightforward way.
However I really discovered how tremendous this symphony was when I listened to Karajan 77 for the first time.
I have this recording on CD plus the Vienna Philharmonic one with Bernstein.
I have also got Karajan 62 as part of a complete set. Is really impossible to choose between them but I think the later one just has it on points.
I also have two Klemperer complete sets which have performances of Beethoven ninth from 1950s. Say what you will Klemperer may be out of fashion but these are almighty performances.
I also have Roger Norrington which is a bit disappointing. He simply doesn't Generate the awe that this symphony takes but nevertheless hearing him on original instruments is interesting.
I have just invested in the high-octane Chailly set which I have heard only part of the ninth. The recording is incredible.
And not to forget I also have the RCA Toscanini sets of the symphonies will simply tremendous ninth. The recording is difficult to live with but the performance is beyond price.

David
You have a pretty good range of performances there. I have a 1952 Toscanini that is quite fine, I think he was an early pioneer towards what became the later standard of performance. Hats off to him for that. I haven't heard his earlier recordings, I understand the performances may be finer even, but the sound is even worse. Pity that, but I am not an historical recording nut who can just overlook that stuff. Of the Karajan's, I like the 62 better than the 77, but I also have the 55 with the Philharmonia that I think can challenge either of the others. It has more youthful zest imparted to the performers, I suppose. 

I predict you will like the Chailly in its entirety. It certainly is high-energy, and also eloquent when it should be. Nice combination. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 06, 2013, 08:09:29 AM
This week I decided to continue with that little cluster of great performances that ranges from '58 to '63.

Just to savor the goodness of this group, I will spend the 10 weeks it takes to listen to all of them.

1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz

1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George


So carrying on with this delightful project this week, we move on to a version that was first brought to my attention by friend Holden a couple of years back, and which took my a while to locate. Worth the while though;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9LeibowitzRPO1961cover_zps807f7e73.jpg)

You would not suppose from either the recorded sound or the performance style that this little gem goes all the way back to 1961! I think it points to the flux in performance thoughts that was plaguing conductors and music directors back then. The age was clearly changing, and tastes along with it. I know little to nothing about Leibowitz and who his influences are, but he sounds to me like a philosophical disciple of Toscanini, only not quite as adamant, so to say. He is able to explore the slow and passionate side as well as the bigger, faster, harder (yes, Olympian) side of the music. Definitely a must-have for me!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 08, 2013, 11:03:23 PM
Jeffrey,
Thanks for the feed back on that disk. I have heard a whole range of prominence for timpani, some of it based on the conductor's preference, maybe some on the timpanist's personal sense of style and what 'forte' means, and some of it as a result of the recording engineers and/or sound editors in post-production. I think at that point one will have to measure against ones own aesthetics. I like it on the more prominent side, which is to say, I don't like versions where they are distant and muffled. Somewhere I suppose there is a 'just right'. :)

David
You have a pretty good range of performances there. I have a 1952 Toscanini that is quite fine, I think he was an early pioneer towards what became the later standard of performance. Hats off to him for that. I haven't heard his earlier recordings, I understand the performances may be finer even, but the sound is even worse. Pity that, but I am not an historical recording nut who can just overlook that stuff. Of the Karajan's, I like the 62 better than the 77, but I also have the 55 with the Philharmonia that I think can challenge either of the others. It has more youthful zest imparted to the performers, I suppose. 

I predict you will like the Chailly in its entirety. It certainly is high-energy, and also eloquent when it should be. Nice combination. :)

8)

It was always a tragedy that Toscanini chose to record in sound which was pretty ropey even for the day. The acoustic studio 8H was so dry that it tended to take the life out of his performances. Towards the end of his life he also tended to be more hard-driving than he was earlier. Of course the recordings tended to exaggerate the aggression. I believe there's some recordings of him with the BBC Symphony Orchestra which give more of an idea of what he was like in his pomp.
If you haven't heard one of the Klemperer recordings, especially live, then do so if you can. It certainly old-fashioned and somewhat slow but there is a tremendous conviction about them. Having listened to them and lived with them I now know why critics praised Klemperer's Beethoven, something I couldn't make out as a younger man. The struggle towards joy in the ninth is awesome!
I am still trying to come to terms with the Chailly.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 09, 2013, 12:03:31 PM
It was always a tragedy that Toscanini chose to record in sound which was pretty ropey even for the day. The acoustic studio 8H was so dry that it tended to take the life out of his performances. Towards the end of his life he also tended to be more hard-driving than he was earlier. Of course the recordings tended to exaggerate the aggression. I believe there's some recordings of him with the BBC Symphony Orchestra which give more of an idea of what he was like in his pomp.
If you haven't heard one of the Klemperer recordings, especially live, then do so if you can. It certainly old-fashioned and somewhat slow but there is a tremendous conviction about them. Having listened to them and lived with them I now know why critics praised Klemperer's Beethoven, something I couldn't make out as a younger man. The struggle towards joy in the ninth is awesome!
I am still trying to come to terms with the Chailly.

Hey, David,
I've got a couple of Klemps, actually.





These 2 anyway. Not sure what it is exactly that doesn't appeal to me. It may well be precisely the same thing that does appeal to you, but which is what turns me off to Furtwängler too. I don't care a lot for big, emotional readings. Funny you mention Toscanini here, because there is a quote from him that sums my feelings up nicely. It's true, he was talking about Eroica and not The Ninth;

"To some it is about Napoleon; to some it is Alexander the Great; to some it is philosophical struggle. To me it is simply Allegro con brio."  0:)

I know, that doesn't sound like I have the taste for the passion in the music, but then, I tend more towards the passion being in me instead of the music itself.  Just a Classical kind of guy.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on January 09, 2013, 12:19:00 PM
Hey, David,
I've got a couple of Klemps, actually.





These 2 anyway. Not sure what it is exactly that doesn't appeal to me. It may well be precisely the same thing that does appeal to you, but which is what turns me off to Furtwängler too. I don't care a lot for big, emotional readings. Funny you mention Toscanini here, because there is a quote from him that sums my feelings up nicely. It's true, he was talking about Eroica and not The Ninth;

"To some it is about Napoleon; to some it is Alexander the Great; to some it is philosophical struggle. To me it is simply Allegro con brio."  0:)

I know, that doesn't sound like I have the taste for the passion in the music, but then, I tend more towards the passion being in me instead of the music itself.  Just a Classical kind of guy.... :)

8)

To phrase it another (not necessarily better) way, if the music doesn't give rise to an emotional response in you, the listener, then it doesn't matter whether the music is about Napoleon, Alexander, or the composer not having made the beast with two backs since week before last.....
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 11, 2013, 11:45:49 PM
Hey, David,
I've got a couple of Klemps, actually.





These 2 anyway. Not sure what it is exactly that doesn't appeal to me. It may well be precisely the same thing that does appeal to you, but which is what turns me off to Furtwängler too. I don't care a lot for big, emotional readings. Funny you mention Toscanini here, because there is a quote from him that sums my feelings up nicely. It's true, he was talking about Eroica and not The Ninth;

"To some it is about Napoleon; to some it is Alexander the Great; to some it is philosophical struggle. To me it is simply Allegro con brio."  0:)

I know, that doesn't sound like I have the taste for the passion in the music, but then, I tend more towards the passion being in me instead of the music itself.  Just a Classical kind of guy.... :)

8)

The thing that appeals to me about the Klemperer is the huge dramatic buildup. There is a tremendous logic and struggle in his performances that makes the final outpost of joy a logical conclusion. I know he can be too slow for some people and the scherzo  so does lumber a bit. But there is a build up to the thing which finds the end of it shattering.
I can't quite understand you talking about not going for emotional performances as I would say that Klemperer is one of those who most of all wgo allowing the emotion and passion in the music itself to emerge naturally. In his way Klemperer was highly classical in that sense.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 13, 2013, 06:40:56 AM
This week I decided to continue with that little cluster of great performances that ranges from '58 to '63. 1

Just to savor the goodness of this group, I will spend the 10 weeks it takes to listen to all of them.

1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MunchBSO1958cover.jpg)

Well, the list is getting shorter, but the performances are as good as ever. This week's Boston/Munch comes from a time when they were the preeminent orchestra in North America. And you can tell upon listening to this disk. Ensemble is superb, tempi are very well judged, the Living Stereo sound quality is all you could hope; in short, having soloists like Leontyne Price and Maureen Forrester is just icing on the cake. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 13, 2013, 12:54:26 PM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MunchBSO1958cover.jpg)

Well, the list is getting shorter, but the performances are as good as ever. This week's Boston/Munch comes from a time when they were the preeminent orchestra in North America. And you can tell upon listening to this disk. Ensemble is superb, tempi are very well judged, the Living Stereo sound quality is all you could hope; in short, having soloists like Leontyne Price and Maureen Forrester is just icing on the cake. :)

8)

This performance was celebrated on vinyl as it had no side break in the slow movement.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 13, 2013, 01:28:27 PM
This performance was celebrated on vinyl as it had no side break in the slow movement.

Was that a first? It was released in '59 so it didn't beat Fricsay to the gate for 'first stereo', but I almost have to think that un unbroken movement 'first'  is as cool! :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 13, 2013, 11:16:10 PM
Was that a first? It was released in '59 so it didn't beat Fricsay to the gate for 'first stereo', but I almost have to think that un unbroken movement 'first'  is as cool! :)

8)

Yes it was a first. It came out on an RCA budget label. The great feature was they had managed to get the first three movements all on to one side of the LP so there was no break in the slow movement as there was almost single disc LPs of the ninth.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on January 19, 2013, 08:03:24 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61VQJCZA3AL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Of course my favored oldy-but-goody approach, which is more spacious and grand-scale than the recent period instrument recordings or their likes (Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Zinman, Abbado's recent Berlin cycle for DG, Rattle, etc). If you are on a quest of finding a shockingly fresh approach to the 9th, look somewhere else. If you are looking for a powerful yet heartfelt performance of 9th with top-notch male soloists and a choir, you will be VERY happy with this recording. The live recording is clear yet warm with plenty of ambience. is superb. This is a performance full of passion and affection. It also has a virtue many super-charged recordings miss - the optimistic warmth (=Abbado's specialty). This aspect is less highlighted in his Berlin recording for Sony. The balance between different instruments is sometimes ideal and sometimes interesting. Strings are lush and bright. Woodwinds are warm but accentuated when required. The timpani, a vital instrument in this symphony, is punchy but never obtrusive. Choir is magnificent AND well-recorded, which is a rare case. Male soloists are super. And yes, it's also a fairly traditional, old elementally clear, with a speedy, delightful Trio. The slow movement has a wonderfully heartfelt melos, reaching its peak in the splendid brass fanfares, where Abbado slows down just a tad for empahasis. The finale is offered on a big scale. The tenor takes a little getting used to, but the other soloists are splendid. Hermann Prey sings his opening solo elegantly, with just the occasional strain on a low note. The sonic perspective on his solo alters when the chorus comes in, the only audio blemish I can cite in this recording. The chorus experience recording Bernstein live in Vienna by this time, and the lessons seem to have been applied to this recording. The dynamic range of the recording is extremely wide. You have to play the CD at a loud volume for the complete sonic picture to come through. Once you do this, you will be rewarded with one of the most lucid presentations of the Ninth I ever have heard. In the first movement, Abbado subtly alters the tempo to reflect the dramatic essence of each of the episodes. His Scherzo is beautifully played and beloved, old recording from my past. These days I definitely prefer the traditional, ultra-romantic, Furtwangler-mystical Beethoven 9ths, but once in awhile I still love to listen to the old Norrington/LPC and the Hogwood version too. Sometime I want to hear more of the other HIPs I haven't heard, like the Bruggen. This CD with the Vienna Philharmonic takes over 72 minutes, which seems to me a judicious pace which allows for a lot of detail to come through. The 1986 sound engineering is superb, especially for a live recording. DG had had considerable It's been years since I heard the Abbado/VPO, but when I was in High School, this and the Norrington were my main recordings. I especially remember how the Abbado/VPO was always a profound listening experience, each time I played it. I would listen to the Abbado on cassette (in 1988 or so) in the mornings before school, and late into the night.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 19, 2013, 08:07:55 AM
So, you like it then? :D

I have 2 different versions with Abbado and the Berliners, always meant to pick this one up too, but never got to it. Now you've given me some impetus. Thanks for the interesting post, Leo. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on January 19, 2013, 08:54:13 AM
So, you like it then? :D

I have 2 different versions with Abbado and the Berliners, always meant to pick this one up too, but never got to it. Now you've given me some impetus. Thanks for the interesting post, Leo. :)

8)

Thanks Gurn, and this is what a review of mine looks like on coffee (on a pleasant, cool Saturday morning), a lot of it!  ;D I hope you enjoy the recording. It is very cheap out there.




Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 19, 2013, 09:02:54 AM
Thanks Gurn, and this is what a review of mine looks like on coffee (on a pleasant, cool Saturday morning), a lot of it!  ;D I hope you enjoy the recording. It is very cheap out there.

Yup, just bought it brand new for $6.99 at AMP. Can't beat that! :)

1935   Vienna Philharmonic   Weingartner, Felix
1953   Vienna Philharmonic   Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1955   Vienna Philharmonic   Walter, Bruno
1965   Vienna Philharmonic   Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans
1970   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Bernstein, Leonard
1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
1987        Vienna Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio

It fits into my collection here, which is a nice span of time to see the same orchestra play the same work and see it evolve. Now I'd like to get something from the late '90's and late 200x's.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on January 19, 2013, 09:19:49 AM
Yup, just bought it brand new for $6.99 at AMP. Can't beat that! :)

1935   Vienna Philharmonic   Weingartner, Felix
1953   Vienna Philharmonic   Furtwängler, Wilhelm
1955   Vienna Philharmonic   Walter, Bruno
1965   Vienna Philharmonic   Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans
1970   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Bernstein, Leonard
1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
1987        Vienna Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio

It fits into my collection here, which is a nice span of time to see the same orchestra play the same work and see it evolve. Now I'd like to get something from the late '90's and late 200x's.   :)

8)

I love how you collect the 9th! Sometime, I would love to read a survey (by you) of the 9th as played by the Vienna Philharmonic.  8)


Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 19, 2013, 09:55:00 AM
I love how you collect the 9th! Sometime, I would love to read a survey (by you) of the 9th as played by the Vienna Philharmonic.  8)

Thanks. There are so many aspects of interest over such a long time that nearly anyone can find a niche to explore. And the research is so... blissful!   :)

I'll have to think about that. At least it doesn't smack of a competition (no interest in that) but instead, it's evolution, and that's right up my alley!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on January 20, 2013, 06:49:55 AM
Thanks. There are so many aspects of interest over such a long time that nearly anyone can find a niche to explore. And the research is so... blissful!   :)

I'll have to think about that. At least it doesn't smack of a competition (no interest in that) but instead, it's evolution, and that's right up my alley!  :)

8)

Yes, I'm more interested in the evolution over who is better, and it's more fun to research that as well!  8) Also agree research is blissfull  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 20, 2013, 07:35:09 AM
Yes, I'm more interested in the evolution over who is better, and it's more fun to research that as well!  8) Also agree research is blissfull  ;D

I think there is a book about the history of the WP that might be helpful here. I'll do a little research (beyond listening). :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 20, 2013, 07:48:22 AM
This morning, continuing the theme of the last few weeks;
Quote
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene

1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanBPO62cover.jpg)

A version that I don't listen very often now, not because I don't think it's one of the all-time greats, but because when, in October of 1995 I realized that I treasured this music enough to listen to it in a nearly ritual manner every week, this was one of only two versions that I had, and clearly the better of them. So fair to say, I have heard it a few times!  The danger there is imprinting; can anyone lead an orchestra more spiritedly in the Scherzo: Molto vivace than Karajan?  Is there a better bass/baritone than Berry for the 'O Freunde, nicht diese Töne'?   You know what I mean. It gives one a jaundiced ear towards everyone else. :)

That said, let me ask you,  can anyone lead an orchestra more spiritedly in the Scherzo: Molto vivace than Karajan?  Is there a better bass/baritone than Berry for the 'O Freunde, nicht diese Töne'?   :D  This is a seriously good recording of a seriously good performance. Karajan was more interested in leading the orchestra than he was in leading the sound engineers back then, apparently , and it shows in the results.

BTW, on the subject of Karajan, when people are having those face-offs of conductors against themselves (which is quite odd, but that's beyond me), I don't see this one in the running ever;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanLive79cover-1.jpg)

It's damned decent, and since it's 'live', it harks back to teh earlier days when Herb was more likely to be on the podium than in the booth... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 26, 2013, 01:40:23 PM
In looking around during last week's Karajan '62 performance (highly enjoyable!) I ran across the fact that the DGOriginals version had been remastered and the SQ is supposedly significantly better. So, finding a new copy for pennies, I picked that up this week, along with these others that caqme under discussion;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9KarajanBPO62DGOcover.jpg)(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thAbbadoVPO1987cover.jpg)
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thRattleVPO2002cover.jpg)(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/51OaYQ7TfFL.jpg)

Good listening here! I included the last disk because for a couple of years now, I have only seen the Rattle cover as a thumbnail, and I couldn't help but think that it was intended as a takeoff of the Brilliant gargoyle....   :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Est.1965 on January 26, 2013, 05:30:52 PM
Today it is a conductor about whom I know very little. This is my only recording by him, but I am quite fond of it. The Staatskapelle Berlin are on the list of Central Euro orchestras who seem to play Beethoven like he was their own. a style I admire, I must say.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Suitnercover.jpg)

We are just now beginning the recitativo for the basses, so I must leave off writing for a bit... :)

8)

I got my paws on that about 6 weeks ago.  I think it is a recording whose eminence has not yet been recognized.  It is both broad and brilliant with precise timing and exciting dynamics.  Otmar Suitner really is a conductor par excellence, and the whole performance is a real treat.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 26, 2013, 05:34:34 PM
I got my paws on that about 6 weeks ago.  I think it is a recording whose eminence has not yet been recognized.  It is both broad and brilliant with precise timing and exciting dynamics.  Otmar Suitner really is a conductor par excellence, and the whole performance is a real treat.

Agreed, John. I came away very impressed with it. It will be a wee bit before it comes up in the queue again; can't wait!   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on January 27, 2013, 07:29:38 AM
I haven't heard Rattle's recording of the ninth but I did catch a televised broadcast of him conducting it. Frankly I was disappointed. He just didn't do it for me as far as this symphony is concerned. Just felt that there was a lack of real Beethovian understanding. Seemed rather fussy. Am I alone in this?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 27, 2013, 08:01:07 AM
I haven't heard Rattle's recording of the ninth but I did catch a televised broadcast of him conducting it. Frankly I was disappointed. He just didn't do it for me as far as this symphony is concerned. Just felt that there was a lack of real Beethovian understanding. Seemed rather fussy. Am I alone in this?

I haven't even heard that much of him yet, David. I figure it will be 3 or 4 Sundays out before I get to him now. Don't know what to make of Rattle; his fans are legion and loving him, his detractors likewise and not. Of course, whatever problems Santa Fe Listener has with it only serve to make it more attractive to me.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 27, 2013, 08:27:55 AM
Coming to the end of this particular blast from the past, only a couple of performances left, but they are good ones!

1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von

1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MonteuxLSO1962cover-1.jpg)

Today, Pierre Monteux brings the London Symphony along. Since he was born less than 50 years (1875) after the death of Beethoven (1827), it would be hard to imagine a conductor who was more steeped in late Romantic style. But my expectations for that were pleasantly dashed when by and large, Monteux put a Toscanini-ish sort of gloss on everything. The 4th movement is taken a bit more deliberately than it would be done today, but things like the long, slow crescendo after the Turkish section, which is usually done as an unwritten accelerando instead by the old guard work very nicely here. It does want some dynamic increase there, and maintaining the tempo is a feat. He died only 2 years after this performance, and it is nice to have a record of the style of a really fine, influential conductor. For those who don't know, at Stravinsky's request, Monteux conducted the world premiere's of both Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. While listening to Stravinsky play through the score of "Rite" on the piano, Monteux says that the only thought he could remember was "I'll stick with Beethoven!".   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2013, 08:33:19 AM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thRattleVPO2002cover.jpg)
I listened to this via Mog yesterday, after listening to P. Jarvi's Bremen Beethoven 6th. It might not have been fair to do that to Rattie, for it made his account of the 9th seem even more dull, uninspired, and lethargic than it might have seemed had I cleared my aural palate first.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 27, 2013, 08:34:51 AM
I listened to this via Mog yesterday, after listening to P. Jarvi's Bremen Beethoven 6th. It might not have been fair to do that to Rattie, for it made his account of the 9th seem even more dull, uninspired, and lethargic than it might have seemed had I cleared my aural palate first.

:D

You're a hard man, D. Ross!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2013, 08:51:53 AM
You're a hard man, D. Ross!  :)
But I wanted to like it, Gurn.  After all, it's dirt cheap on Amazon ($18 for the set).

Your mention of Santa Fe "Listener" above inspired me to seek his review on Amazon. He rates the set better than average while describing the performances as virtually indistinguishable from Abbado's BP cycle.   :o  The only way he could more thoroughly undermine his own credibility would be to claim that Bach's not worth his attention or that Beethoven is overrated.  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 27, 2013, 08:58:49 AM
But I wanted to like it, Gurn.  After all, it's dirt cheap on Amazon ($18 for the set).

Your mention of Santa Fe "Listener" above inspired me to seek his review on Amazon. He rates the set better than average while describing the performances as virtually indistinguishable from Abbado's BP cycle.   :o  The only way he could more thoroughly undermine his own credibility would be to claim that Bach's not worth his attention or that Beethoven is overrated.  ;D

Well, I want to like it too. Although I got it because I was talking with Leo last week about watching how the Vienna Philharmonic has performed this work through the years, and recordings from the early 2000's by them are rather thin on the ground without Rattle in there.

Yes, ever since you pointed out SFL to me I have used him as a reverse benchmark, so to speak. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2013, 12:29:09 PM
After looking up the aforementioned Amazon "review," I skimmed the rest of them for this set. Some think it's the greatest thing since the mute switch on remote controls. Others think it's best experienced with the mute switch on. Such disparity of opinion piques my curiosity, so I'll probably listen to more from this set, courtesy of Mog, but if Jens thought it dudly then it probably is ... to my ears, at least.  ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on January 27, 2013, 01:00:43 PM
 I bought the Rattle's Beethoven cycle recently, and I didn't like it much . Rattle, as usual, always try to find something new in the score, and actually, this set have some wonderful moment like the Fourth, the first movement of the Third and the Sixth. However, Rattle doesn't understand the principal point of Beethoven music, IMHO: forward momentum. Beethoven's music always is looking- forward music, and conductor must understand that regardless their choice of tempo. For example, Klemperer, Furtwängler and Szell is master Beethovenian even their tempo is always moderate, even slow, but they can sustain tension and forward momentum even in the slowest section. Rattle can generate the wonderful passion in fast section, but after that he relaxed a bit and the tension is almost completely lost, and the symphony falls to unconving start-stop episodic performance. That is the reason someone calls Rattle's interpretation "fussy". That is the reason I can't rate this cycle highly though  I like Rattle much.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 27, 2013, 01:02:16 PM
After looking up the aforementioned Amazon "review," I skimmed the rest of them for this set. Some think it's the greatest thing since the mute switch on remote controls. Others think it's best experienced with the mute switch on. Such disparity of opinion piques my curiosity, so I'll probably listen to more from this set, courtesy of Mog, but if Jens thought it dudly then it probably is ... to my ears, at least.  ;)  ;D

Yes, that's the effect I was mentioning earlier; it's Rattle-icious! Somewhere in this list there is a thread about Rattle which I was reading just recently. It was half and half, so one can't tell whether the sun actually does shine out of his ass or whether that is merely the cumulative effect of the many, tiny explosions caused by his duds hitting ground. :-\  I don't personally have an opinion yet, since my Rattle collection grew to 1 yesterday with the arrival of this 9th. I have heard some on radio though and was duly left undecided. Not like when I first heard Kleiber, for example.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on January 27, 2013, 01:14:06 PM
I bought the Rattle's Beethoven cycle recently, and I like it quite a bit, but not much.
Huh? Is there a typo here, or am I missing something?

Yes, that's the effect I was mentioning earlier; it's Rattle-icious! Somewhere in this list there is a thread about Rattle which I was reading just recently. It was half and half, so one can't tell whether the sun actually does shine out of his ass or whether that is merely the cumulative effect of the many, tiny explosions caused by his duds hitting ground. :-\  I don't personally have an opinion yet, since my Rattle collection grew to 1 yesterday with the arrival of this 9th. I have heard some on radio though and was duly left undecided. Not like when I first heard Kleiber, for example.   :)
I still think Rattie's one of the more overrated conductors these days, but (thanks largely to M's advocacy) I grudgingly came to respect his CBSO Sibelius and lately I'm coming around to his Mahler, too. Neither would be first choices for me, but I think he's a better grasp of these two symphonists than many more frequently recommended conductors.

Admittedly, the cover photo of that LvB 9 activates ALL of my unfavorable prejudices re. Sir Simon.   ;D  It's a challenge to set them aside and hear with open ears.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on January 27, 2013, 04:30:13 PM
Huh? Is there a typo here, or am I missing something?
I still think Rattie's one of the more overrated conductors these days, but (thanks largely to M's advocacy) I grudgingly came to respect his CBSO Sibelius and lately I'm coming around to his Mahler, too. Neither would be first choices for me, but I think he's a better grasp of these two symphonists than many more frequently recommended conductors.

Admittedly, the cover photo of that LvB 9 activates ALL of my unfavorable prejudices re. Sir Simon.   ;D  It's a challenge to set them aside and hear with open ears.

I appreciated few of his recordings (I happily embracd his Bruckner 7 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002RYS/seenandheard-20) and still do), but I did grow to really appreciate him in live performance with the razor sharp Berliners. Not always good, but when they were on, they had a way that was very impressive and cut to the bone. Sort of what the Bolshoi is to dancing. So he traded actual or imagined Berliner "sound" (certainly the homogenized Karajan ideal) away for something stenciled with a laser, but that's got to be heard to be believed, too. The recordings went from good to worse; loveless Haydn and Musorgsky and Orff... and eventually I refused them for free. Until I happened, upon strong external urging, on his Brahms cycle (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html). Holy cow. Yes, different... yes an 'alternative reading', but it knocks your socks off.

So I'm not in one camp or another about him. Wouldn't mind if he moved further south, after his Berlin stint, as first rumors postulate. (Baseless, but informed speculation, that is.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: stateworker on January 27, 2013, 06:24:13 PM
Forgive the impatience. I haven't gone through every page of this thread, which may already have covered the following but if so- it deserves the increased exposure!
The Munch recordings of the 9th are absent from the old fogeys traditional list. There is a broadcast recording of the Boston folks doing a smash and grab of the universe:

Beethoven Symphony no. 9

Leontyne Price, soprano ; Maureen Forrester, contralto 

David Poleri, tenor ; Giorgio Tozzi, baritone
New England Conservatory Chorus

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Munch, conductor

Recorded Symphony Hall, Boston, MA 
20 December 1958

This one keeps me riveted, every time. Something about it. I imprinted on the early 1960's Berliner cycle with von Karajan, and both of Furtwangler's 1942 ninths (you just can't do without the March or the April ones). This surpasses them.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on January 27, 2013, 07:27:58 PM
I remember rather liking Rattle's LvB9, although it's been a while since I've played it, and I don't have any other of his Beethoven recordings.

I do think Rattle has had some  very good Mahler and Shostakovich recordings, but he also produced the most plodding and soporific Mahler 3 I've ever heard.    He also seems good in Britten, and I like his recording of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges. His Stravinsky is also first rate, although I confess to being underwhelmed by that Brahms set Jens referred to.   So he obviously the kind who can produce really good performances and really bad performances, and good luck deciding beforehand which it's going to be.  (Have not heard any of his Sibelius.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 28, 2013, 05:21:49 AM
Forgive the impatience. I haven't gone through every page of this thread, which may already have covered the following but if so- it deserves the increased exposure!
The Munch recordings of the 9th are absent from the old fogeys traditional list. There is a broadcast recording of the Boston folks doing a smash and grab of the universe:

Beethoven Symphony no. 9

Leontyne Price, soprano ; Maureen Forrester, contralto 

David Poleri, tenor ; Giorgio Tozzi, baritone
New England Conservatory Chorus

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Munch, conductor

Recorded Symphony Hall, Boston, MA 
20 December 1958

This one keeps me riveted, every time. Something about it. I imprinted on the early 1960's Berliner cycle with von Karajan, and both of Furtwangler's 1942 ninths (you just can't do without the March or the April ones). This surpasses them.

Thanks for joining us. That list that you reference is from a couple of years ago, and unfortunately I haven't gone back and updated it. At that time I didn't have a Munch, although that has since been remedied. It went through the listening process only a few weeks ago, FWIW. Also, if you check back a few (maybe quite a few) pages, there is a link there for a recording of the dress rehearsal for this Living Stereo disk which is said to contain a much more unbuttoned kick-butt version. I didn't heard it, but the poster is a long time member with a respectable taste, so I reckon it probably is. :)

8)
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on January 30, 2013, 02:16:09 PM
I appreciated few of his recordings (I happily embracd his Bruckner 7 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000002RYS/seenandheard-20) and still do), but I did grow to really appreciate him in live performance with the razor sharp Berliners. Not always good, but when they were on, they had a way that was very impressive and cut to the bone. Sort of what the Bolshoi is to dancing. So he traded actual or imagined Berliner "sound" (certainly the homogenized Karajan ideal) away for something stenciled with a laser, but that's got to be heard to be believed, too. The recordings went from good to worse; loveless Haydn and Musorgsky and Orff... and eventually I refused them for free. Until I happened, upon strong external urging, on his Brahms cycle (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/03/dip-your-ears-no-100.html). Holy cow. Yes, different... yes an 'alternative reading', but it knocks your socks off.

So I'm not in one camp or another about him. Wouldn't mind if he moved further south, after his Berlin stint, as first rumors postulate. (Baseless, but informed speculation, that is.)

I enjoyed reading your assessment of Rattle in Berlin, I agree and also vouch for his Brahms, wow indeed!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: stateworker on January 30, 2013, 05:45:51 PM
Thanks for having me. that
...dress rehearsal for this Living Stereo disk which is said to contain a much more unbuttoned kick-butt version. ...

is the one. A wonderful performance to me, a Desert Island necessity among the sea of contenders.

G
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 30, 2013, 05:50:01 PM
Thanks for having me. that
is the one. A wonderful performance to me, a Desert Island necessity among the sea of contenders.

G

Well, dadgummit, I guess I'm just going to have to go download it!  :)  You're right, there is most certainly a sea of contenders! Doubtless the reason that I strictly avoided calling this the 'Best Beethoven 9 Thread'!  Maybe one day I will hear the version deserving of the title..... nah!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 03, 2013, 10:07:29 AM
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre

1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/9thSzell.jpg)

I saved the 2 versions that I designated as the beginning and the end of this period for last, not least because they are 2 of my favorites! Cleveland /Szell is a powerhouse from the playing to the singing. Excellent soloists and chorus, and Szell ultimately does a superb job keeping everyone on track. Just comparing between versions by the same orchestra (likely different players though), Maazel's version from the early 1980's sounds a little more relaxed and it actually seems to benefit the performance overall. But that's nitpicking, this recording is in the series that Sony calls "Essential Classics". I agree with that label for once!   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on February 03, 2013, 10:30:35 AM
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc

I saved the 2 versions that I designated as the beginning and the end of this period for last, not least because they are 2 of my favorites!

Really are saving the best for last. Am relieved and almost disappointed to hear you already know it... because I was looking forward to your sense of miraculous discovery, if and when you finally hit that Fricsay recording.  :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on February 03, 2013, 10:38:48 AM
Really are saving the best for last. Am relieved and almost disappointed to hear you already know it... because I was looking forward to your sense of miraculous discovery, if and when you finally hit that Fricsay recording.  :)

Well, he actually cheated (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg661618.html#msg661618). :P ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on February 03, 2013, 10:42:13 AM
Well, he actually cheated (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg661618.html#msg661618). :P ;)

I am shocked. Shocked.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gf8NK1WAOc)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Sergeant Rock on February 03, 2013, 10:45:48 AM

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/9thSzell.jpg)

I saved the 2 versions that I designated as the beginning and the end of this period for last, not least because they are 2 of my favorites! Cleveland /Szell is a powerhouse from the playing to the singing. Excellent soloists and chorus, and Szell ultimately does a superb job keeping everyone on track. Just comparing between versions by the same orchestra (likely different players though), Maazel's version from the early 1980's sounds a little more relaxed and it actually seems to benefit the performance overall. But that's nitpicking, this recording is in the series that Sony calls "Essential Classics". I agree with that label for once!   :)

My hero...Szell and Gurn  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: ChamberNut on February 03, 2013, 10:49:16 AM

I still think Rattie's one of the more overrated conductors these days

Most wrongfully denigrated conductors, yes.  Most overrated, no.

In fact, I think he is underrated.  I'm pro Rattle.  :)

That's OK.  You can hate him, and think he's an overrated buffoon.  I'll still always feel differently about Rattle.  He is deserving of any praise he gets, and more.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on February 03, 2013, 10:52:59 AM
Most wrongfully denigrated conductors, yes.  Most overrated, no.


I think the two are related... and he may be both -- depending on where and who you ask.

Also: Rattle-live makes a big difference to just Rattle-recorded.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on February 03, 2013, 10:58:00 AM
I prefer to rate critics, paid and armchair, actually. I'm as qualified a curmudgeon as any of them. But all that's for another thread which, hopefully, won't be started.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 03, 2013, 11:36:44 AM
Well, he actually cheated (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg661618.html#msg661618). :P ;)

Well, it's true   :-[  I listen to Fricsay out of turn about 4 times a year. It is simply one of my favorites. :)

I am shocked. Shocked.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gf8NK1WAOc)

:D  I love that movie, just saw it yesterday!  Now, where are my winnings?  :)

My hero...Szell and Gurn  8)

Sarge

Yeah, Sarge, no argument possible. This one is easily in my Top 10!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 10, 2013, 04:33:37 PM
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George



(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thFricsaycover_zpscfe3a48c.jpg)

Well, I am down to the final entry in this brief reminiscence of the wonderful transition period of 1958 to 1963. Whatever they were putting in the water back then must have really tipped the scales towards a more interesting performance practice for The Ninth.

This performance, as you all know, was the first stereo recording ever released of The Ninth. But that isn't what puts it over the top, rather, it is the sheer quality of the playing and singing. Being in stereo isn't what makes the recording; the recording deserved that sort of treatment and engineering. I know that everyone has their own favorite from the list above, probably Karajan, maybe Szell or Reiner or Munch (or Leibowitz, Holden :) ).  But this is mine, I was delighted to discover it, not on a recommendation but by serendipity. So Jens' statement from last week held true for me at one time, and I'm sad that it's a pity it can only happen once.  :)

Now, back to the music.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 10, 2013, 04:39:59 PM
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George



(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thFricsaycover_zpscfe3a48c.jpg)

Well, I am down to the final entry in this brief reminiscence of the wonderful transition period of 1958 to 1963. Whatever they were putting in the water back then must have really tipped the scales towards a more interesting performance practice for The Ninth.

This performance, as you all know, was the first stereo recording ever released of The Ninth. But that isn't what puts it over the top, rather, it is the sheer quality of the playing and singing. Being in stereo isn't what makes the recording; the recording deserved that sort of treatment and engineering. I know that everyone has their own favorite from the list above, probably Karajan, maybe Szell or Reiner or Munch (or Leibowitz, Holden :) ).  But this is mine, I was delighted to discover it, not on a recommendation but by serendipity. So Jens' statement from last week held true for me at one time, and I'm sad that it's a pity it can only happen once.  :)

Now, back to the music.... :)

8)
I listen to this symphony very rarely, but if I ever get another version (I have two, one of which I NEVER listen to), this would be the one I get. (by rarely, I mean seldom - last time I put it on was probably 3-4 years ago)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 11, 2013, 09:08:35 AM
I listen to this symphony very rarely, but if I ever get another version (I have two, one of which I NEVER listen to), this would be the one I get. (by rarely, I mean seldom - last time I put it on was probably 3-4 years ago)

Well, one day it will fit you perfectly, and then you will be ready for it. This would be a good choice, no doubt. What's your other good one? Gardiner? :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 17, 2013, 10:01:10 AM
Well, now that the early '60's retrospective is behind, time to come back to the present for a bit to hear one of the new versions that accumulated while we were rockin' 'round the clock. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9JansonsBRcover.jpg)

I've always liked the playing of the Bavarians no matter who is in charge at the time. Unlike many of you guys, I don't have much Jansons, not enough to say I am familiar with his proclivities. Since I have only now got to the crucial singin' bits, I can't report on them yet. In fact, it usually takes me 2 or 3 listenings to have an opinion unless there is a tragedy on tape. But what I have heard so far is very acceptable. I would like the recorded balance to lean a bit more towards the chorus, it is nice to be able to hear the soloists so well, but it takes some getting used to given that it is rarely set up like that. I'll be back to this one soon, need to hear it again.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 24, 2013, 07:46:25 AM
This morning, it is another one that is new to me. Somehow I managed to amass 4 or 5 new versions while I was listening to a predetermined series. I rarely have this many unheard versions in the pile!  :o

Today it is this one;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9TennstedtLPOcover.jpg)

Performed in 1992, rather late in Tennstedt's career, it is a monument to classic performance style. I read a review somewhere complaining that it didn't have any features of the newly emerging performance style; it was lush and rich and slow when it wanted to be and not slow when it didn't want to be. Well, I thought at the time, and that is reinforced by this first listening; why should it be anything else? Why would Tennstedt suddenly abandon what has served him brilliantly his entire career and become a messenger boy for something entirely different?  If this performance had been recorded in the early part of his career it would still be hailed as one of the greats!  :)

In any case, it isn't hard to see why Tennstedt garnered high praise during his career. He has his hands firmly in control of the orchestra and a great conception of how this piece should work, and here he executes it to the full. I like it. Oh, did I mention the lineup of soloists? No need to extol their virtues, but they are one of the all around best.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 03, 2013, 08:30:25 AM
In a discussion a couple of months ago, this CD came up;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thAbbadoVPO1987cover.jpg)

I have Abbado with the BPO on CD in Berlin and on DVD in Rome, so it was a nice chance to see him with a different orchestra, albeit one I was quite familiar with. Overall, this seems to lack a bit of the precision and dynamic nuance that are present in the much later versions with the Berliners. And there are a couple of points in the Scherzo where things unaccountably slow down unexpectedly. Still, the playing is overall up to the standard of the WP, and easily as good as 5-6 years earlier under Böhm or Bernstein. Abbado clearly applies the spurs to them a bit more than the other two!  High point for me was the great bass/baritone singing of Hermann Prey, one of my favorite singers who was in fine form that day!  I guess I need to get the Salzburg version now to have a Abbado Sweep. It's supposed to be his best, time to find out. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on March 09, 2013, 12:14:48 AM
For me the best Beethoven 9th is Karajan's 1977.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 07:13:52 AM
For me the best Beethoven 9th is Karajan's 1977.

You have a lot of company. I like that version OK too. My premise in this thread is that there isn't a 'best' version though. I would be interested to know what other versions that you've compared it to. I'm always looking for new ones to add. I listen to the 9th every Sunday AM, so if I only had Karajan '77, it wouldn't be long before I gave that up!  >:D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brewski on March 09, 2013, 07:51:11 AM
This morning, it is another one that is new to me. Somehow I managed to amass 4 or 5 new versions while I was listening to a predetermined series. I rarely have this many unheard versions in the pile!  :o

Today it is this one;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9TennstedtLPOcover.jpg)

Performed in 1992, rather late in Tennstedt's career, it is a monument to classic performance style. I read a review somewhere complaining that it didn't have any features of the newly emerging performance style; it was lush and rich and slow when it wanted to be and not slow when it didn't want to be. Well, I thought at the time, and that is reinforced by this first listening; why should it be anything else? Why would Tennstedt suddenly abandon what has served him brilliantly his entire career and become a messenger boy for something entirely different?  If this performance had been recorded in the early part of his career it would still be hailed as one of the greats!  :)

In any case, it isn't hard to see why Tennstedt garnered high praise during his career. He has his hands firmly in control of the orchestra and a great conception of how this piece should work, and here he executes it to the full. I like it. Oh, did I mention the lineup of soloists? No need to extol their virtues, but they are one of the all around best.

8)

Wow, does this look great (as a longtime Tennstedt fan). What a group of soloists, too. Thanks for putting this on the radar; I haven't bought a Ninth in awhile, but this looks well worth hearing.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 07:55:33 AM
Wow, does this look great (as a longtime Tennstedt fan). What a group of soloists, too. Thanks for putting this on the radar; I haven't bought a Ninth in awhile, but this looks well worth hearing.

--Bruce

I was very satisfied with it, Bruce; it was just what I was looking for and better than I had hoped. I plan on revisiting it soon. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brewski on March 09, 2013, 08:03:09 AM
I know you generally prefer HIP (or HIP-oriented) performances, but this looks like a strong contender in the "traditionally sumptuous" category (e.g., like Karajan).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 08:07:43 AM
I know you generally prefer HIP (or HIP-oriented) performances, but this looks like a strong contender in the "traditionally sumptuous" category (e.g., like Karajan).

--Bruce

All true. The 9th transcends whoever plays it, IMO. I even like the gigantic performances (as long as they move along), and Glenn Gould accompanying himself on the piano.   >:D :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brewski on March 09, 2013, 08:13:38 AM
The 9th transcends whoever plays it, IMO.

I can sign that petition.  8)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 09, 2013, 08:33:58 AM
Well, one day it will fit you perfectly, and then you will be ready for it. This would be a good choice, no doubt. What's your other good one? Gardiner? :)

8)
Sorry - missed your response. Nope. I have Karajan 63 and Harnoncourt. I never listen to the Harnoncourt (the only ones I listen to from that series are 1,2 and 6 for the most part). That's why I got the Karajan.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 08:39:59 AM
Sorry - missed your response. Nope. I have Karajan 63 and Harnoncourt. I never listen to the Harnoncourt (the only ones I listen to from that series are 1,2 and 6 for the most part). That's why I got the Karajan.

Well, Harnoncourt is a good version, pity it doesn't appeal. Still, my guess of Gardiner wasn't totally random, I think that maybe the shock of the difference will grab your attention all over again. My closet secret; Gardiner is in my Top 3 of all versions. There should be a version on YouTube, I recommend a listen. If you don't like it, nothing lost. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on March 09, 2013, 08:46:33 AM
Whatever you have the ninth s such a work that defies the definitive interpretation. I think Karajan 77 just shades it. But then I have Toscanini, Klemperer, Chailly, Bernstein, Norrington, et al. Not to mention Karajan 63. All with much to offer.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 09, 2013, 08:51:08 AM
Well, Harnoncourt is a good version, pity it doesn't appeal. Still, my guess of Gardiner wasn't totally random, I think that maybe the shock of the difference will grab your attention all over again. My closet secret; Gardiner is in my Top 3 of all versions. There should be a version on YouTube, I recommend a listen. If you don't like it, nothing lost. :)

8)
A quick pass through a few bits, it seems crisp and clear with everything audible (and fleet, which I don't mind at all). For me though, it's not weighty/full enough. The Tennstedt looks more like my type.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 08:59:40 AM
Whatever you have the ninth s such a work that defies the definitive interpretation. I think Karajan 77 just shades it. But then I have Toscanini, Klemperer, Chailly, Bernstein, Norrington, et al. Not to mention Karajan 63. All with much to offer.

Yes, that's a nice diversity. I like the way you threw the Chailly in there for balance. :)  Is that the London Norrington or the Stuttgart one?

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 09, 2013, 09:05:07 AM
A quick pass through a few bits, it seems crisp and clear with everything audible (and fleet, which I don't mind at all). For me though, it's not weighty/full enough. The Tennstedt looks more like my type.

Yes, I hear that a lot, not necessarily about Gardiner, but about just about any version at all that doesn't quite hit the spot. But the parts that Beethoven marked 'maestoso' are properly maestoso. What I have found is that traditional stylists have made the entire work that way (except for some of the Scherzo), and now many people expect that. I think you will like the Tennstedt, it is weighty without being ponderous and it is fleet where it should be. Great singers too. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 10, 2013, 07:39:31 AM
Well, that was interesting! This morning's listening was this one, new to me but discussed here previously;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thRattleVPO2002cover.jpg)

Since I have a fair number of Wiener Philharmoniker 9th's, ranging from Weingartner to Abbado, I thought I would know what to expect from Rattle. But no, I didn't. In fact I'm still not entirely sure what all just happened there! Odd little shifting of accents were prevalent throughout, even persisting into the choral section. I expect that the singers needed to work at it a bit to get the hang of what the accent scheme might be. Which is not to say that it was disgusting, rather it was unique. The listener would need to judge whether it was personally acceptable. For myself, it answered the question of whether I could pick a certain recording out of the 100 or so that I have. I could pick this one!  Overall tempos were really quite good, and the instruments that had little obbligato solos throughout were usually nicely audible, which is a rare enough occurrence to demand remark.

I certainly wouldn't want this as my only 9th, so you kids out there looking for your first version please keep moving down the list. But it is going to be good for those times when I want something decidedly individual to listen to. Whenever those times may occur.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Marc on March 10, 2013, 10:54:36 AM
For me the best Beethoven 9th is Karajan's 1977.

(http://i49.tinypic.com/34sib1w.jpg)

Just listened to that one this afternoon, went into a happy mood but then became disappointed during the final movement, which didn't bring any real Freude to me. The choir singing is rather grim instead of joyful, and I'm not quite sure if Anna Tomowa-Sintow used a German textbook. Peter Schreier is excellent, though.

I also had problems with the balance between choir, soloists and orchestra. It didn't sound very realistic IMO.

Mind you, the first 3 movements are OK to me, with the 1st and 3rd movement as highlights.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on March 10, 2013, 11:34:11 AM
(http://i49.tinypic.com/34sib1w.jpg)

Just listened to that one this afternoon, went into a happy mood but then became disappointed during the final movement, which didn't bring any real Freude to me. The choir singing is rather grim instead of joyful, and I'm not quite sure if Anna Tomowa-Sintow used a German textbook. Peter Schreier is excellent, though.

I also had problems with the balance between choir, soloists and orchestra. It didn't sound very realistic IMO.

Mind you, the first 3 movements are OK to me, with the 1st and 3rd movement as highlights.

To me the finale is pretty well balanced, the way Karajan mingles the choir and the orchestra. Truly 'drunk with fire'.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Marc on March 11, 2013, 04:20:27 AM
To me the finale is pretty well balanced, the way Karajan mingles the choir and the orchestra. Truly 'drunk with fire'.

Karajan's finale reminded me of a line in a Joy Division song called 'Disorder': I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling.
But don't get me wrong: I think this performance is still very worthwhile, but it's not a personal favourite.

Today I listened to Eugen Jochum conducting the Concertgebouw Orkest, and he's certainly more elegant than Karajan, and brings more wit to the second movement. But, unlike Karajan, there's a lack of intensity in the 1st movement. No real trace of any grim characteristics can be found here. And in the 3rd movement Jochum doesn't seem able to maintain the tension. The finale gives me more joy though. As a whole, because it's also recorded in a warm concert hall sound (Philips engineers knew their job back then), it's a more uplifting conclusion than Karajan's. Soprano Liselotte Rebman is better than Tomowa-Sintow, but tenor Anton de Ridder is no match for Peter Schreier.

(http://i48.tinypic.com/2rdud8j.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Beethoven-Symphony-Netherland-Radio-Chorus/dp/B00000E3VY/
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 04:26:52 AM
Karajan's finale reminded me of a line in a Joy Division song called 'Disorder': I've got the spirit, but lose the feeling.
But don't get me wrong: I think this performance is still very worthwhile, but it's not a personal favourite.

Today I listened to Eugen Jochum conducting the Concertgebouw Orkest, and he's certainly more elegant than Karajan, and brings more wit to the second movement. But, unlike Karajan, there's a lack of intensity in the 1st movement. No real trace of any grim characteristics can be found here. And in the 3rd movement Jochum doesn't seem able to maintain the tension. The finale gives me more joy though. As a whole, because it's also recorded in a warm concert hall sound (Philips engineers knew their job back then), it's a more uplifting conclusion than Karajan's. Soprano Liselotte Rebman is better than Tomowa-Sintow, but tenor Anton de Ridder is no match for Peter Schreier.

(http://i48.tinypic.com/2rdud8j.jpg)

I really enjoy this recording too. Although your post raises the question for me; what "grim characteristics" are there to be found in the 1st movement? Dramatic tension in the 3rd, yes. Expectations of grimness must surely rest on yourself, although I would agree with a general air of mystery, at least in the first half which Beethoven provides by 'hiding' the tonality for a while. I've always thought of this opening as the next logical step after Haydn's 'Chaos' opening of 'The Creation'.

IMO, very few tenors are a match for Schreier. He's a good'un.  :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Marc on March 11, 2013, 04:41:59 AM
I really enjoy this recording too. Although your post raises the question for me; what "grim characteristics" are there to be found in the 1st movement? Dramatic tension in the 3rd, yes. Expectations of grimness must surely rest on yourself, although I would agree with a general air of mystery, at least in the first half which Beethoven provides by 'hiding' the tonality for a while. I've always thought of this opening as the next logical step after Haydn's 'Chaos' opening of 'The Creation'.

IMO, very few tenors are a match for Schreier. He's a good'un.  :)

8)

Maybe 'grim' isn't the right word.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/24xfas2.gif)

Anyway, to my perception, there are some moments in the 1st movement, especially in the string parts during the climaxal passages, that break the 'general air of mystery'. Let's call it 'the grimness of Chaos', OK? :)
And I think that Karajan definitely delivers more of that than Jochum.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 05:44:48 AM
Maybe 'grim' isn't the right word.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/24xfas2.gif)

Anyway, to my perception, there are some moments in the 1st movement, especially in the string parts during the climaxal passages, that break the 'general air of mystery'. Let's call it 'the grimness of Chaos', OK? :)
And I think that Karajan definitely delivers more of that than Jochum.

We can certainly agree on 'misterioso'!  :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 11, 2013, 01:27:04 PM
In a discussion a couple of months ago, this CD came up;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thAbbadoVPO1987cover.jpg)

I have Abbado with the BPO on CD in Berlin and on DVD in Rome, so it was a nice chance to see him with a different orchestra, ...  I guess I need to get the Salzburg version now to have a Abbado Sweep. It's supposed to be his best, time to find out. :)

Yes. Get it already. It's Abbado's best... and at the very least it is my favorite, right alongside Fricsay. (Excluding HIP... though no HIP version actually supplants either of those two from my top-Two, either... so never mind that.)

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Rinaldo on March 11, 2013, 02:25:26 PM
I know I'm repeating myself but I just want to hug this thread.

On the Tennstedt now, another top tier performance and one of the best live records I've had the chance to encounter.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 03:44:05 PM
Yes. Get it already. It's Abbado's best... and at the very least it is my favorite, right alongside Fricsay. (Excluding HIP... though no HIP version actually supplants either of those two from my top-Two, either... so never mind that.)

Ordering this week, Jens. Thanks for the rec!

I heard somewhere that the DVD I have from Rome is also released as a CD, but don't know that. I am very partial to that version too. DVD's are inconvenient at times...

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 03:45:20 PM
I know I'm repeating myself but I just want to hug this thread.

On the Tennstedt now, another top tier performance and one of the best live records I've had the chance to encounter.

That's another aspect that I forgot to mention; it is such a good recording that you forget it's live. No honking and snot blowing; just  crisp and clean, just like a good pilsener... :D

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 03:55:35 PM
Yes. Get it already. It's Abbado's best... and at the very least it is my favorite, right alongside Fricsay. (Excluding HIP... though no HIP version actually supplants either of those two from my top-Two, either... so never mind that.)

Jens, this is the one we are discussing, is it not? From the Salzburg Easter Festival? 



I note that Santa Fe Listener (my personal Coal Mine Canary) only gives it 3 stars and generally damns Abbado with faint praise, so I have my hopes high that this will be just right!   :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 11, 2013, 06:04:46 PM
Jens, this is the one we are discussing, is it not? From the Salzburg Easter Festival? 



I note that Santa Fe Listener (my personal Coal Mine Canary) only gives it 3 stars and generally damns Abbado with faint praise, so I have my hopes high that this will be just right!   :)
8)

Yes. http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg513447.html#msg513447 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg513447.html#msg513447)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PF07ES6JL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
L.v. Beethoven,
Symphony No.9,
Abbado / BPh – Salzburg

Sony (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001ENYEY/goodmusicguide-20)

By personal Coal Mine Canary you mean that you wish him dead on the floor, killed by carbon monoxide poisoning (emitted from one of his own orifices, ironically)... and then make a quick getaway? A bit gruesome, I'd say, but I hear ya'.

Of course he also thinks that Guenter Wand is an overrated hack who never conducted anything but Brahms, Bruckner and Beethoven and that only mediocrily. He seems to regurgitate his own prejudices with fresh adjectives, but no more.

Anyway: I can't link to the LvB Sy.9 Survey on WETA, for it is no more... but here's part of the text of Part II:

Quote
....it is impossible to cast off subjectivity, but I try not to include recordings in this list whose inclusion would be based on an emotional, rather than a musical response. Of course our response to music is in significant part emotional, a matter of taste and thus subjective and what is great to one may be perfunctory to another. Fortunately there are also objective standards of quality. And there are emotional capacities in music which resonate with like-minded listeners. Vivacity or grand opulence, sinuosity and long musical lines have an inevitable appeal – although of varying importance depending on personal preference.

Asked for a suggestion on the finest kind of ice-cream, I won’t recommend a brand’s strawberry blend above chocolate, if the asker is allergic to strawberries. All the greatness of a romantic reading won’t be of much use to someone who prefers fleet and classical Beethoven. In those very few cases where I feel the quality of an interpretation transcends its type, I will mention it – and ask for a small amount of faith of those listeners that might otherwise be instinctively disinclined.

As a basic building block for any classical collection, I recommend the sometimes overlooked Claudio Abbado 1996 performance from Salzburg. The Berlin Philharmonic, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, and the soloists Jane Eaglen, Waltraud Meier, Ben Heppner, and Bryn Terfel are a veritable dream-cast. Better yet: the sense of occasion on this live recording is palpable which animates the sometimes staid Abbado. Marginally on the broad side (~72 minutes), this is a ‘universal’ interpretation – Abbado’s best – that will satisfy all who want to listen to music, not ideology. Without any particular, strong interpretive flavor, the over-all impression is terrific, not bland.

Similar in feel of ‘over-all greatness’, though dissimilar in execution, is Günter Wand’s studio recording with the NDRSO from ten years earlier. At 66 minutes it is a tighter, more straight forward reading. It has less a sense of occasion, but a quicker pulse. The total absence of ego or sense of interpretation makes it a contender. Others fall into this category too – Kubelik, Jochum – but Wand’s is a true gem.

For me, unassuming, inextinguishable musicality was also found in conductor Ferenc Fricsay. There are few recordings of his that I don’t love – and even if I never finish that half-written article on his discography, I must mention his 1958 Beethoven Ninth. A milestone for the recording industry as the first Ninth recorded in stereo, it still sounds terrific to this day… there is nothing ‘historic’ about it. A splendid cast (Irmgard Seefried, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ernst Haefliger, Maureen Forrester), and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in great shape help Fricsay make this one of the great recordings of the Ninth, able to compete with the finest modern accounts. Karajan added many recordings with the Berliners later on, and while those from 1962 and 1976 are superb, too, the greater sense of buoyancy with Fricsay is worth the (relative to Karajan) lack of polish and sheen...
yaddayaddayadda...

From Part III
Quote
Five best recordings in each category: “Historic” - “Burnished” - “HIP” - “Modern” - “Standard”

 “Standard” – not to be mistaken as ‘blasé’, but performances without particularly strong interpretive marks, in the traditional vein without exaggeration in any direction… perhaps the “none of the above” category. Some of my favorite performances fall into this category. Above all Abbado’s in Salzburg, but also Ferenc Fricsay’s, and, at a short distance behind, Günter Wand’s or Szell’s Cleveland account and all of Karajan’s slick recordings.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 11, 2013, 06:11:27 PM
Yes. http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg513447.html#msg513447 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg513447.html#msg513447)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PF07ES6JL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
L.v. Beethoven,
Symphony No.9,
Abbado / BPh – Salzburg

Sony (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001ENYEY/goodmusicguide-20)

By personal Coal Mine Canary you mean that you wish him dead on the floor, killed by carbon monoxide poisoning (emitted from one of his own orifices, ironically)... and then make a quick getaway? A bit gruesome, I'd say, but I hear ya'.

Of course he also thinks that Guenter Wand is an overrated hack who never conducted anything but Brahms, Bruckner and Beethoven and that only mediocrily. He seems to regurgitate his own prejudices with fresh adjectives, but no more.

Anyway: I can't link to the LvB Sy.9 Survey on WETA, for it is no more... but here's part of the text of Part II:

From Part III

Interesting review, thanks for that.

Well, possibly not quite that gruesome! In SFL's case, I have discovered that my own response to disks is inversely proportional to his. So, I drop him down the mine, if he spirals into the abyss, then I know it's a winner.    :D 

Ordered it. It may even be here in time for Sunday AM... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 11, 2013, 06:20:48 PM
Quote
Asked for a suggestion on the finest kind of ice-cream, I won’t recommend a brand’s strawberry blend above chocolate, if the asker is allergic to strawberries. All the greatness of a romantic reading won’t be of much use to someone who prefers fleet and classical Beethoven. In those very few cases where I feel the quality of an interpretation transcends its type, I will mention it – and ask for a small amount of faith of those listeners that might otherwise be instinctively disinclined.
I realize this is a major tangent, but it is just something that needs being said. Seriously, does anyone really like strawberry ice cream? I remember as a kid, when they used to serve the ice cream with the three flavors in one half gallon - the strawberry was always last. No one ever wanted it. I only mention this because I was on a recent flight where the inflight snack was ice cream and they only had strawberry. I mean, what a disappointment! (By the way, most of it went uneaten - surprise, surprise - I know, because I asked the stewardess).  ??? ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 11, 2013, 06:54:35 PM
I realize this is a major tangent, but it is just something that needs being said. Seriously, does anyone really like strawberry ice cream? I remember as a kid, when they used to serve the ice cream with the three flavors in one half gallon - the strawberry was always last. No one ever wanted it. I only mention this because I was on a recent flight where the inflight snack was ice cream and they only had strawberry. I mean, what a disappointment! (By the way, most of it went uneaten - surprise, surprise - I know, because I asked the stewardess).  ??? ;D

Fakery sucks, the real thing rocks!

(http://www.haagendazs.com/images/products/2469-bkg.jpg) (http://www.haagendazs.com/Products/Product/2469)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brian on March 11, 2013, 07:21:27 PM
I'm with you on Santa Fe Listener, Gurn. When he likes a CD I like, it makes me question my judgment. When he gives something three stars or fewer, guaranteed wishlist add.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Mirror Image on March 11, 2013, 07:28:11 PM
Fakery sucks, the real thing rocks!

(http://www.haagendazs.com/images/products/2469-bkg.jpg) (http://www.haagendazs.com/Products/Product/2469)

I never had any Haagen Dazs ice cream believe it or not. I've always been a loyal Mayfield fan. What flavor should I try first in the Haagen Dazs? I'm a big butter pecan fan, have tried their version?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jlaurson on March 11, 2013, 07:59:46 PM
I never had any Haagen Dazs ice cream believe it or not. I've always been a loyal Mayfield fan. What flavor should I try first in the Haagen Dazs? I'm a big butter pecan fan, have tried their version?

Their simple mono-flavour ice-creams are best, I find. Strawberry. Vanilla Bean. Maybe Chocolate. Or Pistachio, if you like pistachio. Have not had their butter pecan (or at least I don't remember it). Not technically ice-cream, but their Mango Sorbet is very addictive, too. Haven't had their "Dark Chocolate" either (in fact, found out about it only now, looking at all the flavours) but am sorely tempted. I rarely eat ice-cream, but when you put a pint of HD in front of me (or Cherry Garcia B&J) the calorie-police needs to pry the spoon from my hands with brute force, to keep me from digging right through to the bottom of the cup.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 12, 2013, 04:14:38 AM
And a perfect snack while enjoying a recording of Beethoven's 9th, I might add. :)

I'm with you on Santa Fe Listener, Gurn. When he likes a CD I like, it makes me question my judgment. When he gives something three stars or fewer, guaranteed wishlist add.

Since that phenomenon was first pointed out to me by David Ross, I have been stunned by how uncannily accurate it is. The floor of my listening room is now paved with dead canaries....  :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on March 13, 2013, 11:11:45 PM
Funny to see the comparisons between Jochum '69 and Karajan '77 -- I just compared those a few days ago.

Karajan '77 was the first one I had on CD. It has never done much for me.

I've been on a Beethoven 9 binge lately, adding Haitink '06, Vanska, Harnoncourt, Jochum '69, and arriving just today, Fricsay. I need to give them more listens but for now, Jochum has moved to the top of my list. I don't detect any lack of intensity. Fricsay, on one listen, is right up there. I hear in it a lot of the things people say about Karajan.

Oh, I almost forgot, I also bought Goehr from rediscovery (mp3). I haven't listened to it yet. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up to the bigger names.

I love Gardiner in 1-8, but I need the 9th to be huge.

I'll eventually give Karajan '63 a chance. Meanwhile I have to take a break from buying more of this piece (I'm up to at least 16 on CD).

If it's available in your area, Blue Bell Strawberries and Homemade Vanilla is excellent.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 14, 2013, 05:01:00 AM
Funny to see the comparisons between Jochum '69 and Karajan '77 -- I just compared those a few days ago.

Karajan '77 was the first one I had on CD. It has never done much for me.

I've been on a Beethoven 9 binge lately, adding Haitink '06, Vanska, Harnoncourt, Jochum '69, and arriving just today, Fricsay. I need to give them more listens but for now, Jochum has moved to the top of my list. I don't detect any lack of intensity. Fricsay, on one listen, is right up there. I hear in it a lot of the things people say about Karajan.

Oh, I almost forgot, I also bought Goehr from rediscovery (mp3). I haven't listened to it yet. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up to the bigger names.

I love Gardiner in 1-8, but I need the 9th to be huge.

I'll eventually give Karajan '63 a chance. Meanwhile I have to take a break from buying more of this piece (I'm up to at least 16 on CD).

If it's available in your area, Blue Bell Strawberries and Homemade Vanilla is excellent.

That's a nice list to start out with if you are planning to have an abundance of 9ths!  I'll be curious to know about Goehr, never heard of him. What orchestra? Time frame? 

I make a concentrated effort to not come up with an ideal standard of how the 9th should sound. Each performance stands or falls on its own virtues. Thus I really like Gardiner, if only because it ISN"T Karajan/Jochum/Bernstein/Szell/etc.  The net result is that I get a lot of enjoyment out of every version I have, as long as they meet their own standard. BTW though, I have a 9th of Gardiner live from Carnegie Hall back in 1996, and there isn't the sense of leanness to it that the CD version has. It is also fascinating to watch, although that's a different subject.

I live within a couple hours of 'That Little Creamery in Brenham', can't help but agree; other ice creams just don't feed the bulldog like Blue Bell!   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 17, 2013, 09:00:45 AM
Listening today to my 4th different Abbado!!

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9AbbadoBPOSalzburg1996cover_zpsf9f975f7.jpg)

Comes strongly recommended, and not hard to hear why. Watching Abbado in the Berlin PO/Rome performance, and hearing him in these others, he brings an infectious joie de vivre that brings the best playing out of the orchestra and singers. Or maybe it is the venue, 'live' from the 1996 Salzburg Easter Festival, which makes for the touch of electricity which sets this performance apart. Whatever it is, this is clearly top rate, glad to finally have got it!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on March 18, 2013, 03:02:48 PM
That's a nice list to start out with if you are planning to have an abundance of 9ths!  I'll be curious to know about Goehr, never heard of him. What orchestra? Time frame? 

I make a concentrated effort to not come up with an ideal standard of how the 9th should sound. Each performance stands or falls on its own virtues. Thus I really like Gardiner, if only because it ISN"T Karajan/Jochum/Bernstein/Szell/etc.  The net result is that I get a lot of enjoyment out of every version I have, as long as they meet their own standard. BTW though, I have a 9th of Gardiner live from Carnegie Hall back in 1996, and there isn't the sense of leanness to it that the CD version has. It is also fascinating to watch, although that's a different subject.

Well, "abundance" is a relative term -- I think I had 10 on CD before my recent spree, which puts me at 16 now. I know some people have more, but 16 seems like a lot! I agree that if we're going to have multiple copies, it makes sense to look for diverse styles, and to appreciate the variety.

That being said, I think Jochum '69 and maybe Fricsay will be the ones I turn to most often, followed by Bernstein '89 and Gardiner. I'm happy enough with these that I'll probably go on hiatus from further purchases.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I rarely listen to Zinman.

Re: Goehr, I stumbled across him while googling the Pascal Quartet (whose Beethoven set is on archive.org). There's some information about him and the MMS label here (http://homepages.ipact.nl/~otterhouse/mms.htm), here (http://www.classicalmusicguide.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=32955), and of course on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Goehr). Apparently MMS was an early budget label, and the stories about how they operated are fascinating. The recording is available here (http://www.rediscovery.us/conductors.html#060). I listened to it this morning. It's a lively performance, and since I went in without overly high expectations, it was a fun listen. The orchestral balance seemed legitimately good. The worst thing about it is the stereo, where some instruments seem to move around, sometimes while they're playing.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 23, 2013, 05:25:38 PM
Well, I have reached a momentous point in my collection; I have 99 versions (counting a couple on DVD and the Liszt transcription). I want #100 to be something special, not an historic thing in bad sound, but something since the stereo era began anyway. So I am soliciting suggestions. Here is where I stand right now;

Number   Year Performed   Orchestra   Conductor
1   1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
2   1961   Chicago Symphony   Reiner, Fritz
3   1973   London Symphony   Giulini, Carl Maria
4   1988   Northern Sinfonia   Hickox, Richard
5   2007   Ds Neue Orchester   Spering, Christopher
6   1999   Orchestre des Champs Elysées   Herreweghe, Phillippe
7   1977   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von
8   1970   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
9   1992   Staatskapelle Berlin   Barenboim, Daniel
10   1955   Vienna Philharmonic   Walter, Bruno
11   1974   Hungarian PO   Ferencsik, János
12   1982   Dresden PO   Kegel, Herbert
13   1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Böhm, Karl
14   2006   London Symphony   Haitink, Bernard
15   1988   Academy of Ancient Music   Hogwood, Christoopher
16   1988   Hanover Band   Goodman, Roy
17   1989   NHK Symphony   Wakasugi, Hiroshi
18   1954   Philharmonia   Furtwängler, Wilhelm
19   1975   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Masur, Kurt
20   1979   Staatskapelle Dresden   Blomstedt, Herbert
21   1968   Czech Philharmonic   Kletzki, Paul
22   1952   NBC Symphony   Toscanini, Arturo
23   1963   Cleveland Orchestra   Szell, George
24   1935   Vienna Philharmonic   Weingartner, Felix
25   1929   Berlin State Opera Orchestra   Fried, Oscar
26   1986   NDR Symphony   Wand, Gunter
27   1969   Royal Concertgebouw   Jochum, Eugen
28   1972   Chicago Symphony   Solti, George
29   1985   Cleveland Orchestra   Dohnányi, Christoph von
30   1983   New York Philharmonic   Mehta, Zubin
31   1994   Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique   Gardiner, John
32   1980   Vienna Philharmonic   Bernstein, Leonard
33   1987   Chicago Symphony   Solti, George
34   1955   Philharmonia   Karajan, Herbert von
35   1991   Chamber Orchestra of Europe   Harnoncourt, Nikolaus
36   1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Fricsay, Ferenc
37   1960   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Konwitschny, Franz
38   2009   La Chambre Philharmonique   Krivine, Emmanuel
39   1987   London Classical Players   Norrington, Roger
40   1969   New York Philharmonic   Bernstein, Leonard
41   1998   Zurich Tönhalle Orchester   Zinman, David
42   1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von (from set of 9 symphonies)
42   1962   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von (remastered version)
43   1974   Munich Philharmonic   Kempe, Rudolf
44   1952   Bavarian RSO   Jochum, Eugen
45   1979   London Symphony   Jochum, Eugen
46   2007   American Bach Soloists   Thomas, Jeffrey
47   1959   Orchestre Suisse-Romande   Ansermet, Ernest
48   1992   Orchestra of the 18th Century   Brüggen, Frans
49   2007   Anima Eterna   Immerseel, Jos van
50   2000   Berlin Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio (Berlin studio)
51   2000   Berliner Staatskapelle   Barenboim, Daniel
52   1956   Royal Philharmonic   Beecham, Thomas
53   1989   Munich Philharmonic   Celidibache, Sergiu
54   1975   New York Philharmonic   Boulez, Pierre (Live radio broadcast 1975)
55   1953   Vienna Philharmonic   Furtwängler, Wilhelm
56   1942   Berlin Philharmonic   Furtwängler, Wilhelm
57   1992   Royal Concertgebouw   Haitink, Bernard
58   2009   German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen   Järvi, Paavo
59   1979   Berlin Philharmonic   Karajan, Herbert von  (Live in Tokyo)
60   1956   Royal Concertgebouw   Klemperer, Otto
61   1957   Philharmonia   Klemperer, Otto
62   1991   Royal Liverpool Philharmonic   Mackerras, Charles
63   2007   Scottish Chamber Orchestra   Mackerras, Charles
64   1988   Philadelphia Orchestra   Muti, Ricardo
65   2002   Stuttgart RSO   Norrington, Roger
66   1967   Philadelphia Orchestra   Ormandy, Eugene
67   2006   Russian National Orchestra   Pletnev, Mikhail
68   2000   Budapest PO   Saccani, Rico
69   1965   Vienna Philharmonic   Schmidt-Isserstedt, Hans
70   1997   Staatskapelle Dresden   Sinopoli, Giuseppe
71   2006   Minnesota Orchestra   Vänskä, Osmo
72   1948   New York Philharmonic   Walter, Bruno (4th mvmt 1953)
73   2007   Cleveland Orchestra   Welser-Most, Franz
74   1992   Boston Philharmonic   Zander, Benjamin
75   1962   London Symphony   Monteux, Pierre
76   2010   Leipzig Gewandhaus   Chailly, Riccardo (Live broadcast version)
77   1969   Boston Symphony   Leinsdorf, Erich
78   1954   National Orchestra   Schuricht, Carl
79   1958   Boston SO   Munch, Charles
80   1990   Vienna Symphony   Inbal, Eliahu (New Year's Eve concert)
81   1992   Royal Concertgebouw   Sawallisch, Wolfgang
82   1982   Staatskapelle Berlin   Suitner, Otmar
83   1979   Philharmonia   Sanderling, Kurt
84   1975   Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks   Kubelik, Rafael
85   2009   Swedish Chamber Orchestra   Dausgaard, Thomas
86   1961   Royal Philharmonic   Leibowitz, Rene
87   1953   Vienna State Opera Orchestra   Scherchen, Hermann
88   1982   Cleveland Orchestra   Maazel, Loren
89   2009   Gewandhausorchester   Chailly, Riccardo (Studio version)
90   1995   Orcestra di Padua e del Veneto   Maag, Peter
91   1992   London PO   Tennstedt, Klaus
92   2007   Orchester Bayerischen Rundfunks    Jansons, Mariss
93   2002   Vienna Philharmonic   Rattle, Simon
94   1987   Vienna Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio
95   1996   Berlin Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio (Salzburg)
96   2006   Berlin Philharmonic   Abbado, Claudio (DVD - Live in Rome)
97   1996   Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique   Gardiner, John (on DVD Live from Carnegie Hall)
98   2006   Philharmonia Baroque   McGegan, Nicholas
99   1983   Katsaris, Cyprien   n/a (Liszt Piano transcription)
100   ?? ?? ?? ??

Please help me pick out something special. I know there are others out there that I have missed. Most of them are true antiques, but somewhere there is a special, more modern recording that I haven't run across yet. Help me find it!  :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 23, 2013, 05:39:00 PM
I don't think you have this, so I would suggest Michael Gielen.  I am not sure if there is a single 9th but the complete set is well worthwhile.



No, you're right. Don't have anything else by him either, so that would be a good place to start. Thanks. :)

Certainly open for other suggestions too!

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on March 23, 2013, 06:23:31 PM
As you enjoy to watch musicians and singers performing, maybe a second Paavo Järvi recording wouldn't be a bad idea (even you get some PI):

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0886977814396.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Das-Beethoven-Projekt-Symphonien-Dokumentation/hnum/1639534

EUR 19.99, a very good price for 4 DVDs, even plus the high shipping rates from JPC to USA.  :)
 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on March 23, 2013, 06:46:49 PM
This is a sort of 'what do you get the man who has everything" problem.  Almost every performance I thought of--turns out you have.

You need something completely obscure or completely off the wall, neither of which I can help you with.  So I'll suggest the only thing I can think of:  Mahler's revision of Beethoven's original.  It's been recorded a couple of time, but I don't have any of them, so I can't point out one that's better than another.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 23, 2013, 07:02:45 PM
As you enjoy to watch musicians and singers performing, maybe a second Paavo Järvi recording wouldn't be a bad idea (even you get some PI):

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0886977814396.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-1770-1827-Das-Beethoven-Projekt-Symphonien-Dokumentation/hnum/1639534

EUR 19.99, a very good price for 4 DVDs, even plus the high shipping rates from JPC to USA.  :)

Ooooh.... :)  That looks quite interesting indeed!  I enjoyed the CD version for sure. And as you note, I am a musical voyeur. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 23, 2013, 07:05:31 PM
This is a sort of 'what do you get the man who has everything" problem.  Almost every performance I thought of--turns out you have.

You need something completely obscure or completely off the wall, neither of which I can help you with.  So I'll suggest the only thing I can think of:  Mahler's revision of Beethoven's original.  It's been recorded a couple of time, but I don't have any of them, so I can't point out one that's better than another.

Well, that's MY problem, only in the first person!

I have a VHS tape that I recorded off PBS several years ago of the Detroit Symphony / Neeme Jarvi playing Mahler's adaptation. I have to admit, I struggled with it. :-\  Interesting thought though. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on March 23, 2013, 10:44:22 PM
Cobra's version (http://maximiannocobra.net/main/fr/audio-video/musique/221-beethoven-symphony-no-9-op-125-complete-performance-hd-video.html) is free, so I suppose that that doesn't count.

A fancy-bound version of the score!

A DVD of Copying Beethoven

Can you afford to commission a performance? :-\

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: mszczuj on March 24, 2013, 06:48:48 AM
1   1958   Berlin Philharmonic   Cluytens, André
(...)
99   1983   Katsaris, Cyprien   n/a (Liszt Piano transcription)
100   ?? ?? ?? ??

But I can't find the new Brüggen on your list...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:01:43 AM
But I can't find the new Brüggen on your list...

True enough, don't have that one yet. I haven't heard anyone raving about it, nothing more than a notice that it exists. I'll have it though. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:08:45 AM
Well, new this AM, just got yesterday. It has been a long time since I got a new period instruments recording of the 9th;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_McGegancover_zpsff5b83f2.jpg)

I have this group doing some Haydn too, and quite nicely. I am well into the adagio right now and so far this is quite pleasing. The recording quality (it's their own label, Philharmonia Baroque (PB)) is really quite fine, the nice little instrumental effects that are frequently lobbed off into the background noise are here present, adding nicely to the enjoyment level. McGegan judges the tempos quite nicely to my taste and the instruments themselves are well played and have that wonderful tone that I seek out (though thousands don't, it seems).

Waiting now for the last movement, hope the singers are up to par! :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on March 24, 2013, 08:13:46 AM
Hey, Gurn, I notice that Mackerras' version with the OAE (Signum) is missing from the list.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gordo on March 24, 2013, 08:16:28 AM
True enough, don't have that one yet. I haven't heard anyone raving about it, nothing more than a notice that it exists. I'll have it though. :)

8)

Maybe a solution would be a poll. A GMG imaginary 100th version, with conductor, orchestra, soloists and chorus choosen among options provided ad libitum by you (you know a subtle way to moderate those wild MI fans).  ;)  8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:16:29 AM
Hey, Gurn, I notice that Mackerras' version with the OAE (Signum) is missing from the list.



Hah! Now we're talkin'. I wasn't even aware of the existence of this disk.   Cool.  It shall be mine. I am very partial to Mackerras, you know. :)

Merci beaucoup.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on March 24, 2013, 08:19:58 AM
Hah! Now we're talkin'. I wasn't even aware of the existence of this disk.

8)

Nah, you were just busy with Haydn, is all. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg569355.html#msg569355) ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:22:30 AM
Maybe a solution would be a poll. A GMG imaginary 100th version, with conductor, orchestra, soloists and chorus chosen among options provided ad libitum by you (you know a subtle way to moderate those wild MI fans).  ;)  8)

Well, now that's an interesting idea. Everyone has favorite singers, conductors, orchestras etc., maybe we should construct an ideal version. Then get Navneeth to fund a recording.... :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:24:38 AM
Nah, you were just busy with Haydn, is all. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,145.msg569355.html#msg569355) ;)

Ah yes, the old 'can't get it now then forget about it later' syndrome strikes again!  Well, no worries now, I've dropped the hammer on it. Should be here by next week.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on March 24, 2013, 08:29:30 AM
w00t!

Then get Navneeth to fund a recording.... :D

8)

...and *phew!*


Let us know when it arrives, so that we can have a celebratory worldwide playing of the 9th! ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 24, 2013, 08:47:01 AM
w00t!

...and *phew!*


Let us know when it arrives, so that we can have a celebratory worldwide playing of the 9th! ;D

:D  Will do. That was good, I got you wooting.  A coup!  ;)

Well, I just finished up the final movement. Sad to say, it doesn't match the first three in execution or recording quality. The bass is more a baritone, or really, a low tenor! (Is there something in between?). And the recording balance among the soloists clearly favors the soprano, which IMO it shouldn't favor any one of them. The best recordings don't.  And finally a few bizarreries, which I must leave it to the listener to attempt to decipher. None of this makes it unlistenable by any means, but it does make for an adventurous time. FWIW, there are extended sections where the entire is as good as it gets. Just the occasional oddment to cause a headscratch. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on March 24, 2013, 07:01:56 PM
True enough, don't have that one yet. I haven't heard anyone raving about it, nothing more than a notice that it exists. I'll have it though. :)

8)

I'm the one who thought the baritone and tenor soloists were a serious flaw in that new Bruggen.  That's why I didn't suggest it yesterday. 

(Although the first three movements are excellent, and the first eight symphonies in the set are generally first rate--it's worth getting the set,  so  long as you know there's a serious stumble at the very end.)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 25, 2013, 04:17:00 AM
I'm the one who thought the baritone and tenor soloists were a serious flaw in that new Bruggen.  That's why I didn't suggest it yesterday. 

(Although the first three movements are excellent, and the first eight symphonies in the set are generally first rate--it's worth getting the set,  so  long as you know there's a serious stumble at the very end.)

I couldn't remember where I read that, only that I did. I don't know, maybe the old Brüggen is good enough for me.... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on March 26, 2013, 01:15:15 PM
Well, I have reached a momentous point in my collection; I have 99 versions (counting a couple on DVD and the Liszt transcription). I want #100 to be something special, not an historic thing in bad sound, but something since the stereo era began anyway. So I am soliciting suggestions. Here is where I stand right now;

Are you avoiding Bernstein '89? I know it has its detractors, but I think it's great.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 26, 2013, 01:30:24 PM
Are you avoiding Bernstein '89? I know it has its detractors, but I think it's great.

Truthfully, I have been kind of avoiding it. I feel like I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much as the 2 earlier Bernstein's I have, although I should get it for its historic value., I suppose. Geez, Pat, he changed the words!   :o

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on March 26, 2013, 03:11:26 PM
Truthfully, I have been kind of avoiding it. I feel like I wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much as the 2 earlier Bernstein's I have, although I should get it for its historic value., I suppose. Geez, Pat, he changed the words!   :o

8)

For a slightly more authentic approach you could try Stokowski.

(Actually I haven't heard Stokowski's 9th, and amazon reviewers say he changed some orchestration. But AFAIK Stokowski did not change the words, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to recommend Stokowski for authenticity :) .)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 26, 2013, 04:01:58 PM
For a slightly more authentic approach you could try Stokowski.

(Actually I haven't heard Stokowski's 9th, and amazon reviewers say he changed some orchestration. But AFAIK Stokowski did not change the words, and I couldn't resist the opportunity to recommend Stokowski for authenticity :) .)

:P  Just because he was a contemporary of Beethoven, doesn't make him authentic. :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Marc on March 26, 2013, 10:02:02 PM
I couldn't remember where I read that, only that I did. I don't know, maybe the old Brüggen is good enough for me.... :-\

8)

To me, the 9th is (also) the weakest link in Brüggen's first integral. So, for the moment, I share Gurn's (cautious) thoughts to skip Brüggen's new set.

The worst moment in his first 9th IMO is when tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson doesn't seem capable at all, alas, to bring Schiller's words to life in his solo part "Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen ....".  :(
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 27, 2013, 04:23:27 AM
To me, the 9th is (also) the weakest link in Brüggen's first integral. So, for the moment, I share Gurn's (cautious) thoughts to skip Brüggen's new set.

The worst moment in his first 9th IMO is when tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson doesn't seem capable at all, alas, to bring Schiller's words to life in his solo part "Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen ....".  :(

Yes, as unbelievable as it seems... :(  And in my experience, ARJ is a fine singer too. Hard to understand. I'd be like "cut! Let's take it from the top there, Tony...". :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on March 27, 2013, 06:11:51 PM
To me, the 9th is (also) the weakest link in Brüggen's first integral. So, for the moment, I share Gurn's (cautious) thoughts to skip Brüggen's new set.

The worst moment in his first 9th IMO is when tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson doesn't seem capable at all, alas, to bring Schiller's words to life in his solo part "Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen ....".  :(

To be very clear, I think the new Bruggen (I've never heard the "old" set) is well worth getting.  The performances of symphonies 1-8 are top notch.  Even the first three movement of the Ninth are top notch. The orchestra and chorus in the last movement are top notch.   It's just that the two male soloists fail very noticeably in their key moments, so the whole thing falls flat on its face just when the finish line is in sight. (And these were live performances, so perhaps second takes were not possible.)

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 31, 2013, 07:18:47 AM
Well, on the suggestions presented, I determined to get this performance to be #100;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9MackerrasOAELive1994Edinburghcover_zps13e518e2.jpg)

and it succeeded mightily! This is my third Mackerras version, including the Royal Liverpool and Scottish CO editions. But here, we are working with period instruments, and doing a fine job of it too. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has been around in various incarnations for a long time, and despite that I've seen them described as a "pickup band", when you put together an orchestra made up of people from all the top rank PI orchestras, it is hard to go wrong! In any case, in this performance they are in top form. :)

As always, Mackerras' time beating is right on the mark (IMO), and though some might call it fleeting, I feel as though the entire is performed well within the bounds of Beethoven's concept. Performed in 1994 and released on 2011, this was long overdue to see the light of day. Since it is on Signum with an endorsement by OAE, I suspect it was only contractual obligations that made it take so long. Anyway, if you are as big a Mackerras fan as I am, you should give this one some consideration. For me, it's the best of both worlds, well played period instruments and a conductor who is loved and respected by every facet of the industry. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: North Star on March 31, 2013, 08:29:08 AM
Interesting, Gurn! I'm definitely a fan of Mackerras, and HIP. How is the singing?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on March 31, 2013, 08:33:39 AM
Interesting, Gurn! I'm definitely a fan of Mackerras, and HIP. How is the singing?

It's very good; 8/10, I would say. I don't know any of the soloists, but the bass/baritone hits it nicely and the others are on target all through. Largish sounding chorus too, I might add. Definitely a good investment for me. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 07, 2013, 07:59:15 AM
Back in time today; no, not all the way back, but I was only 2 years old when this recording was made, so here's what I missed not being in Vienna that evening;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thScherchen1953_zps8b952bbb.jpg)

I read once in these pages that Scherchen was the first HIP conductor. Now on my second time through this disk, I still have to chuckle at that. Which is not to say that I don't like the disk, I do. I more than like it in fact. It is the best performance of any of my pre-1958 stereo-era disks. Sure, it has some modest sound issues (for example: by all appearances there isn't a chorus, just some very good soloists). But that doesn't put you off as much as you might think it would. Playing is first rate (the principle horn is super!), in many places the tempo is quite in line with modern performance standards, and in some places it isn't (the opening of the final movement is painfully slow, for example). But for MY tastes, if I am looking for a performance to represent that point in time, this one would do nicely. Just wish the sound was a bit better... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: zauberharfe on April 07, 2013, 12:58:38 PM
I have two recordings by Furtwängler which, I think, are special even by his standards. Maybe they have already been mentioned earlier, I don't know.

First is: different version from the 22~24th Mar. 1942, Philharmonie, Berlin present on many labels. Unfortunately the sound is bad, but otherwise this might easily be the very best one I have heard (and I heard many versions, but I'm still far from a hundred  :))

1) 19th Apr. 1942, Philharmonie, Berlin with  Berliner Philharmoniker, Bruno Kittel Choir, Erna Berger(S), Gertrude Pitzinger(A), Helge Rosvaenge(T), Rudol Watzke(B) (Archipel ARPCD 0270) Most dramatic first movement; unbelievable!

2) 29th Jul. 1951, Festspielhaus, Bayreuth with Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf(S), Elisabeth Höngen(A), Hans Hopf(T), Otto Edelmann(B) - The reopening of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus after WWII.

I am not sure if the first one is still available. If not, I can help.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 14, 2013, 08:04:10 AM
One of my consistently favorite old-school 9th conductors is Eugen Jochum. I have 3 of his recordings, spanning his career, or 30 years of it anyway.  The 1952 recording with the Bavarian RSO and the 1979 with the London PO are the bookends, and today's treat, the 1969 with the Royal Concertgebouworkest, which is my favorite of the three.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Jochum-RCO1969cover_zps259970cb.jpg) (http://s202.photobucket.com/user/Gurn_Blanston/media/Beethoven9Jochum-RCO1969cover_zps259970cb.jpg.html)

Don't let the cover fool you, Rose Records is a subset of Philips. :)

I like the way that Jochum has changed with the times; his 1952 recording sounds much more 'post-Romantic' than this one. The stylistic changes brought in by Fricsay, Von Karajan, Szell and others has taken hold and he executes it as well as anyone. Plus very fine singers, both soloists and chorus. This disk is in my Top Ten, and with good reason. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 21, 2013, 07:07:33 AM
Today I am enjoying another conductor of whom I have multiple versions, Daniel Barenboim.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/BeethovenBarenboim1992cover_zpsf4d3e6f1.jpg)

I suspect that this is his first recorded effort, and he is driving such a hot machine that they are making him look good, rather than the later versions where he more than pulled his weight. Staatskapelle Berlin is one of those traditional, idiomatically central European orchestras to whom Beethoven arrived via their genes, I'm pretty sure of that. :)  Sure sounds like it anyway. Other than a few places where the tempo drags in the late first movement, I like his concept. And those of you who are always complaining that this movement is not enough poco maestoso for you, won't have any complaint coming here. That is well covered. Overall I give this one high marks for all the aspects that count for me. I've got the old Erato box from 1992, but I imagine whoever has the rights (Warner?) has released it again in a different incarnation. I don't think you would be disappointed with it at all. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2013, 10:41:10 AM
Today I am enjoying another conductor of whom I have multiple versions, Daniel Barenboim.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/BeethovenBarenboim1992cover_zpsf4d3e6f1.jpg)

I suspect that this is his first recorded effort, and he is driving such a hot machine that they are making him look good, rather than the later versions where he more than pulled his weight. Staatskapelle Berlin is one of those traditional, idiomatically central European orchestras to whom Beethoven arrived via their genes, I'm pretty sure of that. :)  Sure sounds like it anyway. Other than a few places where the tempo drags in the late first movement, I like his concept. And those of you who are always complaining that this movement is not enough poco maestoso for you, won't have any complaint coming here. That is well covered. Overall I give this one high marks for all the aspects that count for me. I've got the old Erato box from 1992, but I imagine whoever has the rights (Warner?) has released it again in a different incarnation. I don't think you would be disappointed with it at all. :)

8)

No idea when he first recorded it, but I was in Chorus for one of his first performances in 1976, Philadelphia. He gave the choir almost no direction or notes, concentrating on the orchestra blend, he was definitely not getting what he wanted. There were repeats he wanted in, I think, the second movement and he enumerated the bar numbers and various players wrote them in. During the performance an entire section of first violins omitted the repeat and there was a noticeable stromash, (Scots word). Baremboim eyeballed the perpetrators fiercely and for some time. It was one of the orchestra who explained it to us afterwards. He also said those players had been substituted for the ones who had been at the rehearsal.

This continued to puzzle me as I don't recall hearing what I thought were different versions of the movements. Perhaps the practice has died out and we gathered that Ormandy could be a law to himself. Baremboim was using Ormandy's specially designed 'outdoor' podium which was said to be the the only air conditioned podium in existence.

But....to return to the performance, it seemed sane and efficient and at this point I don't think anyone woulld have detected the Furtwangler influence that Baremboim has subsequently voiced. It was not memorable, but it was trying interesting things. As an aside, Colin Davis referred to the opening chord of the first movement as, God turning the universe 'on'.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 21, 2013, 11:42:16 AM
No idea when he first recorded it, but I was in Chorus for one of his first performances in 1976, Philadelphia. He gave the choir almost no direction or notes, concentrating on the orchestra blend, he was definitely not getting what he wanted. There were repeats he wanted in, I think, the second movement and he enumerated the bar numbers and various players wrote them in. During the performance an entire section of first violins omitted the repeat and there was a noticeable stromash, (Scots word). Baremboim eyeballed the perpetrators fiercely and for some time. It was one of the orchestra who explained it to us afterwards. He also said those players had been substituted for the ones who had been at the rehearsal.

This continued to puzzle me as I don't recall hearing what I thought were different versions of the movements. Perhaps the practice has died out and we gathered that Ormandy could be a law to himself. Baremboim was using Ormandy's specially designed 'outdoor' podium which was said to be the the only air conditioned podium in existence.

But....to return to the performance, it seemed sane and efficient and at this point I don't think anyone would have detected the Furtwangler influence that Baremboim has subsequently voiced. It was not memorable, but it was trying interesting things. As an aside, Colin Davis referred to the opening chord of the first movement as, God turning the universe 'on'.

Mike

Very interesting, Mike, thanks for sharing that. Yes, the second movement in particular has a couple of different ways to play it, for example, when done fully, the entire trio is repeated completely. For a hundred years no one repeated it at all, and then for a time part of it was repeated, and now, finally, it is played as written. So you don't know, really, when looking at the timing on a recording, whether the repeat was taken, or whether they just played it too slow giving the same net.

Colin Davis is one of the few conductors who recorded the 9th from whom I have no record. It was apparently never sold singly, and I don't really want another entire cycle to get it, so for now, doing without. :-\

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2013, 12:16:12 PM
Well, I am glad that I was not misremembering the detail. We had also done a 9th with Zubin Mehta on the same tour. It had generated more sheer excitement and a bar room debate discussed whether Mehta or Baremboim had the more potential. I was alone arguing that Baremboim would end up the greater conductor. I think most of the singers thought he was useless just because he had shown so little interest in us, but I felt that he was exploring the piece in a way Mehta was not. With Mehta it was ultra efficient, tight and exciting, but Danny Boy was clearly looking deeper into it as though it consisted of shifting sands. Obviously over the years he must have upped the ante with his singers; as he is clearly a great accompanist in Wagner now. We all have to learn, but because he was already so famous as a pianist he had to learn in the blazing light.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 21, 2013, 12:22:27 PM
Well, I am glad that I was not misremembering the detail. We had also done a 9th with Zubin Mehta on the same tour. It had generated more sheer excitement and a bar room debate discussed whether Mehta or Baremboim had the more potential. I was alone arguing that Baremboim would end up the greater conductor. I think most of the singers thought he was useless just because he had shown so little interest in us, but I felt that he was exploring the piece in a way Mehta was not. With Mehta it was ultra efficient, tight and exciting, but Danny Boy was clearly looking deeper into it as though it consisted of shifting sands. Obviously over the years he must have upped the ante with his singers; as he is clearly a great accompanist in Wagner now. We all have to learn, but because he was already so famous as a pianist he had to learn in the blazing light.

Mike

Yes, back then, who knew?  Of course they were great friends at the time, and so shared some philosophy, but what I will say about Barenboim is that there have been several times in this thread that people mention some mysterious component to a performance without being able to name it. One could fairly call it "IT". And Danny's recordings have IT, while the lone Mehta recording I own, with the NYPO, is very nicely done, but it lacks IT. An indefinable thing, and yet palpable. :-\

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: knight66 on April 21, 2013, 12:34:54 PM
I have been lucky in singing this with a few good people, but never had a really distinguished go with it. Rattle, his very first performance of it, that was using a chamber orchestra. It was swift of foot, light in textures and missed all the mystery and the awe that sits within it. We were to sing to with Reginald Goodall, but he was ill and we had Andrew Davis, forgettable, nothing wrong, but nothing distinctive. Mazzel, ditto, carefully prepared and at pains to make sure the lines came through with the players, but again, left no memories.  Jarvi, OK.

Mike
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on April 21, 2013, 05:32:52 PM
Today I am enjoying another conductor of whom I have multiple versions, Daniel Barenboim.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/BeethovenBarenboim1992cover_zpsf4d3e6f1.jpg)

I suspect that this is his first recorded effort, and he is driving such a hot machine that they are making him look good, rather than the later versions where he more than pulled his weight. Staatskapelle Berlin is one of those traditional, idiomatically central European orchestras to whom Beethoven arrived via their genes, I'm pretty sure of that. :)  Sure sounds like it anyway. Other than a few places where the tempo drags in the late first movement, I like his concept. And those of you who are always complaining that this movement is not enough poco maestoso for you, won't have any complaint coming here. That is well covered. Overall I give this one high marks for all the aspects that count for me. I've got the old Erato box from 1992, but I imagine whoever has the rights (Warner?) has released it again in a different incarnation. I don't think you would be disappointed with it at all. :)

8)

I was going to say I have this one, but I don't.  The currently available set (avec chapeau) was recorded in 1999, with a totally different set of soloists (the most recognizable name among them being Rene Pape), so apparently he's recorded the Ninth (at least) twice with Staatskapelle B.   

Meanwhile,  a propos this thread,  I'm ordering this one in another tab of my browser even as I post here.


We'll see how MTT does.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 22, 2013, 03:34:22 AM
I was going to say I have this one, but I don't.  The currently available set (avec chapeau) was recorded in 1999, with a totally different set of soloists (the most recognizable name among them being Rene Pape), so apparently he's recorded the Ninth (at least) twice with Staatskapelle B.   

Meanwhile,  a propos this thread,  I'm ordering this one in another tab of my browser even as I post here.


We'll see how MTT does.

Yes, I have that other one too. I'm not sure I would jump out and say that the 8 year intervention there really improved his thoughts on the work. They were already very good!  Still, I will be listening to that one very soon, as it has been well over a year now.

Thanks for the tip on the MTT. I was thinking I should hear what  he has to say, but hadn't run across this disk yet. I have it listed now. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on April 23, 2013, 09:38:24 AM
(https://search.mog.com/v2/albums/81812123/image.jpeg?size=300)
I can't help but think, "Whatever for?" Still, I suppose I ought to hear it at least once before forming an opinion about its musical merit.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 23, 2013, 09:47:11 AM
I can't help but think, "Whatever for?" Still, I suppose I ought to hear it at least once before forming an opinion about its musical merit.

Sort of my thought too. I would have liked to hear Blomstedt with that orchestra, but I don't guess he ever did it. Still, MTT might surprise me. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on April 23, 2013, 05:21:33 PM
I can't help but think, "Whatever for?" Still, I suppose I ought to hear it at least once before forming an opinion about its musical merit.

"whatever for?" 
Why,  so I could have at least one recording of the Ninth that Gurn doesn't have!
 ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 03:23:42 AM
"whatever for?" 
Why,  so I could have at least one recording of the Ninth that Gurn doesn't have!
 ;D

:D Enjoy your (temporary) victory. Mine is in the mail. ;)  But seriously, I'm delighted when someone points out a version that I don't already have if it isn't more than 50 years old. I wish I could find an Erich Kleiber, for example, without buying a whole new cycle that I don't really want. Oh well.... :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2013, 03:30:50 AM
. . . never even conceived that it might be possible . . . .
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 03:36:20 AM
. . . never even conceived that it might be possible . . . .

He recorded one in the late '50's, just finding it is quite a challenge. Ones from 1947 are right out.... :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2013, 03:45:16 AM
Quote
This is 'I'm Probably Listening to Haydn' Month

Hah!

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 04:29:58 AM
Hah!

Well, yes, of course, there IS that.... :D

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on April 24, 2013, 06:41:03 AM
I'm delighted when someone points out a version that I don't already have if it isn't more than 50 years old.



Quote
I wish I could find an Erich Kleiber, for example, without buying a whole new cycle that I don't really want. Oh well.... :)

https://groups.google.com/d/topic/symphonyshare/udTJfengF3o/discussion [No plastic or paper included. Sorry.]

Quote
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D minor

Wilma Fodor de Bode (soprano)
Maria Matilde Siano (mezzosoprano)
Aurelio Alvarez (tenor)
Nicolas Fornella (bass)
OSSODRE Orchestra
SODRE Choir
Erich Kleiber

Montevideo
12th August, 1939


There's more Kleiber, father and son, where that came from.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 06:54:35 AM



https://groups.google.com/d/topic/symphonyshare/udTJfengF3o/discussion [No plastic or paper included. Sorry.]
 

There's more Kleiber, father and son, where that came from.

Thanks for that link, although I finally have one on the way. Hard to find outside of the complete cycles. :-\

There is an Erich Kleiber on Archipel with the Vienna Philharmonic, released in ~2004. I can't determine the date of performance though. And Archipel....  :(  Doesn't matter as I can't find it anyway. However, I found a listing for one on Music & Arts; now, that's something to look for. Newer than 1939 wouldn't really hurt my feelings, Nav. I just can't seem to bring myself to enjoy some of that old stuff more than once, then it sits on the shelf forever after.  I'll go look there though, never know, maybe something hiding.... :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on April 24, 2013, 07:03:58 AM
There is an Erich Kleiber on Archipel with the Vienna Philharmonic, released in ~2004. I can't determine the date of performance though. And Archipel....  :(  Doesn't matter as I can't find it anyway. However, I found a listing for one on Music & Arts; now, that's something to look for. Newer than 1939 wouldn't really hurt my feelings, Nav. I just can't seem to bring myself to enjoy some of that old stuff more than once, then it sits on the shelf forever after.  I'll go look there though, never know, maybe something hiding.... :)

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(http://i.prs.to/t_200/archipelrecordsarpcd0077.jpg)
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Archipel%2BRecords/ARPCD0077

This is from 1952, apparently. The disc is available at Presto for $8; but I understand that building a wormhole from Warwickshire to Nowhere, Texas would far outweigh the cost of the disc. ;D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 07:34:57 AM
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/archipelrecordsarpcd0077.jpg)
http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Archipel%2BRecords/ARPCD0077

This is from 1952, apparently. The disc is available at Presto for $8; but I understand that building a wormhole from Warwickshire to Nowhere, Texas would far outweigh the cost of the disc. ;D

:D   Yes, that's the one I saw. The appeal was also in the Vienna Philharmonic series that I've been working on.

Maybe I can find it stateside; I'll have a go at it, especially now you've given me a date to work with. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2013, 09:16:03 AM
Nav, you're such an enabler ; )
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on April 24, 2013, 09:17:44 AM
(https://search.mog.com/v2/albums/81812123/image.jpeg?size=300)
Quote from: smartassSFSfan
I can't help but think, "Whatever for?" Still, I suppose I ought to hear it at least once before forming an opinion about its musical merit.
BTW, I listened to this via MOG and liked it quite a bit. Big, bold, powerful Beethoven, yet nuanced and detailed. Some will doubtless complain about MTT's gear changes, but I liked 'em. Few, however, could fail to appreciate the tightness of the band, the gorgeous winds, and the magnificent lower strings and vocals in the fourth movement. I will be interested to hear what Gurn & Jeff think of it.

Hmmm...although I need another LvB 9 like Gloria Steinem needs a bicycling fish, this one's getting another hearing soon, and if that goes well, then it will probably make its way into my shopping cart.

And it's good enough to convince me to give MTT/SFS's other LvB recordings a chance.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 09:24:48 AM
BTW, I listened to this via MOG and liked it quite a bit. Big, bold, powerful Beethoven, yet nuanced and detailed. Some will doubtless complain about MTT's gear changes, but I liked 'em. Few, however, could fail to appreciate the tightness of the band, the gorgeous winds, and the magnificent lower strings and vocals in the fourth movement. I will be interested to hear what Gurn & Jeff think of it.

Hmmm...although I need another LvB 9 like Gloria Steinem needs a bicycling fish, this one's getting another hearing soon, and if that goes well, then it will probably make its way into my shopping cart.

And it's good enough to convince me to give MTT/SFS's other LvB recordings a chance.

Interesting, David; you liked it better than I expected you to, then. I hope that I do too. :)  Given that I have always had a soft spot for the SFS, having heard them several times in the 2 years I lived out there, I'm always surprised at how little of their recorded legacy that I own. Yet another reason to snap this up. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 24, 2013, 09:25:25 AM
Nav, you're such an enabler ; )

Yes, and I really need one of those too....  0:)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 24, 2013, 09:28:51 AM

BTW, I listened to this via MOG and liked it quite a bit. Big, bold, powerful Beethoven, yet nuanced and detailed. Some will doubtless complain about MTT's gear changes, but I liked 'em. Few, however, could fail to appreciate the tightness of the band, the gorgeous winds, and the magnificent lower strings and vocals in the fourth movement. I will be interested to hear what Gurn & Jeff think of it.

Hmmm...although I need another LvB 9 like Gloria Steinem needs a bicycling fish, this one's getting another hearing soon, and if that goes well, then it will probably make its way into my shopping cart.

And it's good enough to convince me to give MTT/SFS's other LvB recordings a chance.

Interesting, David; you liked it better than I expected you to, then. I hope that I do too. :)  Given that I have always had a soft spot for the SFS, having heard them several times in the 2 years I lived out there, I'm always surprised at how little of their recorded legacy that I own. Yet another reason to snap this up. :)

8)

I wasn't really looking for another Op.125, you know . . . .
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on April 25, 2013, 05:39:57 PM
I'm delighted when someone points out a version that I don't already have if it isn't more than 50 years old.

Well, I already pointed out 2 (Stokowski and Bernstein '89 :) ). Here's one that might be more up your alley.

I stumbled upon a copy of Immerseel's first (1999 Sony) recording of the 9th. I have found very little information and no reviews for it. The soloists are Callataÿ, Kroese, Siebert, and Bästlein. Timings are in the same ballpark as his later Zig Zag recording (which I don't have).



I guess it's easy to find in Germany but not very common elsewhere.

It arrived in today's mail. I'll post my thoughts after I listen to it, which might be next week.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 25, 2013, 05:45:18 PM
Well, I already pointed out 2 (Stokowski and Bernstein '89 :) ). Here's one that might be more up your alley.

I stumbled upon a copy of Immerseel's first (1999 Sony) recording of the 9th. I have found very little information and no reviews for it. The soloists are Callataÿ, Kroese, Siebert, and Bästlein. Timings are in the same ballpark as his later Zig Zag recording (which I don't have).


I guess it's easy to find in Germany but not very common elsewhere.

It arrived in today's mail. I'll post my thoughts after I listen to it, which might be next week.

True, you did. Unfortunately, those are two that I really don't have an interest in. This one, however, which I never even heard of before (why is that, I wonder??) is something else again. Absolutely looking forward to your impressions, and will very likely be forming my own soon too. Thanks for that link!  :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 28, 2013, 07:27:51 AM
This morning, on the first actually nice day of spring here in East Texas, I sandwiched this around my pleasant time on the golf course;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9DausgaardSCO2009cover_zps2078666f.jpg)

I like Dausgaard's take on this work. He has a relatively small orchestra, and thus a lot of clarity in this recording. Tempi are clearly HIP-influenced and short of pulling out the notes to check, I believe he uses the Del Mar score. This clearly is in line with the new standard for the 9th, other than the remaining old-time conductors, the current crop are all trying to be the King of the 9th with versions that sound just like this. Given my omnivorous appetite for this work, these suit me too. And this one is right up there!   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on April 29, 2013, 06:25:38 AM
Unfortunately, those are two that I really don't have an interest in.

Obviously a source of great entertainment for me, and probably no one else. >:D

Okay, I'll stop now.

First impression of Immerseel '99 is excellent. My other HIP versions are Herreweghe '99 (also only one listen) and Gardiner. The Anima Eterna string sections are 9-9-7-7-6, about the same size as the others, and this has the clarity that I expect from an HIP recording. The overall sound, though, seems grander, right from the beginning. (I don't know whether that comes from the performance, the engineering, or my mood.) The finale is taken slower than I expected but never drags. For now this is my top HIP choice among the 3.

Unfortunately I can't say whether it's worth seeking out for those who already have his later version, since I don't have that one yet. It's on my list, but there are a lot of things I need more than another Beethoven cycle.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 29, 2013, 06:38:31 AM
Obviously a source of great entertainment for me, and probably no one else. >:D

Okay, I'll stop now.

I have 2 Bernstein's from opposite ends of the interpretive spectrum. And, he didn't change the words... :D

Stoki is before my time. I do have a fair number of historic recordings, but I don't really like them, I just have them for reference reasons. I don't know to what extent this is cause and effect or else coincidence, but the stereo/high fidelity era anticipated the change in performance style by hardly a year or two. And performances from that time forward are the ones that I am far more interested in, simply because I enjoy listening to them a lot more. I'll still get an historic disk from time to time, and will probably end up with Stokowski one of these days. I actually have the Bernstein on VHS tape, but only watched it once. Just like having the Neeme Jarvi/Detroit Symphony Mahler version/destruction of the 9th. I have that on VHS too, but not in my database!  :P    :D

Quote
First impression of Immerseel '99 is excellent. My other HIP versions are Herreweghe '99 (also only one listen) and Gardiner. The Anima Eterna string sections are 9-9-7-7-6, about the same size as the others, and this has the clarity that I expect from an HIP recording. The overall sound, though, seems grander, right from the beginning. (I don't know whether that comes from the performance, the engineering, or my mood.) The finale is taken slower than I expected but never drags. For now this is my top HIP choice among the 3.

Unfortunately I can't say whether it's worth seeking out for those who already have his later version, since I don't have that one yet. It's on my list, but there are a lot of things I need more than another Beethoven cycle.

Excellent, thanks for that. It does seem like a disk I would like to have, although the price would have to flatten out a bit. You can probably pick up the Zig-Zag Immerseel for a reasonable price. I got it for under $20 in excellent condition. That's as cheap as buying the 9th alone, if it had been offered that way. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 05, 2013, 08:27:26 AM
...and in fact, I listened to one of those Bernstein 9ths this morning;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thBernsteinNYPO1964_zpsf7214c7b.jpg)

This approach from the younger Bernstein differs considerably from his later version with Wiener Philharmoniker. Not least the tempi, much swifter, almost too much so in parts of the finale. Even Gardiner doesn't sound quite a hurried as the NYPO that day! Overall though, they hold it together very nicely. I like the 3rd movement particularly, he brings out the pathos without getting mawkish about it.

One place that they are lacking though is in the vocals. The tempi eat up the chorus, who end up sounding a bit at wits end trying to keep it together, and some of the voices of the soloists (the tenor in particular) are just not pleasing to my ear. Not that they sing badly, they don't. Just the sound quality of the voices themselves  seems strange. So it goes.  :)

Maybe next week the Wieners. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 12, 2013, 03:48:42 PM
Funny sometimes, how you can live along with a well-known and admired person, and not even know him/her well enough to have an opinion yourself on how that person lives up to fame. Such a case with me has been Colin Davis, who, until his recent death, wasn't a blip on my radar, and it occurred to me that I didn't even have a single recording of his. Amazing but true, after 23 years of listening  he was still just a name to me. In order to rectify that, I decided to cast about for a 9th, since it would be the ultimate test, IMO. A friend in England sent me the single disk, since only the complete cycle was readily available here, and I had a first listen today;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9ColinDavisBavarianRSO1985_zps14c05f94.jpg)

Of course, one can't possibly give an in-depth review after a single listening (despite the fact that I've read many negative reviews about disks that hadn't been heard at all yet, but that's a different issue :D ), but I can easily say that I was remarkably pleased with the overall impression it left on me. Recorded in 1985, and with a very fine Bavarian orchestra, the playing is, in the main, quite super. Davis seems to be influenced more by his modern contemporaries than by the tradition he inherited, and so the tempi are brisk, never ponderous and with a fleet feeling that still allows for a spacious atmosphere. The recitativo for the double-basses in the beginning of the finale does drag a bit, but they enunciate it well, so perhaps it is by direction. The soloists are really quite impressive, and the chorus more than holds its own. Helen Donath was the only familiar name on the soloist list, but Simon Estes singing bass/baritone has a fine voice and hit his 'O Freund...' intro spot on.

So, in sum, a recording which I shall return to soon, and which I would commend to you for a very pleasing hour+.   0:)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 12, 2013, 04:22:24 PM
This morning, on the first actually nice day of spring here in East Texas, I sandwiched this around my pleasant time on the golf course;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9DausgaardSCO2009cover_zps2078666f.jpg)

I like Dausgaard's take on this work. He has a relatively small orchestra, and thus a lot of clarity in this recording. Tempi are clearly HIP-influenced and short of pulling out the notes to check, I believe he uses the Del Mar score. This clearly is in line with the new standard for the 9th, other than the remaining old-time conductors, the current crop are all trying to be the King of the 9th with versions that sound just like this. Given my omnivorous appetite for this work, these suit me too. And this one is right up there!   :)

8)

I've become completely enchanted by Dausgaard's 3rd and 6th from this series. I've listened to bits of this 9th, but I see no reason why I wouldn't hold it in the same regard as the others. Thanks for the comments, Gurn.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 12, 2013, 04:31:43 PM
I've become completely enchanted by Dausgaard's 3rd and 6th from this series. I've listened to bits of this 9th, but I see no reason why I wouldn't hold it in the same regard as the others. Thanks for the comments, Gurn.

Greg, yes, most of the comments that I've read have really praised this cycle. If he attacks the 3rd like he does the 9th, I know I would like it too. :)

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Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 17, 2013, 12:23:16 PM
Not sure where to post this, thought it would be appropriate here. A new iPad app is available that is dedicated to Beethoven's 9th Symphony. I've downloaded it but haven't had a chance to dive into it. I'll report more later.


(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/05/18/zyruqu5y.jpg)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2013, 07:14:49 AM
That looks pretty cool, Greg. Not sure it would do much for me on my phone, but on my Kindle Fire it would be a nice time passer. Maybe they will come out with an Android version. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2013, 07:20:41 AM
Today we listen to a seldom heard version, the Dresden Philharmonic / Herbert Kegel, recorded in 1982.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9thKegelDresden1982cover_zps49b66228.jpg)

There are a great lot of recordings of this work out there that are right up the middle. The memorable ones seem to be so because of something that is outstandingly good, or conversely, outstandingly bad. But most are neither. This is one of those. It is very nicely performed in a middle-of-the-road way, playing and singing, including soloists, are impeccable, but nothing risky or different. What you would expect from Cold War Era East Germany, I guess. It is nicely pleasant to listen to though, and so I am. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 19, 2013, 07:34:36 AM
That looks pretty cool, Greg. Not sure it would do much for me on my phone, but on my Kindle Fire it would be a nice time passer. Maybe they will come out with an Android version. :)

8)

Here's the catch, it's a free download for basically a preview of what the $13.99 version will offer. 4 full versions of the piece with a score to follow along with and interviews with musicians and conductors. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, mainly because I already own 5 versions and have access to the score.
But it's still a neat concept. This company is responsible for the wonderfully immersive "Orchestra" app with Esa Pekka Salonon.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2013, 07:43:50 AM
Here's the catch, it's a free download for basically a preview of what the $13.99 version will offer. 4 full versions of the piece with a score to follow along with and interviews with musicians and conductors. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, mainly because I already own 5 versions and have access to the score.
But it's still a neat concept. This company is responsible for the wonderfully immersive "Orchestra" app with Esa Pekka Salonon.

I love to follow a score while I listen, if it has some little helper to keep me up. Several years ago I ran across some stuff on the net that let you listen to a whole list of music, and it ran the score along with a pointer to show where it was at. I have a big time with that, made me wish there was a way to make it easy to do yourself. I can follow the 9th, but only because I know it so well. :-\ 

$14 is pretty reasonable for 4 9ths plus the extras.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 19, 2013, 09:23:11 AM
I love to follow a score while I listen, if it has some little helper to keep me up. Several years ago I ran across some stuff on the net that let you listen to a whole list of music, and it ran the score along with a pointer to show where it was at. I have a big time with that, made me wish there was a way to make it easy to do yourself. I can follow the 9th, but only because I know it so well. :-\ 

$14 is pretty reasonable for 4 9ths plus the extras.... :)

8)

The 4 performances are Fricsay/Berlin 1958, Karajan/Berlin 1962, Berstein/Vienna 1979 and Gardiner/Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique 1992.
The Bernstein is the only one that shows video excerpts with the preview download, so I'm not sure if they all do with the full purchase.

Touch Press is the name of the company and their layout is very well done. Here's a screenshot of the Orchestra app, and another from their Beethoven 9th app..

[Edit] No pics  :( was trying to post them from my iPad but Tapatalk has been really buggy for me lately.


Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on May 19, 2013, 09:43:14 AM
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=66155360
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 19, 2013, 10:07:15 AM
Cool, thanks, Nav. That perfectly displays the layout.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on May 19, 2013, 10:17:40 AM
That is very nice indeed. I have all 4 of those performances anyway, and they are all first rate. Spread out stylistically, except Karajan/Fricsay.

That is just the sort of score display I was talking about. Very utile sort of thing. Anyway, not something to make me go buy an iPad, but if they do it in Android....   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Opus106 on May 19, 2013, 10:34:37 AM
Touch Press is the name of the company and their layout is very well done.

A producer of NOVA and Stephen Wolfram are co-founders, no surprise. I see that they already have many science-oriented apps (aimed at children, or so they suggest at a glance). Assuming they continue further, one can expect great educational tools from them.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 02, 2013, 05:57:10 AM
(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Bruggencover-1_zps01f1330b.jpg)

Last week was unduly busy for me, too much so to write a note here, although certainly not too much to get to listen to one of the very finest PI recordings of the 9th, this by the Orchestra of the 18th Century / Brüggen. As difficult as it may be to obtain these days (and I know it is), if you are a PI fan, this is a nice addition to your library, not just for the 9th, but several others of the symphonies shine nicely here too.


(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9thDohnaacutenyicover_zps27d332e5.jpg)

This week, with only a bit more time, I decided to move backwards by only a few years in realtime, but more than a few years in performance style.

Christoph von Dohnányi led the Cleveland Orchestra in this 1985 performance with a few fine soloists including a rather younger Siegfried Jerusalem and the great bass voice of Robert Lloyd. The style is reminiscent of the Berliners of the 1960's-'70's, and the playing is about equal to them, which is saying a lot! Dohnányi keeps a steady, brisk tempo throughout, with no discernible idiomatic rubatos and accelerandos and the like (which tend to drive me crazy, so I hear them!). Lloyd provides one of the finest bass performances that I have on record, and the supporting chorus is every bit as good as they were with Maazel 3 years earlier.  Overall, when coupled with the great Teldec recording quality, this bargain disk is a fine addition to your library.   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 02, 2013, 06:20:22 AM
That is a great 9th, Gurn. Dohnanyi's 3rd and 6th from that Telarc set are also stellar.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 02, 2013, 06:25:42 AM
That is a great 9th, Gurn. Dohnanyi's 3rd and 6th from that Telarc set are also stellar.

Thanks for that info, Greg. I don't have the cycle, just the 9th, but listening to it, one would suspect that most of the rest is pretty fine too. One of those few times when Sarge wishes he had stayed home... :D

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 09, 2013, 07:17:26 AM
Was reminded again this AM how many very nice versions there are of this magnificent work of art.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_HaitinkLSO2006cover_zpsea4a66fe.jpg)

I've always liked Haitink among modern conductors, both in opera and instrumental music, because he seems, unlike many, to always be ready to update his idiom rather than stick with his original style. I like a conductor who is willing to grow at some point. Apparently many of the best orchestras value this trait also, since among his credits are two of the top orchestras around today, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. Here (in 2006), the Londoners are on top form that evening, and some fine soloists and choral singers join in to make one of the better recordings of the new millennium. Not to say we are in a Golden Age of 9ths so far, but still, some very fine efforts out there from Dausgaard, Vänskä, Järvi and Chailly. IMO, this ranks up there with them, clearly a nice disk to have. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: David M on June 14, 2013, 03:57:48 AM
Hello, Sorry I am late. I just found this conversation and would love to contribute. I am glad it still is going strong after 4 years. Of course, the Ninth is an inexhaustible subject.

Many years ago, upon moving to a city with a great orchestra (Pittsburgh), I decided to get serious about classical music listening, forgo popular music (the 80's were a dark time), and go to as many PSO shows as I could. I would buy a recording of whatever was being played and got to know the standard repertoire in that way. I soon decided to start a collection of recordings of my favorite piece of music, Ludwig's Ninth Symphony. Now many years later, I have about 160 different performances in my collection and do continue to add more (most recent acquisition, Kent Nagano/ Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal on Sony). I did get up to speed and read through the 35 pages of conversation up to the present. I have now a long list of Ninth's I want to re-listen to that I have not gotten out in a while. I also have a few that I will consider adding now.

Gurn, I see you have enjoyed Haitink's latest Ninth. I do consider it the best of his 4 I that know and like it a great deal. I always felt like he has held back in his earlier recordings and was mildly disappointed. The disappointment may have come from my own expectations as I love his French music, his Stravinsky and especially his Shostakovich.

One recent Ninth that stands out for me and not seen mentioned here is the Stanislaw Skrowaczewski/Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra on OEHMS Classics. This could go into a category called "Recent Ninths Definitely NOT Influenced by the Period Instrument Movement". Broad tempos (70 minutes overall), big sound and climaxes. Reminds me of Karl Bohm/WP 1970 (a favorite of mine).

A not-so-recent one, obscure, not mentioned, that I have a strange affection for: Zdenek Macal/Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Koss (from July 31, 1989). Very brisk tempos coming in at under 61 minutes. Incisive, has a sense of occasion, good sound.

I was glad to read in your conversation that a couple of my old favorites have gotten praise here, Fricsay and Kletski. I would have expected them to be forgotten these days.

Any interest in discussing that weird phenomena of Ninth's sung not "auf Deutsch"? I have a few: English (Weingartner/LSO 1926 and Stokowski/Philadelphia); French (Koussevitsky/ORTF); Czech (Lovro von Matacic/cpo) and Hebrew (Kubelik/Israel Philharmonic). One weird thing is that only the Weingartner version I have (on LYS 190) tells you it is not in German and it tells you in French (Chantee en anglais).

So I have enjoyed joining in and hope to do more so in the future.
 

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Brewski on June 14, 2013, 04:49:11 AM
Hi David M, and welcome. What's not to love about the Ninth? And I see you have come across Gurn, another big fan of the piece. Would also be interested in your comments on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, if you attend any of their concerts (perhaps in another thread).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 14, 2013, 05:19:08 AM
Hi, David! Oh, we just have tons to talk about. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on June 14, 2013, 05:52:02 AM
I was glad to read in your conversation that a couple of my old favorites have gotten praise here, Fricsay and Kletski. I would have expected them to be forgotten these days.

Any interest in discussing that weird phenomena of Ninth's sung not "auf Deutsch"? I have a few: English (Weingartner/LSO 1926 and Stokowski/Philadelphia); French (Koussevitsky/ORTF); Czech (Lovro von Matacic/cpo) and Hebrew (Kubelik/Israel Philharmonic). One weird thing is that only the Weingartner version I have (on LYS 190) tells you it is not in German and it tells you in French (Chantee en anglais).

Great post and welcome from another newbie.

I haven't heard Kletski, but I think Fricsay will remain a classic for a long time.

The Ninth in other languages is an idea that had never occurred to me. I'm not sure I'd like it in English, but the others are intriguing. I have the Choral Fantasy in Russian (Richter/Sanderling) which is gloriously weird.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: David M on June 14, 2013, 05:57:19 AM
Reply to Brewski regarding the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. I am glad to talk about them. I saw about 12 shows in the 12-13 season. I believe they compare well with any of the great orchestras in the USA or anywhere. I do travel to see other orchestras, near and far, and have seen in the last 5 years the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Philharmonic, the Dayton Philharmonic, the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, BBC Symphony and the Royal Concertgebouw (at the Concertgebouw WOW). Manfred Honeck is good, favoring fairly extreme dynamics and generally brisk tempos, precise playing. The orchestra does seem to follow him where he leads.

More relevant to this discussion is that I did recently see the PSO and Honeck perform the Beethoven Ninth. He took the first part of the concert to contrast musically (the orchestra played maybe 6 examples)what he called the old (slow) way of doing the Ninth with his attempt to take seriously Beethoven's metronome markings. This was a bit simplistic for me as many conductors in the old days did Beethoven with brisk tempos (Weingartner, Toscanini, Leibowitz, Szell etc...). Of course, most people do not know that and so may have found it interesting. His performance was quite fast, dynamic, incisive, well played, coming in at maybe 62 minutes. I enjoyed it very much but it was still too fast for me at times. My favorite live experiences with the Ninth (Jansons, Maazel) are still my favorites.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Cascade on June 14, 2013, 01:41:30 PM
That is a great 9th, Gurn. Dohnanyi's 3rd and 6th from that Telarc set are also stellar.

A great (underrated) Beethoven cycle. The sound isn't ideal, but the performances are all top-notch.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 06:30:45 AM
On this lovely Sunday AM, Father's Day in US, and with a round of golf already in the books, a perfect time to relax with one of my favorite PI 9ths;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_Gardinercover_zpsac8e9381.jpg)

I've always found it interesting what a mixed reaction this recording receives, ranging from "it's no Furtwängler (good!)" to "it sounds too much like modern instruments to be HIP"... ::)   

Well, I think it's a shame really that anyone would think that if it sounded good it couldn't be period instruments, since period instruments sound perfect to me. And these are indeed particularly well played. Great singing too. As for the distance between post-Romantic performance and period performance style, well, that can't really be judged, either it works for you or it doesn't. If you do like period style, this is a great example of it. True, it keeps to Beethoven's metronome marks, and plays the needed repeats, but the parts that need to be slower are slower, and the parts that are faster still have plenty of time and space for the players to get it done, so if/when you become accustomed to it, there is a lot of listening pleasure here. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on June 16, 2013, 06:39:01 AM
Gosh -- it's Sunday and Gurn's listening to Beethoven's 9th. Whodathunkit!?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 06:43:42 AM
Gurn, I see you have enjoyed Haitink's latest Ninth. I do consider it the best of his 4 I that know and like it a great deal. I always felt like he has held back in his earlier recordings and was mildly disappointed. The disappointment may have come from my own expectations as I love his French music, his Stravinsky and especially his Shostakovich.

One recent Ninth that stands out for me and not seen mentioned here is the Stanislaw Skrowaczewski/Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra on OEHMS Classics. This could go into a category called "Recent Ninths Definitely NOT Influenced by the Period Instrument Movement". Broad tempos (70 minutes overall), big sound and climaxes. Reminds me of Karl Bohm/WP 1970 (a favorite of mine).

A not-so-recent one, obscure, not mentioned, that I have a strange affection for: Zdenek Macal/Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Koss (from July 31, 1989). Very brisk tempos coming in at under 61 minutes. Incisive, has a sense of occasion, good sound.

I was glad to read in your conversation that a couple of my old favorites have gotten praise here, Fricsay and Kletski. I would have expected them to be forgotten these days.

Any interest in discussing that weird phenomena of Ninth's sung not "auf Deutsch"? I have a few: English (Weingartner/LSO 1926 and Stokowski/Philadelphia); French (Koussevitsky/ORTF); Czech (Lovro von Matacic/cpo) and Hebrew (Kubelik/Israel Philharmonic). One weird thing is that only the Weingartner version I have (on LYS 190) tells you it is not in German and it tells you in French (Chantee en anglais).

So I have enjoyed joining in and hope to do more so in the future.

Hi, David,
Well, you certainly have a leg up on me when it comes to 9ths! They haven't been my main focus, but I don't turn one down whenever I run across it. Part of my problem comes from being fussy about old stuff (don't really like it) and the other part from not knowing that a lot of recordings even exist.  Your "Stanislaw Skrowaczewski/Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra on OEHMS Classics" is a case in point. Although now that I know about it, I shall have it too. :)  There do seem to be a nearly endless number of recordings, even within the rather narrow parameters that I have set. I look forward to discussing some of the greater rarities with you.

Also curious about the non-German sung subset in your collection. I recently saw one sung in Russian, but unfirtunately didn't snap it up. It makes me wish that my Tokyo/ Wakasugi was sung in Japanese.... :)

Talk to you soon,
8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 06:44:29 AM
Gosh -- it's Sunday and Gurn's listening to Beethoven's 9th. Whodathunkit!?

It's what Sundays were made for, David. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidRoss on June 16, 2013, 06:50:17 AM
It's what Sundays were made for, David. :)
Well, my Sunday today is made for a leisurely brunch with the wife -- and, in honor of Fathers Day, no arguing before, during, or after (my fingers are crossed!). ;)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 06:55:11 AM
Well, my Sunday today is made for a leisurely brunch with the wife -- and, in honor of Fathers Day, no arguing before, during, or after (my fingers are crossed!). ;)

:)  Good luck with that. I teed off at 6:50 this morning, I was back home by 10:00, now to relax for the day.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on June 16, 2013, 11:32:02 AM
I've always found it interesting what a mixed reaction this recording receives, ranging from "it's no Furtwängler (good!)" to "it sounds too much like modern instruments to be HIP"... ::)   

Indeed. And after acquiring a couple other HIP/PI 9ths, I went back to Gardiner a couple of weeks ago. It's certainly not bad, but... let's just say my comments on it might not fit in with the spirit of this thread. (My thoughts on Zinman, an even more polarizing recording, would definitely not fit the spirit of this thread.)

So instead of belaboring that point, I just listened to the Immerseel '99 -- my third listen I think, maybe fourth, in two months -- and my initial impressions have not changed. It sounds bigger than the orchestra size (and other HIP versions) would suggest. I'm still a bit surprised by some relatively slow tempi in the 4th movement, but they work. The articulation, phrasing and balances throughout are excellent. This is one I enjoy very, very much.

:)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 11:41:14 AM
Indeed. And after acquiring a couple other HIP/PI 9ths, I went back to Gardiner a couple of weeks ago. It's certainly not bad, but... let's just say my comments on it might not fit in with the spirit of this thread. (My thoughts on Zinman, an even more polarizing recording, would definitely not fit the spirit of this thread.)

So instead of belaboring that point, I just listened to the Immerseel '99 -- my third listen I think, maybe fourth, in two months -- and my initial impressions have not changed. It sounds bigger than the orchestra size (and other HIP versions) would suggest. I'm still a bit surprised by some relatively slow tempi in the 4th movement, but they work. The articulation, phrasing and balances throughout are excellent. This is one I enjoy very, very much.

:)

:)  Yes, this is the mit Freundschaft für alle thread on GMG.  When it comes to polarization, I always seem to come down in favor of the artist, possibly a failing on my part, but that's what keeps performances from becoming so homogenized. In the event, a lot of people rejected the main body of that approach, but some of the essence got passed along to the next generation of interpreters to take or leave, because the ground had been broken. Can't ask for more than that from an artistic effort.

I like Zinman as well as Gardiner. Miss that wonderful PI sound, but the remainder is good with me. I recall that you liked this Immerseel even better than his other one, which is saying a lot. Wish it was more generally available. :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on June 16, 2013, 03:34:04 PM
I recall that you liked this Immerseel even better than his other one, which is saying a lot. Wish it was more generally available. :-\
`

I still haven't heard his later one from the Zig Zag cycle. That's on my list but probably a month or two away. My utterly unfounded speculation is that his 2 9ths are fairly similar. One of these days I'll report back on that...

Your listening approach is certainly no failing on your part. I respect it even though mine is a bit different. :cheers:
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 16, 2013, 03:43:43 PM
`

I still haven't heard his later one from the Zig Zag cycle. That's on my list but probably a month or two away. My utterly unfounded speculation is that his 2 9ths are fairly similar. One of these days I'll report back on that...

Your listening approach is certainly no failing on your part. I respect it even though mine is a bit different. :cheers:

Ah, I didn't realize that; I thought you already had the Z-Z set (it's Tops!) and had added the other later on. Well, at least the Z-Z is still fairly easy to obtain, and well worth the effort, if only for the fabulous 5th. :)

Aye, live and let live. ;)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Jay F on June 21, 2013, 10:30:04 AM
I bought this one, based on reading the recommendations here, and am now listening to it for the first time. I like it, but it doesn't knock my favorites (Bohm, HvK '77) off their pedestals.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 23, 2013, 08:47:39 AM
I bought this one, based on reading the recommendations here, and am now listening to it for the first time. I like it, but it doesn't knock my favorites (Bohm, HvK '77) off their pedestals.



My experience is that favorites in this work hardly ever get  "knock...off their pedestals". All you are really doing is adding another version that you may or may not like as much, not replacing ones that you were imprinted on, as it were. So, I still think of my Karajan '63 as I did before I got 100 other versions to go with it. Simply enjoy each one for its strengths and savor that about it. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 23, 2013, 08:52:37 AM
Revisited an old friend today;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/MackerrasBeethoven07cover_zps06426f33.jpg)

Well, not too old, but 5 or 6 years anyway. Always liked Mackerras, one of the finest conductors of the era. And his take on the 9th, whether with the Royal Liverpudlians, the OAE or home court with the Philharmonia/SCO in the wilds of Scotland is always just right to me. This version is not quite as smooth as earlier efforts, and I feel it is intentional and I do like it, rather edgy so to say. Superbly played and sung, this is a version to savor. I miss the guy already   :'(

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on June 30, 2013, 07:38:32 AM
In keeping with the recent trend that is establishing, one of the finer efforts of the new millennium;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9ChaillyGewandhaus2009_zps1327a6fa.jpg)

Chailly has long been one of my favorite conductors since the days when he led the National Orchestra in Washington D.C.. He always seems to have that extra gear that gets the most out of the music and the players, and certainly doesn't allow the audience to nap! And so it is here. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is on form, they would have made Mendelssohn proud. One would have to be a real niggler to find anything to complain about here; playing, singing, good interpretation by the conductor, well executed.  I've been told the rest of the cycle is equally fine, so a good choice for a new set, if you don't already have it. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 07, 2013, 07:33:34 AM
I was thinking about one of my favorite conductors the other day, a man who passed far before his time and left behind a too small legacy of fine recordings.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9thHickoxcover_zpsbffc291a.jpg)

Hickox was early in his conducting career (1988) when he led the Northern Sinfonia in this recording. He had been, however, of the London Symphony Chorus before that, and still was at the time of this recording. That is at least part of the reason that the chorus is such an integral part here, and quite standout they are. Despite Hickox not being affiliated yet with a period instruments band, as he would soon be with Collegium Musicum 90, he does make a point here to say that the Northern Sinfonia forces are pared down to match the size of Beethoven's original orchestra at the premiere. A clear indication of where his interests lay. I would say there is no lack of firepower either, even without all the players on the Island sitting in. :)  If you run across this, don't hesitate to pick it up (rare, but inexpensive, at least when I bought it a couple of years ago). You will enjoy it, I'm sure. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kaergaard on July 07, 2013, 09:27:22 AM
You wouldn't want to add two contrasting ones, contrasting in tempi? Michael Pletnev adding a lot more Freude than I hear from others, like the very slow, sedate and yet filled with beauty created performance by Sergiu Celibidache.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 07, 2013, 11:26:51 AM
You wouldn't want to add two contrasting ones, contrasting in tempi? Michael Pletnev adding a lot more Freude than I hear from others, like the very slow, sedate and yet filled with beauty created performance by Sergiu Celibidache.

Oh yes, those are both interesting performances. I listened to Pletnev and reported it earlier this year, but it has been a while since Celi has worked up through the pile again. Good idea, next week it shall be Celi!  :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 14, 2013, 01:24:04 PM
By popular demand, today started off with Sergiu Celibidache leading the Munich Philharmonic in a 1989 live performance:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Celibidache_zps09bad798.jpg)

Those who know Celi, but not this 9th, can fully expect to get the interesting performance that he always provides. For those who don't know Celi, but know the 9th, let me just say that you are in for something different!

Varying tempos are apparently a hallmark of his style. At no point can I say that the same tempo persisted for any longer than it took him to push in the clutch and shift gears. By and large this is not disturbing to the listener, even someone who isn't used to it. It takes the individual sections and makes each of them stand out in its own particular way. The only time I found it disturbing was at the beginning of the Scherzo, where it was simply too dang slow to enable the phrase to be coherent. By the middle of the movement, though, he had instituted a very long, gradual accelerando that had them up to speed. I know it was his intent to do it that way, but it didn't sit well with me. The 3rd movement 'Adagio molto e cantabile' was likely a true Adagio, so I can't criticize it, but it was slower than the norm. This also had the reverse blessing of letting you ponder each bit of the entire and appreciate the wonderful structure that Ludwig built there.

The finale was closer to average speed and dynamics than most of the rest of the performance. If I could find the Münchener who managed to cough and choke through the more poignant moments, I would happily give him something to cough and choke about, but overall it was not too disturbingly disturbing for a live performance.

Playing - very good     
singing - good, not outstanding             
sound quality - good, at best.
Artistry - excellent

Overall - one you should hear, but not if it's your only version, or even if it's your 2nd version. I enjoyed it (but I have 100 others to compare it to!).   0:)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: DavidA on July 26, 2013, 11:15:32 AM
In keeping with the recent trend that is establishing, one of the finer efforts of the new millennium;

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9ChaillyGewandhaus2009_zps1327a6fa.jpg)

Chailly has long been one of my favorite conductors since the days when he led the National Orchestra in Washington D.C.. He always seems to have that extra gear that gets the most out of the music and the players, and certainly doesn't allow the audience to nap! And so it is here. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is on form, they would have made Mendelssohn proud. One would have to be a real niggler to find anything to complain about here; playing, singing, good interpretation by the conductor, well executed.  I've been told the rest of the cycle is equally fine, so a good choice for a new set, if you don't already have it. :)

8)

I have the set. The recording and playing are stunning. However, I have doubts about the relentless tempi everywhere. It is certainly exciting but I feel more relaxation is needed.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: trung224 on July 26, 2013, 05:12:00 PM
By popular demand, today started off with Sergiu Celibidache leading the Munich Philharmonic in a 1989 live performance:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9Celibidache_zps09bad798.jpg)

Those who know Celi, but not this 9th, can fully expect to get the interesting performance that he always provides. For those who don't know Celi, but know the 9th, let me just say that you are in for something different!

Varying tempos are apparently a hallmark of his style. At no point can I say that the same tempo persisted for any longer than it took him to push in the clutch and shift gears. By and large this is not disturbing to the listener, even someone who isn't used to it. It takes the individual sections and makes each of them stand out in its own particular way. The only time I found it disturbing was at the beginning of the Scherzo, where it was simply too dang slow to enable the phrase to be coherent. By the middle of the movement, though, he had instituted a very long, gradual accelerando that had them up to speed. I know it was his intent to do it that way, but it didn't sit well with me. The 3rd movement 'Adagio molto e cantabile' was likely a true Adagio, so I can't criticize it, but it was slower than the norm. This also had the reverse blessing of letting you ponder each bit of the entire and appreciate the wonderful structure that Ludwig built there.

The finale was closer to average speed and dynamics than most of the rest of the performance. If I could find the Münchener who managed to cough and choke through the more poignant moments, I would happily give him something to cough and choke about, but overall it was not too disturbingly disturbing for a live performance.

Playing - very good     
singing - good, not outstanding             
sound quality - good, at best.
Artistry - excellent

Overall - one you should hear, but not if it's your only version, or even if it's your 2nd version. I enjoyed it (but I have 100 others to compare it to!).   0:)

8)
   At last, it is Celibidache's performace. If you can withstand his ideas about Zen effect, or sth like that, you can find it wonderful. If you don't, it is just dreadful slow performance  :D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on July 26, 2013, 06:04:14 PM
   At last, it is Celibidache's performace. If you can withstand his ideas about Zen effect, or sth like that, you can find it wonderful. If you don't, it is just dreadful slow performance  :D

Ah, Zen. No wonder I was at sea. I'm no mystic, I'm afraid. :)  At least I will say that it wasn't all slow, it bounced around like a crazy monkey from usually slow to something faster. Thousands like him.   0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on August 24, 2013, 02:01:57 PM
Do you have the Stokowski '67 recording, my friend?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 24, 2013, 03:09:53 PM
Do you have the Stokowski '67 recording, my friend?

No, never ran across it serendipitously, and it isn't what I would hunt down, although '67 could be quite fine for me, when I think of 'LEE-opoldt" I think more like '47.... :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jochanaan on August 24, 2013, 04:48:59 PM
It seems to me that there are many very fine orchestral recordings of the Ninth, but I've heard very few with what I would consider outstanding singing; certainly I've never heard anything like, say, the Karl Boehm/Vienna Philharmonic recording of the Missa Solemnis with Margaret Price, Christa Ludwig, Martti Talvela and either the Staatsopernchor or the Singverein.  Can anyone recommend a recording based on the singing?  (I saw that one of the recordings mentioned in this thread features Bryn Terfel; I bet he knocks the socks off that first recitative!)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 24, 2013, 04:56:36 PM
Jo,
This is an excellent choice based on singing. I don't know, I don't really go for old timey stuff, although that's where you hear the famous names. But this is superb for playing as well as singing, and it's only from 1999. I've never heard a discouraging word about it. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9Herreweghecover_zps61f83904.jpg)


8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: jochanaan on August 25, 2013, 01:39:06 PM
Thanks, Gurn!  I'll have to check it out when I can. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 25, 2013, 02:19:51 PM
Thanks, Gurn!  I'll have to check it out when I can. :)

You're welcome. And thanks back at'cha, since your question led me to choose it this AM for my weekly listening and I got to enjoy it all over again. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on December 03, 2013, 01:55:23 PM
Ah, I didn't realize that; I thought you already had the Z-Z set (it's Tops!) and had added the other later on. Well, at least the Z-Z is still fairly easy to obtain, and well worth the effort, if only for the fabulous 5th. :)

Hi Gurn. I finally grabbed Immerseel's cycle (2005-2007 on ZZT) and have given it a listen. I agree that the 5th is fantastic, but unfortunately I can't say the same for the 9th. The big problem for me is that the strings sound very distant and the recording doesn't balance that. I constantly wanted to turn the volume up or down to account for it, which is a distraction when it works and useless in tuttis. I don't consider myself super-picky about such things, but I have other 9ths where the choir sounds too recessed, or the whole thing sounds compressed. I suppose this is a difficult piece to engineer.

Today I went back to Immerseel's '99 9th. I hate to be one to promote a hard-to-find (in the USA) recording -- especially since prices on amazon.de have gone up since I last mentioned it -- but this remains my favorite PI version (over Gardiner, Herreweghe 1999, and Immerseel 2007). If you ever feel like splurging on an import of a piece that you already have 100+ recordings of :) , consider it.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on April 14, 2014, 11:17:18 AM
(Beethoven: Symphony 9 (Herreweghe 1998 on HM))

I had previously put this in the good-but-not-great category, but recently listened again, now from the Lumières box. This time I enjoyed it very much. I cannot remember or imagine what my reservations might have been (I didn't mention it in my notes).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 14, 2014, 11:21:45 AM
I had previously put this in the good-but-not-great category, but recently listened again, now from the Lumières box. This time I enjoyed it very much. I cannot remember or imagine what my reservations might have been (I didn't mention it in my notes).

I have to say, that is one of my top choices, not just because the playing is excellent, but the singing is as good as on any other performance I have. I'm pleased you gave it another chance!   :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Ken B on April 15, 2014, 07:55:29 PM
I have to say, that is one of my top choices, not just because the playing is excellent, but the singing is as good as on any other performance I have. I'm pleased you gave it another chance!   :)

8)
My answer, truthfully, is none. I don't like the finale, so rarely enjoy the symphony.  :-[ i usually stop after 3 movements, since they are great. This recording is less unenjoyable than most though.   
Is it possible to go beyond OVPP to 0VPP?  :D
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 16, 2014, 03:30:31 AM
My answer, truthfully, is none. I don't like the finale, so rarely enjoy the symphony.  :-[ i usually stop after 3 movements, since they are great. This recording is less unenjoyable than most though.   
Is it possible to go beyond OVPP to 0VPP?  :D

Well, that is a not uncommon reaction, I have heard it many times before. Sorry to hear about this affliction... :D 

I actually learned to enjoy vocal music directly from listening to the 9th, so I owe it that debt of gratitude. With over 100 recordings of it, plus helping spread the gospel, I have paid it back a bit.  0:)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: André on April 27, 2014, 12:50:19 PM
I just finished listening to Bernstein conducting the NYPO (the Sony recording). Not bad, but nothing to enthuse over. Lenny would become more 'cosmic' in I later on with the WP. The cannonade from the timps in II is a tad overdone. III is beautiful, the best movement - as it would be in Vienna too. The Finale is well organized, but the vocal forces are under par. There are some bleaters in the Juillard Chorus, and the soloists are hammy.

3 stars out of 5
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 27, 2014, 01:56:56 PM
I just finished listening to Bernstein conducting the NYPO (the Sony recording). Not bad, but nothing to enthuse over. Lenny would become more 'cosmic' in I later on with the WP. The cannonade from the timps in II is a tad overdone. III is beautiful, the best movement - as it would be in Vienna too. The Finale is well organized, but the vocal forces are under par. There are some bleaters in the Juillard Chorus, and the soloists are hammy.

3 stars out of 5

Aha, it's André!  Bon jour, mon ami. :)

Well, I have both of those Lenny's, and am not wildly enthusiastic over either of them. The second has perhaps the better soloists, but I prefer the enthusiasm of the NYPO to the constant Maestoso of the Wiener's. All other things being equal, I would take Zubin Mehta (with Marilyn Horne) with the NYPO and any of several, probably Abbado with the Viennese. But hey, that's just me. :)  Odd thing is, I'm a huge Lenny fan... :-\

Cheers, good to see you back,
8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: akiralx on April 28, 2014, 02:26:31 PM

I just listened to the BRSO/Jansons live recording from Japan, and enjoyed it a lot.  A fairly muscular performance, like the Eroica from the same set, but not quite as relentless as Chailly. 

I don't like the second movement to be too driven (a failing for me with Karajan's otherwise excellent 1963 recording), and here it is finely paced.  The alow movement comes in at 12'38, which is as fast as I can probably accept for a movement marked Adagio molto, though it doesn't sound rushed.  I agree a 20mins wallow is too much but maybe 14mins is more appropriate.

The singing in the Finale is excellent as is the fife and drums episode - I also like that the have left the applause on, but I can do without the wailed 'bravos'...
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 28, 2014, 03:09:35 PM
I just listened to the BRSO/Jansons live recording from Japan, and enjoyed it a lot.  A fairly muscular performance, like the Eroica from the same set, but not quite as relentless as Chailly. 

I don't like the second movement to be too driven (a failing for me with Karajan's otherwise excellent 1963 recording), and here it is finely paced.  The slow movement comes in at 12'38, which is as fast as I can probably accept for a movement marked Adagio molto, though it doesn't sound rushed.  I agree a 20mins wallow is too much but maybe 14mins is more appropriate.

The singing in the Finale is excellent as is the fife and drums episode - I also like that the have left the applause on, but I can do without the wailed 'bravos'...

Ah, interesting. I haven't run across that one yet, I figure to though. I know what you mean about the second movement sounding 'driven', it is a hard thing to put into words, but you know it when you hear it.

I have this Jansons:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/Beethoven9JansonsBRcover.jpg)

and as it happens I listened to it just a couple of weeks ago. I like it, it doesn't have anything special to say, but it says it nicely. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 29, 2014, 03:21:14 AM
Ah, interesting. I haven't run across that one yet, I figure to though. I know what you mean about the second movement sounding 'driven', it is a hard thing to put into words, but you know it when you hear it.

It is one of those ineffable aspects of the art (and something for conductors to explore, and master), that you can have two performances of the same piece, played at the same tempo, and yet they can be of two different characters.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: North Star on April 29, 2014, 03:29:37 AM
It is one of those ineffable aspects of the art (and something for conductors to explore, and master), that you can have two performances of the same piece, played at the same tempo, and yet they can be of two different characters.
Hear, hear!
Methinks Gurnator might know of a few other similar cases concerning the Op. 125. :)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 29, 2014, 03:47:14 AM
I doubt it not!
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on August 02, 2014, 09:36:08 PM
I grabbed that Abbado/Sony (the one from Salzburg) when I found it at a used store recently. After one listen, I don't regard it as highly as Jens does, but it is still very enjoyable, with some distinctive touches. It's well recorded, too.
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on August 27, 2014, 04:03:56 PM
I've been on a Beethoven 9 binge and it feels great to be with this work again. Thanks to Spotify, I've been able to find and enjoy ninths I haven't heard, and this discussion/thread is the perfect guide :)

Standouts so far:

Karajan (DG) 1977:
Wow, tremendous drive, an unrelenting line that connects the whole work with powerful playing and beautiful sound. I originally had this on cassette in the late 80's but didn't appreciate it at the time. I usually underrate  Karajan, probably because he's such a big name and I resist him in Beethoven. I'm glad I listened to his 1977 account, was blown away. I will try his 1963 one next.

Peter Maag's account:
So lyrical with wonderful blooming peaks of sound in the climaxes. It's a special recording, I enjoyed the performance and will return to it again.

Abbado (DG VPO - this is my imprint recording):
Still my overall favorite!



Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: André on August 27, 2014, 04:11:35 PM
I totally second your assessment of the Karajan and Maag recordings (very astute description of the latter).

I've always admired but never warmed up to the Abbado ninth (Berlin or Vienna). Or to his Mahler and Bruckner, for that matter.
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on August 28, 2014, 03:29:14 PM

I totally second your assessment of the Karajan and Maag recordings (very astute description of the latter).

I've always admired but never warmed up to the Abbado ninth (Berlin or Vienna). Or to his Mahler and Bruckner, for that matter.

I haven't heard Abbado's Salzburg BPO 9th and haven't given his BPO box 9th a fair shake yet, but soon I will!

Abbado is perhaps my favorite conductor.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on August 28, 2014, 09:13:14 PM
Well I'll be darn. The Rattle/B9/VPO sounds FANTASTIC (in sound and performance).
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on September 19, 2014, 03:29:46 PM
Yup, the Karajan '62 and '77 are worth the time and study!
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on September 19, 2014, 03:37:28 PM
I really like what I've heard of Andre Cluyten's account so far, very excellent playing from the BPO as usual, the pace Cluyten sets brings out some lovely details, especially the change to major at the beginning of the development section.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Peter Power Pop on October 04, 2014, 05:03:21 PM
I really like what I've heard of Andre Cluyten's account so far, very excellent playing from the BPO as usual, the pace Cluyten sets brings out some lovely details, especially the change to major at the beginning of the development section.

The Cluytens version of the Choral Symphony is available on YouTube:

Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"
Berliner Philharmoniker / André Cluytens
http://www.youtube.com/v/LBTAx07c8X8

If you're interested, there's a discussion about the Cluytens' Beethoven set in this post (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21417.msg832031.html#msg832031). (Well, it's not really a discussion so much as just me prattling on about the set.)

And you can hear all the symphonies in this follow-up post (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21417.msg832221.html#msg832221).
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RebLem on October 10, 2014, 12:16:03 AM
I never had any Haagen Dazs ice cream believe it or not. I've always been a loyal Mayfield fan. What flavor should I try first in the Haagen Dazs? I'm a big butter pecan fan, have tried their version?
The rum raisin, no contest.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RebLem on October 10, 2014, 12:50:41 AM
Well, I have reached a momentous point in my collection; I have 99 versions (counting a couple on DVD and the Liszt transcription). I want #100 to be something special, not an historic thing in bad sound, but something since the stereo era began anyway. So I am soliciting suggestions....

Please help me pick out something special. I know there are others out there that I have missed. Most of them are true antiques, but somewhere there is a special, more modern recording that I haven't run across yet. Help me find it!  :) 8)
For the last 5 days I have been methodically plodding, when I have time, through this whole damn thread, and am now up to page 31 of 37.  As the above post on ice cream  ;) will show, I have now come close enough to the end, that I have decided to start responding to individual posts as I come across them, a temptation I have resisted until now, and sometimes it took a mighty effort, but I figured someone else may have said the same thing a little later, so I delayed.  Now, however, I just can resist no longer; forgive me if someone has made the following suggestion between pages 31 and 37, but I have a recommendation for a particular performance I have yet to see even mentioned, much less recommended, in this thread.

What I recommend is Tahra CD TAH 549.  It is a performance from 25 MAY 1950 by the Orchestre National de France and the Choer de la RTF.  Soloists are Janine Micheau, Solange Michel, Georges Jouatte, and Charles Cambon.  Conductor: Serge Koussevitzky.  Moderate to fast pacing at a TT: 65:42.  Very good performance, but what is truly unique, in my experience, at any rate, is that the soloists and chorus sing in French.  To me, it makes very persuasive sense.  It actually rhymes much more obviously than the German original, allowing for a different approach to pacing, timing and orchestral pulse.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on October 11, 2014, 10:31:00 PM
Now, however, I just can resist no longer; forgive me if someone has made the following suggestion between pages 31 and 37, but I have a recommendation for a particular performance I have yet to see even mentioned, much less recommended, in this thread.

No need for forgiveness, but it was indeed mentioned in post 684 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg722663.html#msg722663), along with some other dark horses including a few in languages other than German. I recently received the Matačić recording (sung in Czech), but haven't decided what I think about that aspect yet. Otherwise it's a very good performance, albeit not so astounding that anyone needs to spend big bucks for it.

I'd like to hear that French Koussevitzky, and also the Hebrew Kubelik. I am not eager to hear it in English, though.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RebLem on October 12, 2014, 02:30:28 AM
No need for forgiveness, but it was indeed mentioned in post 684 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12281.msg722663.html#msg722663), along with some other dark horses including a few in languages other than German. I recently received the Matačić recording (sung in Czech), but haven't decided what I think about that aspect yet. Otherwise it's a very good performance, albeit not so astounding that anyone needs to spend big bucks for it.

I'd like to hear that French Koussevitzky, and also the Hebrew Kubelik. I am not eager to hear it in English, though.
Yes, I saw that, Pat, but the poster just mentioned it, and made no assessment of its quality as a performance.  I think it is an excellent performance and well worth getting, and the singing in French makes, in my view, a positive difference.  So, I'm glad I brought it up.  And obviously, by now, I have completed reading the whole thread.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 12, 2014, 04:52:26 AM
Joining Gurn's ritual this morning as I feel like a 9th.  Rolled out Karajan's '63 on Friday and enjoyed it, but thought I would give a new purchase a spin

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TCD11K9EL.jpg)

Here are the particulars of this mono recording swiped from ArkivMusic

Performer:  Wilma Lipp (Soprano), Elisabeth Höngen (Alto), Julius Patzak (Tenor),
Otto Wiener (Bass)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
Date of Recording: 1956
Length: 65 Minutes 8 Secs.

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 12, 2014, 07:06:30 AM
Yes, I saw that, Pat, but the poster just mentioned it, and made no assessment of its quality as a performance.  I think it is an excellent performance and well worth getting, and the singing in French makes, in my view, a positive difference.  So, I'm glad I brought it up.  And obviously, by now, I have completed reading the whole thread.

Well, Reb, I can't pull out that French language 9th, but in the spirit of Vive la France!, I am spending Sunday morning with these guys:

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven9Krivinecover_zps8bc2a72c.jpg)

who certainly have no problem doing France proud when it comes to Beethoven! Choral singing particularly good.

8)

PS: Bill,
Joining Gurn's ritual this morning as I feel like a 9th.  Rolled out Karajan's '63 on Friday and enjoyed it, but thought I would give a new purchase a spin

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TCD11K9EL.jpg)

How did that go? I don't have a Horenstein, there are a couple of them out there and I have been mulling it. Worth dropping a dime?

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 12, 2014, 07:59:14 AM


PS: Bill,
How did that go? I don't have a Horenstein, there are a couple of them out there and I have been mulling it. Worth dropping a dime?

8)

Well, and probably unfairly, I wait for Presto--Allegro assai before I rate.  If that ain't happening, IT ain't happening for me.  My impressions:

a. Some nice underpinnings of oboe at the start of the 4th.  "Gotta" listen for them though.
b. Otto Weiner's bass is very nice.  He does not try to do too much and keeps it very even.
c. Wilma Lipp's soprano is a bit much.  Something out of Young Frankenstein, but she settles down and the rest is fine.
d. The chorus is excellent, but the recording does not draw them to the front enough at points. 

Overall, though, a good purchase and a 9th that I will come back to.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 12, 2014, 08:05:40 AM
Well, and probably unfairly, I wait for Presto--Allegro assai before I rate.  If that ain't happening, IT ain't happening for me.  My impressions:

a. Some nice underpinnings of oboe at the start of the 4th.  "Gotta" listen for them though.
b. Otto Weiner's bass is very nice.  He does not try to do too much and keeps it very even.
c. Wilma Lipp's soprano is a bit much.  Something out of Young Frankenstein, but she settles down and the rest is fine.
d. The chorus is excellent, but the recording does not draw them to the front enough at points. 

Overall, though, a good purchase and a 9th that I will come back to.

Ah, very good, you hit the points I can relate to. With many of those older recordings, I have (unfairly) dinged the singers when it was really the recordings themselves, that was as good as they could sound. There is another Horenstein somewhere I have seen, I think it is from the very early 1960's, and sound shouldn't be an issue with it. As long as the tempos are reasonable (at 65 minutes it would seem they are) I might enjoy that one soon. :)

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 12, 2014, 08:16:31 AM
Bill,
I just went ahead and got this one, it is the one I have been looking at, although I don't know much about it I hope when it arrives next week I will. You can never tell with these labels! One reviewer said the sound is excellent on it, a miracle of remastering, so it seems. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_HorensteinVSO_zps4a325460.jpg)

I have other VSO recordings which are always well played.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 12, 2014, 10:24:33 AM
Bill,
I just went ahead and got this one, it is the one I have been looking at, although I don't know much about it I hope when it arrives next week I will. You can never tell with these labels! One reviewer said the sound is excellent on it, a miracle of remastering, so it seems. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_HorensteinVSO_zps4a325460.jpg)

I have other VSO recordings which are always well played.

8)

Is this one from the 60's?
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 12, 2014, 11:28:43 AM
Is this one from the 60's?

I think it is but I won't be sure till I have it in my hands. I thought it was someone here who first mentioned there was one from the early '60's and I was basing off that...  :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 12, 2014, 11:43:35 AM
I think it is but I won't be sure till I have it in my hands. I thought it was someone here who first mentioned there was one from the early '60's and I was basing off that...  :-\

8)

Same line up as the one I have from '56:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=74413

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=10863

There is a '61 out there.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=90199
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=469008
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 12, 2014, 12:18:51 PM
Same line up as the one I have from '56:

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=74413

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=10863

There is a '61 out there.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=90199
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=469008

Different band though.... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 12, 2014, 12:41:32 PM
So, possibly 3 9th's.  All in a few years?
Title: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Leo K. on October 12, 2014, 01:17:33 PM
Bill,
I just went ahead and got this one, it is the one I have been looking at, although I don't know much about it I hope when it arrives next week I will. You can never tell with these labels! One reviewer said the sound is excellent on it, a miracle of remastering, so it seems. :)

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/Beethoven_9_HorensteinVSO_zps4a325460.jpg)

I have other VSO recordings which are always well played.

8)

I have fond memories of listening to this one in the late '80's when I first listened to the 9th, it's one of my imprint recordings of Beethoven's 9 :) I'm a big fan of Horenstein.

I also have the 1961 mentioned but havent listened to that box set yet.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on October 12, 2014, 06:47:08 PM
That Kubelik piqued my interest. Ordered it just now.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81FMaulNBzL._SX522_PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)
Dates from 1958, btw.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on October 17, 2014, 06:39:07 PM
That Kubelik piqued my interest. Ordered it just now.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81FMaulNBzL._SX522_PJautoripBadge,BottomRight,4,-40_OU11__.jpg)
Dates from 1958, btw.

Received today and played tonight.
Ultimately a curiousity.  Recorded in mono at a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of Israel's independence.  Recording glitch early in the first movement but otherwise tolerable sonics.  Sung in Hebrew, but if I had not known this beforehand, I could have easily thought this was sung in a Slavic language.  Hebrew I suppose did not fit well onto Beethoven's musical lines and I only recognized a few words here and there.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B on October 17, 2014, 06:52:37 PM
Received today and played tonight.
Ultimately a curiousity.  Recorded in mono at a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of Israel's independence.  Recording glitch early in the first movement but otherwise tolerable sonics.  Sung in Hebrew, but if I had not known this beforehand, I could have easily thought this was sung in a Slavic language.  Hebrew I suppose did not fit well onto Beethoven's musical lines and I only recognized a few words here and there.

Very helpful, thanks for posting that.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 17, 2014, 07:02:47 PM
Very interesting, Jeffrey. Not sure what to make of it; good old 9th or oddball curiosity. :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: kishnevi on October 17, 2014, 07:06:39 PM
Very interesting, Jeffrey. Not sure what to make of it; good old 9th or oddball curiosity. :)

8)

As a simple performance, it was well done. Total time was 65:23.  But the recording glitch and the nonGerman text mean it would never be A Contender.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 17, 2014, 07:12:55 PM
As a simple performance, it was well done. Total time was 65:23.  But the recording glitch and the nonGerman text mean it would never be A Contender.

The recording glitch bothers me a lot more than the language though. I hate when that happens. I have some pretty good old performances that I rarely listen to because of the quality of the sonics. I'm willing to make allowances for age and all that, but that's for one or two listenings only. Probably the real reason I confine my regular listening to the post-mono age.  :-\  Still, that is an oddity....

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Bogey on October 19, 2014, 03:35:24 PM
Rolled out this one today:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51V6Z555WBL.jpg)

Well, the first three movements were very nice.... I expected no less from Cleveland.  Even the start of the Presto kept me thumping along.. Then things quickly got ugly.  When the singers took off together I thought I was listening to a chaotic "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" round.  The chorus was solid and deep, but even they could not save this effort.  But hey, we've got Dohnányi and Szell, so no worries kicking the Ohio thing.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RebLem on October 20, 2014, 05:57:57 AM
The recording glitch bothers me a lot more than the language though. I hate when that happens. I have some pretty good old performances that I rarely listen to because of the quality of the sonics. I'm willing to make allowances for age and all that, but that's for one or two listenings only. Probably the real reason I confine my regular listening to the post-mono age.  :-\  Still, that is an oddity.... 8)
I generally am not that strict.  But I do generally restrict myself to the LP era.  Exceptions are some Strauss recordings--esp that Mozart CD from 1926, I think it was, the incredibly great 1938 Bruno Walter Mahler 9th with the VPO, some old Mengelberg performances, and, of course, Furtwangler (I have six Furtwangler recordings of the Beethoven 9th, for example)--and the big RCA Toscanini box, which has many performances from the pre-LP era.  I have some CDs with incredible gaps in them of marvelous music--mostly Fritz Busch Mozart operas from Glyndebourne in the mid-1930's, that are still worth listening to once, twice, or three times.  Another one some people like but that doesn't appeal to me is the Casals, Szell, Czech Phil. recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto.  My favorite Dvorak concerto, though is Rostropovich's very first one from 1951 with Vaclav Talich and the Czech Phil.  Everyone should get that one! 
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 20, 2014, 07:03:02 AM
I generally am not that strict.  But I do generally restrict myself to the LP era.  Exceptions are some Strauss recordings--esp that Mozart CD from 1926, I think it was, the incredibly great 1938 Bruno Walter Mahler 9th with the VPO, some old Mengelberg performances, and, of course, Furtwangler (I have six Furtwangler recordings of the Beethoven 9th, for example)--and the big RCA Toscanini box, which has many performances from the pre-LP era.  I have some CDs with incredible gaps in them of marvelous music--mostly Fritz Busch Mozart operas from Glyndebourne in the mid-1930's, that are still worth listening to once, twice, or three times.  Another one some people like but that doesn't appeal to me is the Casals, Szell, Czech Phil. recording of the Dvorak Cello Concerto.  My favorite Dvorak concerto, though is Rostropovich's very first one from 1951 with Vaclav Talich and the Czech Phil.  Everyone should get that one!

Oh, I'll listen to anything once, I'm just very reluctant to make an investment in something I know already I will only listen to once! On the topic of 9ths, I have a1928 Oskar Fried recording, for example, which is a must have historically, and a Felix Weingärtner from 1937 which is also pretty interesting. However, I also have a Brahms Piano Quartet & Quintet disk by the Busch Quartet w/Rudolf Serkin from 1938 which has incredibly good sound and is my favorite recording! So hard and fast rules don't work too well, but in the main, I'm quite unhappy with earlier recordings, both for the sonics and for the performance style (usually). :)

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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RebLem on October 20, 2014, 06:24:21 PM
Well, and probably unfairly, I wait for Presto--Allegro assai before I rate.  If that ain't happening, IT ain't happening for me.  My impressions:

a. Some nice underpinnings of oboe at the start of the 4th.  "Gotta" listen for them though.
b. Otto Weiner's bass is very nice.  He does not try to do too much and keeps it very even.
c. Wilma Lipp's soprano is a bit much.  Something out of Young Frankenstein, but she settles down and the rest is fine.
d. The chorus is excellent, but the recording does not draw them to the front enough at points. 

Overall, though, a good purchase and a 9th that I will come back to.
Now, that bit about Wilma Lipp is interesting.  She is also the soprano in the Carl Schuricht account of the Ninth, and one of the reasons why his Ninth is the only so-so performance in his set.  The rest are superb.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Daverz on October 20, 2014, 07:57:42 PM
Last one I enjoyed was Fricsay:



Sound is only OK stereo, but it never got in the way of enjoying the music.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: RJR 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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!! :-\

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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?

Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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:)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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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Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Gurn Blanston 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.

8)
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Ludwig 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: Pat B 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: André 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.
Title: Re: Recordings that you enjoy: Beethoven Symphony #9
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 30, 2015, 04:38:19 AM
Cheers, André!

Oh, I may be in your neck of the woods sometime this next month.