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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 [Original recording remastered]

Bohm , Vienna Philharmonic Orch. Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

Price: $10.80 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 5 Songs, 1995 $9.49  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1995 $10.80  

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestosoKarl Böhm18:45Album Only
listen  2. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 2. Molto vivaceKarl Böhm13:22Album Only
listen  3. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 3. Adagio molto e cantabileKarl Böhm18:20Album Only
listen  4. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral" / 4. - Presto -Karl Böhm 7:31Album Only
listen  5. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op.125 - "Choral" / 4. - "O Freunde nicht diese Töne" -Walter Hagen-Groll21:07Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 14, 1995)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GN4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,794 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

There are two Karl Böhm recordings of Beethoven's Ninth on Deutsche Grammophon, both with the Vienna Philharmonic. This is the later and lesser of the two, recorded just before the great conductor's death. It's terribly slow, and reflects all too well the depredations of old age. The earlier one, available as part of his complete Vienna Beethoven cycle at a "twofer" price, is one of the all time great versions of the symphony. Buy that one. --David Hurwitz

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the Best Ninth! May 24, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is absolutely the best Ninth available: great conducting; great solo vocalists; great orchestral performance; great recorded sound; great cover art (Munch).

As others have noted, this is the "slowest" Ninth around. This is true; but "slow" must not be misunderstood as "dragging." On the contrary, this performance sizzles exactly where it should. And it's not "slow" because Bohm was too old to conduct properly. Actually, this is the finest Ninth realization, because Bohm had a lifetime of experience, and here he really displays his incisive critique: he lets the music breathe: he lets it meditate: he lets brood: he lets it expand unto the cosmos. And this pregnancy of concept gives birth to a realization of rare art.

I'm a von Karajan fan, but this realization makes Karajan sound like he's rushing to be finished as quickly as possible, just to be done and go home: Karajan sounds ridiculously fast. No, Bohm lets the gentle Beethoven breathe, giving him time to philosophize.

This is BRUCKNERIAN Beethoven.

Plus, the disc is at a bargan price: double the satisfaction. Please do yourself (or someone else) a favor: get this disc.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You hear something new each time... May 20, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I've owned this recording since it was first released on a 2-LP set in 1981, where each movement occupies one whole side. It was accompanied by a lavish book that included a write-up of Bohm as well as a calendar listing all the important events and recordings of his life. It was noted that Bohm considered Berry, Domingo, Fassbaender and Norman to be the ideal soloists for this work at that time, together with his beloved VPO and the Concert Association Chorus. Later, in 1986, this recording was produced on a double CD set, together with the original LP artwork and essays, coupled with his famous 1971 recording of the "Pastoral", and it was one of the first Beethoven Ninths in DGG's CD catalogue then. The current remastered single CD on the "Masters" series has better sound, and is preferable, although all the original sleevenotes have been deleted.
Although I own about 20 different recordings of the Ninth, I regard this as one of the most important. True, the tempi are slow, but Bohm does not falter; neither is he sluggish. In spite of the slow tempi, the concentration and playing of the VPO, chorus and soloists are faultless, and there is a wonderful sense of a "live" occasion which one seldom perceive from studio recordings. It is as if everyone knew that this would be Bohm's last recording and that he would be dead within months. Most of the other reviewers here who had been positive about this recording have listed its outstanding merits, which I shall not repeat. Confirmation that Bohm had a clear vision of the work, and knew what he was doing, came from no less than Placido Domingo himself.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Moving January 17, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Though many seem to regard this version of Beethoven's ninth as too slow, I find it very moving and inspirational. Böhm's approach is poetic and lets the listener digest every single note. At the end, it leaves you with a bittersweet sensation of both joy and nostalgy that reminded me that Beethoven was unable to actually hear the grandiosity of his work.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully slow December 16, 1999
Format:Audio CD
I have great affection for this symphony, and I own about 33 different recorded versions. As David Hurwitz points out in his review, it is the slowest performance on record at almost 80 minutes! Although I usually agree with Mr. Hurwitz's reviews, I disagree with him in his comparison to Bohm's earlier Vienna recording. I think this one is better mostly due to the soloists. Norman and Domingo sing like the superstars they are, and I think the slower speeds actually add some dramatic tension. However, if you want to own only one Beethoven nine, look for Bernstein's recording with the Vienna Philharmonic or Giulini's bargain version with the London Symphony.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old man's Ninth, with all that it can offer September 23, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Maybe I'm just being perverse, but for all its slowness, I found Bohm's digital Beethoven Ninth very worthwhile. I say perverse because Bohm has been a conductor I avoid, and yet here we have sixty years of experience on the podium. As an interpretation, this one is often meditative and therefore very touching. In addition there's the Vienna Phil, who can play at any tempo and make the music sound convincing. The solo quartet in the finale couldn't be bettered.

The first movement feels like a complete success to me. It isn't dynamic on the surface, but the phrasing is perfect and the orchestral playing riveting. Anyway, a timing of 18+ min. isn't all that slow by traditional standards--and Bohm is all about tradition. The Scherzo is quite slow at 13 min., reminding one of Celibadache and the aging Giulini, probably the slowest conducttors on disc. But the orchestra keeps the rhythm lively, which helps a reat deal.

The sublime Adagio sounds magnificent no matter how broadly it's paced, and Bohm's 18 min. is well within the normal range. Again, the phrasing is well-nigh perfect, as is the orchestra--their hused tones at the beginning mesmerize you. In the finale, it asks a lot of an eighty-year-old to hold together such huge forces, and Bohm can be forgiven for needing 28+ min., compared to 24 min. in Karajan's touchstone recording from 1963. But by this time you will either be captivated by the spirit of the performance or not.

I came away competely satisfied, not just because of the great opera stars who sing the solos and the masterful Viennese chorus. I felt that I was earing a lifetime's musical experience summarized in one last-minute grasp for immortality. I'm not sure bohm won that here, exctly, but his last Ninth is compelling.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bohm's Beethoven Symphony 9
I heard a very slow-paced Ninth on satellite radio, but did not know who was conducting, or which orchestra. I read of two particularly slow-paced recordings on line. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jl Widerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a first choice, but what an alternate choice!!!
Definitely not where to start with the 9th: too rich, too slow, too mahlerian, etc. But if you already know your 9th through Karajan, Fricsay, Harnoncourt or even Gardiner, then... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Cedric Hubeau
3.0 out of 5 stars A Cosy Night with Uncle Karl
Reader, this performance of the Beethoven Ninth by Karl Bohm - his last recording - is more of a Parthian Shot than any barrage at the Battle of Carrhae where the legions of... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ninth for the cosmos
Few recordings of Beethoven's last and greatest symphony, the Ninth in D minor, have garnered so many differences of opinion as this recording by Karl Bohm and the Vienna... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss and Heaven
I'm not a classical music connoisseur by any means, but I am familiar with Beethoven's 9th symphony, and this is my absolute favorite rendition on disc (thus far). Read more
Published 21 months ago by Christopher Roche
4.0 out of 5 stars There Are Better Slow 9ths
I was somewhat disappointed upon hearing this. I own 28 versions of the 9th, and this one somehow eluded me until I bought it on Amazon for 39 cents. Read more
Published 23 months ago by M. Fink
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 is a recording under the direction of Karl Böhm who leads the Wiener Philharmoniker on this Deutsche Grammophon recording from 1981. Read more
Published on March 29, 2011 by Bjorn Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful playing, magnificent interpretation. Ever underestimated...
The negative reviews of this rendition are exemplary of the schizophrenic evaluations of Karl Boehm's recording legacy as such. Read more
Published on July 6, 2010 by Pavel
5.0 out of 5 stars superbe
On a du mal à se faire aux tempi inhabituellement lents, c'est à la troisième audition que je me suis laissé convaincre : mais pourquoi pas,... Read more
Published on June 14, 2010 by Rémilasido
5.0 out of 5 stars Abandon Preconceptions
There can be no dispute that Beethoven was the finest symphonist who ever lived, and likely will ever live. Read more
Published on September 13, 2008 by Charles A. Horowitz
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