Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 'Choral'
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 'Choral'

September 5, 2006

Also available in CD Format
  Song Title Artist
Symphony No.9 'Choral': Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No.9 'Choral': Scherzo: Molto vivace Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No.9 'Choral': Adagio molto e cantabile Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No.9 'Choral': Presto - Allegro ma non troppo - Vivace - Adagio cantabile Bernard Haitink, London Symphony Orchestra, Twyla Robinson, Karen Cargill, John Mac Master, Gerald Finley, London Symphony Chorus

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Label: LSO Live
  • Copyright: 2006 London Symphony Orchestra
  • Total Length: 1:08:09
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000QQTZ22
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,594 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haitink & Beethoven going stronger than ever November 18, 2006
Format:Audio CD
With this magnificently fresh but powerful Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven (and maybe with this whole cycle in general, but I don't know, because up till now I have heard only this recording), maestro Bernard Haitink has delivered what could maybe be called the 'ultimate' in this work, to stand aside any of the best.
This recording surely is a culmination and a crowning achievement of, firstly, a more than 50 year conducting career; secondly, a vision of a conductor who has been 'working with Beethoven' for more than 30 years (when Bernard Haitink recorded his first Beethoven cycle); and thirdly, the growing insights of period instrument practice slowly melting with 'traditional' performing tradition, cumulating into what could only be called 'the best of both worlds'. But the 'live' element must probably be taken into account here as well, as it is known that, generally, a 'live' Bernard Haitink is a 'better' one, coaxing the maestro to give his utmost. The man Bernard Haitink, it is known, really lives with and for his music, truly coming alive before the orchestra with attentive present audience to witness the man and the maestro at recreating the fruit of genius that is the music of Ludwig van Beethoven (Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, ...).
The orchestral playing is - as is so often the case with Bernard Haitink - absolutely clear, honest, with noble sentiment, but without any excess, which is good. There is no unnecessary lingering or dawdling at any time in this recording, always going purposely forward toward our goal. Above this, like a Dutch commentator said, we have 'warm strings, layering of different orchestral voices and transparent woodwinds and brass.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative November 3, 2006
By Matt
Format:Audio CD
This crowning glory of the Haitink/LSO Beethoven cycle is truly a magisterial account. Haitink has taken on board the strictures of the period brigade while retaining the weight and heart of the more traditional Beethoven protagonists. The result is a Beethoven 9 of power yet humanity, of intimacy yet impetus.

Don't sniff at the sharp-edged textures of the 1st movement, nostalgic for the denser, more homogenous sound of earlier recordings. For this movement has ample weight and profundity, which is only enhanced by the clarity of interplay between the various sections of the LSO. Equally to the point, it is the starting point of Haitink's grand architectural understanding of this piece. (An analogy can perhaps be drawn with his approach to the first movement of the Brahms 4 also on LSO live.) He is taking us on a journey which conceuptualises this grandest of symphonies as one whole, not four (or even five) different parts.

The second movement perfectly balances the deep-seated anxiety inherent in the music with is elements of joy and hope. The LSO's playing is crisp and egdy.

In the wrong hands, the third movement of the 9th can be - let's face it - boring. But here, the tempi are efficient. Not only does Haitink not, by taking this movement quite briskly, lose the heart of these gorgeous variations; but he brings it to the fore. The LSO strings are sweet and rich as we have come to expect, the sound of the orchestra as a whole pure, deep and affecting.

The fourth movement is stunning. Haitink and the orchestra balance sounds in unexpected but wholly convincing ways.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Distinguished Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink's latest, truly relevatory, traversal of the Beethoven symphonies ends with this triumphant, enthralling interpretation of the 9th "Choral" Symphony in D minor. His magnificient interpretation is unquestionably one of the finest accounts of this symphony ever recorded, and definitely the best I have heard since Claudio Abbado's two distinguished recordings on Sony and Deutsche Grammophon with the Berliner Philharmoniker, using the same Jonathan Del Mar-edited Barenreiter Edition. Although strongly influenced by period instrument practice, Haitink strikes a fine balance between that and more traditional accounts of this symphony, without ignoring the swift tempi required of it from the relatively new Barenreiter Edition, and yet, yielding an awe inspiring, truly magisteral performance (Personally, I've fallen in love with Haitink's interpretation, finding it somewhat more engrossing than either of Abbado's.). Indeed, this latest recording of the Beethoven 9th Symphony may be the most dramatic, most exciting account that I've heard, and one that's worthy of all the critical and popular acclaim it has earned so far. Moreover, the sound quality is exemplary thanks to the superb job in recording this performance live during two concerts in late April 2006 by producer James Mallinson and his team of engineers on behalf of the LSO Live label.

Haitink's interpretation is a no-nonsense, technically brilliant, yet still most mesmerizing, account of this symphony. He opens with a vividly intense first movement (Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso) dominated by exquisite playing from the winds and strings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Caution: be sure only to buy FROM Amazon directly
This is a great recording and I gave it 4 stars (would be 4.5 if I could do that).

BUT do not buy it from Newbury Comics!! Read more
Published 10 months ago by N. Hyland
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine historic performance of Beethoven's Ninth
Karl Bohm leads the Staatskapelle Dresden in this historic performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Featured vocalists include Magarethe Teschemacher, Torsten Ralf, Josef Herrmann,... Read more
Published 13 months ago by B. Cathey
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite recording
My favorite recording of Beethoven's 9th. Doesn't compare to the few actual live performances I've attended, but is a nice substitute in the meantime.
Published 18 months ago by BDC
5.0 out of 5 stars Harmonic density, symphonic drive, and orchestral cohesion = MAGIC +...
Quick tempo, clean orchestral sound, clarity and conciseness in tone characterize this recording. This reading by Haitink provides a feeling of gliding on a smooth surface with the... Read more
Published on December 7, 2011 by Vikram Ramanathan
2.0 out of 5 stars Just about avarage and not that shiny...
True - all those "market-place reviewers" fail to mention the fact that this recording sounds quite veiled, "dark" and "dead"; too dense, no real sound-spread, no breath. Read more
Published on August 30, 2011 by Judy Spotheim
4.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral"
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral" is a recording under the direction of Haitink who leads the Lonon Symphony Orchestra on this LSO Live recording from 2006. Read more
Published on April 2, 2011 by Bjorn Viberg
3.0 out of 5 stars the mp3s had drms!!!
I saw it on sale and bought it but I didn't know it had drms on it. A couple months later the mp3s expired and puff they are gone!! Great version of the 9th though. Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by bmiko728
5.0 out of 5 stars A NINTH TO JOIN THE TOP TIER!
Last month I attended a performance of the ninth by the Boston Symphony under the idiosynchratic and eccentric baton of Lorin Maazel. Read more
Published on December 5, 2009 by Gengler
2.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by too much distortion, technically speaking
I was doing perfectly fine with this recording right up until the chorus entered in the 4th movement. The distortion was intolerable. Read more
Published on November 19, 2009 by Kaiser Soze
3.0 out of 5 stars just average
In a field so full of important versions, any new Ninth requires some justification. Even by the Amazon customer reviews standards, so often exemplifying a certain hyperbole, the... Read more
Published on February 17, 2008 by Kostas A. Lavdas
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