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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

L.V. Beethoven , Fritz Reiner , Chicago Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $9.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, "Choral" in D Minor: Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso15:50Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, "Choral" in D Minor: Molto vivace10:52Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, "Choral" in D Minor: Adagio molto e cantabile; Andante moderato16:57Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 9, Op. 125, "Choral" in D Minor: Presto; Allegro assai24:49Album Only


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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Fritz Reiner
  • Composer: L.V. Beethoven
  • Audio CD (January 18, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003FJS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,089 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the elite of Beethoven Ninths January 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
First, I will say that this Beethoven Ninth caught me by surprise. Years ago, I had listened only to a small portion of it on lp. Recently, I turned to selected excerpts and then was drawn excitedly to the complete cd. For me, this performance by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony contains in great measure those qualities that constitute the essence of this remarkable masterpiece--power, spirituality, mystery, beauty and excitement. A welcome characteristic of the recording is that, at times, it has a degree of presence and spontaneity that makes one feel this event was recorded live. Of course, this is (was) a Mohr/Layton production. The playing of the Chicago Symphony is superb throughout as is the singing of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, which frequently conveys majesty, beauty and strength. The soloists are fine, though tenor John McCollum doesn't quite project the character of Waldemar Kmentt in Karajan's 1962 version.

When I listened the first time to the beginning movement in its entirety, I was somewhat puzzled by Reiner's occasional tendency to slow the tempo in certain places in a way that seemed to have created some unevenness. On aesthetic grounds, this might be the only questionable point I raise about his interpretation. Though I view this first movement as a bit of a mixed bag, on balance it is mostly pretty good, with the opening sounding especially atmospheric. The second movement is about as perfectly judged and satisfyingly rendered as I have ever heard. The third is well detailed and beautifully expresssed. It evokes the image of an early morning sky whose colors and shades run the gamut from silken gray to mauve, pinkish orange and sunlit yellow. The beginning of the finale is nicely assertive.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Beethoven 9ths don't come close to this one! April 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate to first experience the power behind Beethoven's vision in this piece with this recording. That occurred in a Music Appreciation class I took in college. Even earlier, I can remember this recording of the second movement as the signature music that closed the NBC television network's weekday evening news show, the "Huntley/Brinkley Report," simply from its unique sound, approach, and playing. Adding extra power to the flow of the last movement are the well-recorded bass drum, triangle, and cymbals, quite evident in the march section.
Apart from the masterly performance of Reiner, his band and the Margaret Hillis-prepared Chicago Symphony Chorus, the only nits I might pick are weaker-than-usual soloists and an incoherently-recorded chorus. Perhaps the chorus problem might be cleared up when and if this recording makes it to Living Stereo CD treatment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, moving finish February 14, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
When I first listened to this performance about 15 years ago, I was initially underwhelmed, probably because of the first movement: great tonal beauty, but with slow and often uneven tempi. Mainly, it didn't seem to have the rhythmic snap that was uniquely Reiner's own.
But over the years, with repeated listenings, my respect for this recording has grown. The remaining three movements are as passionately played here as by any ensemble, and the Scherzo in particular brings real menace to the music (while remaining totally under control). Credit, too, to the soloists and chorus with coping so well with the Ode to Joy, which - for all its fame - is, objectively, as unvocal as vocal music can be.
Finally, the sound quality has held up remarkably well over four decades - a typical case of RCA's sonic excellence in the early days of stereo. Some tape hiss is evident, but the beautiful acoustic of Orchestra Hall comes over in full.
Not the performance to immediately grab the listener, but ultimately among the most satisfying - especially when one considers this (recorded in 1961) was one of Reiner's final Chicago performances, after a heart attack nearly felled him. (He made one more recording, the Brahms Symphony No. 4, in 1963, the final year of his life.)
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome December 27, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Fritz Reiner knew how to conduct works of power. Beethoven's 9th Symphony epitimizes powerful music. In short, Reiner and Beethoven go hand in hand. This performance is incredibly disciplined and very highly charged. Reiner's quartet sings the "Ode to Joy" as well as anybody. This one can thrill even somebody who has heard the 9th several times. Reiner at his best.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low tech Beethoven February 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I have three recordings of Beethoven's 9th-Toscanini, Solti and now Reiner. The Reiner is the most deliberate and "moderate" of the three, not as scintillating as Solti's and with more modulated tempi than Toscanini. It also seems better thought through than Solti's, with attention paid to the tempi and dynamics that bring out the beauty of the piece without exaggeration of volume or rhythm. As with so many of Reiner's recordings, he lets the piece shine through with less imposition of his own styistic features than some other conductors.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first movement is tepid, the last three are great October 19, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you come cold to this Beethoven Ninth and begin to listen not knowing anything about Reiner's reputation, his first movement is disappointing. It lacks commitment; the tempo is almost a dog trot; the orchestra plays skillfully but without passion. Later on, however, Reiner turns in a flowing, songful third movement that is one of the most controlled and lyrically beautiful on disc. The scherzo is rhythmically secure and vigorous. And the last movement, so often blown out of proportion in the search to blaze its way to heaven, is made to sing in a musically satisfying way without resorting to rhetoric.

For these three movements I love this performance. As for the sound, it is clear but rather shallow, and in the Adagio especially the strings sound too recessed. Fortunately, the astonishingly accurate and secure Chicago Sym. chorus comes through vividly, without the usual muddiness. I've never heard better on disc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars with other fine soloists. The Reiner and the Munch (BSO) recordings...
Reiner and the Chicago Symphony could record chop-sticks and it would be a master piece. This recording of the 9th includes Phyllis Curtin, soprano, with other fine soloists. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Gary Gillespie
5.0 out of 5 stars Reiner's finest Beethoven recording.
Reiner's 9th merits 5 stars firstly because it is one of the four finest 9ths that I know and love dearly, the other three being Horenstein/
Vox, Koussevitsky/RCA from the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by peter cates
5.0 out of 5 stars a welcome mixture of steely control and warmth
-overall it is less than two minutes slower than Szell's version and quite similar to the tempi of Jochum/RCOA and Haitink RCOA. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Kirk List
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven and Reiner: A Recording for all Ages!
Having spent the better part of two days listening and comparing various recordings of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, I have come to this conclusion: There are "no" comparisons. Read more
Published on June 25, 2011 by Larry T. French
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest conductor doing the greatest symphony!
Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Ninth on RCA Victor's Living Stereo digitally remastered?! Read more
Published on February 16, 2011 by The Dude
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
This Ninth is something of a departure for Reiner's recorded Beethoven legacy. The recordings of the "odd" numbered symphonies for RCA apply a more rigorous classical approach to... Read more
Published on July 25, 2008 by Virginia Opera Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite among many! Abthowootly fablouth!
Well, as for the Beethoven 9th, I'll mention that I have one particular favorite, the "Reiner/CSO" on RCA Gold Seal. Read more
Published on May 12, 2008 by Mark Zimmerman
4.0 out of 5 stars Some technical problems...
This recording has received a lot of praise from other reviewers. However, I would like to tell all prospective music consumers that the technical problems of this recording must... Read more
Published on March 16, 2007 by L. Johan
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