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Beethoven: Symphony No.9 Hybrid SACD - DSD


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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, April 9, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Michael Tilson Thomas leads the GRAMMY award-winning San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus in an all-new recording of Beethoven's monumental Symphony No.9. From its stormy opening to the towering fourth movement, Beethoven's final and perhaps greatest symphony is also one of the most universally loved works in all of classical music. The album features soprano Erin Wall, mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen, tenor William Burden and bass-baritone Nathan Berg. Beethoven's ninth is the latest addition to the San Francisco Symphony's catalog of Beethoven recordings and is offered as a premium audio hybrid SACD.

1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
2. Molto vivace
3. Adagio molto e cantabile-Andante moderato
4. Finale: Ode to Joy

Product Details

  • Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony
  • Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (April 9, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: SFS Media
  • ASIN: B00BQO3OW0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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The San Francisco Symphony, one of America's most forward-looking arts organizations, presents over 220 concerts each year, creates leading edge media initiatives such as Keeping Score on PBS television and its own Grammy-winning record label SFS Media, and serves its community with one of the most extensive education and community programs of any orchestra in the country. Led by its ... Read more in Amazon's San Francisco Symphony Store

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
64%
4 star
18%
3 star
18%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 11 customer reviews
I attended the concert, and this is a great recording of the live event.
a reader
The only better 9th is the Karajan 1963 recording, which in my opinion is the greatest performance of the greatest classical work.
Westonjm
As ever, he's the consummate professional, which isn't good enough when it comes to a pillar of Western civilization.
Santa Fe Listener

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By christina hierlihy on April 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The SFSO keeps trying to present Michael Tilson Thomas as a great conductor of the standard Austro/German repertoire, but they would be better served by giving that end of the spectrum to former director Herbert Blomstedt. As a conductor of 20th and 21st century music, MTT has few peers. His Beethoven strikes this listener as possessing up and down degrees of success. Witness the first movement of this new Beethoven's 9, which is lacking in focus and nearly completely devoid of good-old German 'sturm und drang' (storm and stress - intensity, in other words). The one thought that popped into my mind was 'clueless'. From here, things get better.

With its strict, 'chugging' rhythms, the second movement fits better into MTT's modern music sensibilities. All of the various solo timpani inserts are nicely done. But again, a tad more manic intensity wouldn't have hurt. And while the SFSO woodwind section isn't bad by any means, neither are they competitive with the truly great w.w. sections one could hear in Cleveland, New York, Amsterdam, Dresden, Prague or Berlin. For me, the one bright spot - along with the fine choral singing in the finale - is the slow movement.

In the third movement, MTT surprisingly allows Beethoven's songful melodies to flow at their pace - not over burdening them with excessively slow tempi. Why couldn't he have treated Mahler's slow movements in the same respectful manner? But to his credit, Tilson Thomas really focuses in on the slow movement and builds it to a true climax. Kudos.

As usual, the finale makes its ubiquitous strong, vibrant impression as witnessed by the more than enthusiastic applause at the end (they left the applause on, just in case you had any doubt as to the outcome of this performance).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erik North on December 9, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Few works in classical music pose as daunting a challenge to conductors and orchestras alike as Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony does. The product of a man who, by the time of its completion in 1823 and its premiere the following year, had become totally deaf, it is a work that requires extreme concentration on the part of the performers, because it involves nothing less than humanity itself. From the awesome, expanding measures of the first movement, to the demonic motoric drive of the Scherzo, the elegiac Adagio, and the explosive finale and choral setting of Friedrich von Schiller’s “Ode To Joy”, the Ninth not only encompasses humanity itself, in musical terms, it looks forward not only to the rest of the 19th century, but also to all of the 20th century and beyond. It takes a lot of skill to pull this off right; and it is one of those pieces that no self-respecting conductor can avoid.

Fortunately, Michael Tilson Thomas hasn’t avoided it, as demonstrated in this live recording by him and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on its own record label imprint. The recording also demonstrates his continuance of the orchestra’s world-class tradition, established way back in the 1940s by Pierre Monteux, and then accelerated in more recent decades by Seiji Ozawa, Edo De Waart, and Herbert Blomstedt. He is aided by four superb vocal soloists (Erin Weil; Kendall Gladen; William Burden; Nathan Berg) and the superlative San Francisco Symphony Chorus in the “Ode To Joy” climax; and this is all done within a reasonable time frame of about 71 minutes—not inordinately fire-sale fast like a lot of period-instrument performances, but not exactly slow either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brookes on December 22, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am no musician nor am I an expert on Beethoven's 9th Symphony. But I have been listening to this work for over 60 years and I have had many recordings from two-disc LP's to modern SACDs. I believe, after experiencing many recorded and live performances of this work, that I am attuned to Beethoven's intentions, what he is saying in the 9th. Firstly, let me say that this is a superbly recorded performance. From that aspect alone, it would be worth buying the CD. Beethoven's masterful use of orchestral color and dynamics is captured wonderfully by the engineers. Kudos to them. Secondly, let me say that there is no perfect 9th performance. So in many respects, the criticisms I voice here are niggling bothers that do not detract that much from a very good performance. The thrill that this music provides is there in abundance. But since one listens to a recording often many times, some small detractions become larger and more bothersome. MTT does not really do the first movement justice. There is a mystical, spiritual element to this music and MTT does not capture it. The the lines of melody are disconnected where they should be flowing. It gets better as the movement progresses but the mood is spoiled. The second movement is excellent. Thankfully, the tympanist is allowed his freedom and the result is, I think, exactly what Beethoven intended. This is the "worldly" movement in contrast to the spiritual first movement. Well done, MTT. And moving on to the romantic, loving strains of the third movement, again the orchestra creates the beautiful mood I believe Beethoven was expressing. And the final movement, the all important fusion of the elements of the work and the culmination of Beethoven's search for what is important in human experience, alas is a mixed bag.Read more ›
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