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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Coriolan Overture

Ludwig van Beethoven , Herbert von Karajan , Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra , Wiener Singverein , Gundula Janowitz , Waldemar Kmentt , Walter Berry , Hilde Rössel-Majdan Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Price: $12.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 6 Songs, 1996 $5.94  
Audio CD, 1996 $12.75  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: Overture "Coriolan", Op.62Berliner Philharmoniker 9:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestosoBerliner Philharmoniker15:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 2. Molto vivaceBerliner Philharmoniker11:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 3. Adagio molto e cantabileBerliner Philharmoniker16:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" / 4. - Presto -Berliner Philharmoniker 6:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" / 4. - Presto - "O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!" - Allegro assaiBerliner Philharmoniker17:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Coriolan Overture + Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 + Mozart: Great Piano Concertos
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Product Details

  • Performer: Gundula Janowitz, Waldemar Kmentt, Walter Berry, Hilde Rössel-Majdan
  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Singverein
  • Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (January 23, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GPY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,268 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This performance is also available on Deutsche Grammophon in an earlier, mid-price incarnation, but this version is clearly the one to own, since the remastered sound is a definite improvement over previous issues. Herbert von Karajan always did a good job with this symphony, and his performances are quite consistent, even down to the very backward-balance of the chorus. By general consensus, though, this is the best of them. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highest rating (and a few corrections) September 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD
By any measure this is one of the greatest Beethoven Ninths on disc. The quality of the interpretation hasn't been well stated in the reviews here, however.

Karajan in 1962 wanted to perform Beethoven in a modern way compared to the overtly spiritual, often very slow, heavy, and rubato-laden style of the past in Germany. This recording is a lyrical Ninth in many ways: the entire slow movement is lightly voiced and songful, and in the last movement Karajan takes the vocal line faster and with more smoothness, less effort than usual.

By comparison, Karajan wasn't as hectically fast or intense as Toscanini, not as straight-faced and diect as Weingartner, not as willful and overplayed as Stokowski, not as granitic and solemn as Klemperer. He was finding his own way, and being the master conductor of the age, his aproach is fascinating in every bar.

The overall impression is a natural arc moving from the mystery of the opening bars to the palpable joy and reverence of the finale. In this respect his 1962 Ninth is unique.

Now as to the sound. The chorus is very large and remotely placed, which can make it sound diffuse but not murky or muffled as some have claimed. The winds are recorded forward of the strings rather than in their midst. As with many mono recordings, the mike placement gives the perspective, not of a front-row seat, much less a conductor's x-ray perspective, but a middle-row--this means that there is much less highlighting of solos than we are used to from digital recordings and multi-microphones. The blending of voices is more obvious here, especially in the woodwinds.

That's all I wanted to point out. Whether this Ninth is the "greatest" is a bit of a pointless contest, but its excellence is undeniable. Five stars well deserved.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite version by far November 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
There are an awful lot of Karajan-haters out there. What I have noticed is criticisms generally range from "he was too smooth with his sounds, especially in his later years" to "The performance left me cold, it was too perfect" to "He was a Nazi, you knew that, right?" Well, I find most of these criticisms either irrelevant or naive. For all I know, old HvK may well have been a Nazi, but it certainly does not affect my opinion of his conducting, just like such things don't stop people from buying Mercedes-Benzes or Volkswagens. As for the other criticisms concerning smoothness, unity of sound and perfect execution, I ask you this: would you rather get a flavor of the conductor, or that of the composer? With overly interpretive conductors, you typically get a result that has the conductor's fingerprints in every nook and cranny, thus tarnishing the original intentions of the composer. This is not to say that Karajan has never altered tempo for his own aims at sound, but I like that Karajan let's it flow while engaged in a section, not constantly re-adjusting tempos, therefor not leaving his own stool behind, like so many conductors do (especially modern ones).

... anyways, about the music, this may well be the finest performance of this work. The tempi are furious in the opening and scherzo, as they should be. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end for the majority of the first two movements- we're talking Toscanini-fast tempi here. As for the slow movement, it is admirably pulled off if not quite as engaging as the preceding movements. In the finale, we have a vocal quartet which remains unsurpassed since, and a resultant finale that ranks among the all-time greats in terms of choice of tempi and overall performance execution.
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121 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificently sung and played, but ... April 8, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is Herbert von Karajan's THIRD of FIVE recordings of Beethoven's last and probably greatest symphony. It boasts the finest solo quartet on disc, the finest orchestral playing, but in the end, something is missing. This recording gets off to a great start with an electrically intense, gloriously played first movement. Karajan's ideal orchestral texture is at the service of emotion and interpretation, as it is in all his greatest recordings - and not the other way around, as it is in almost all of his recordings from the last twenty years of his life. The scherzo is similarly intense, at a fast tempo, and similarly well played, but the recording is a handicap: the all-important timpani lack presence and volume. But the third movement is probably the weakest part of this recording. The adagio gets it off to an excellent start with playing of hushed beauty from the Berlin Philharmonic. But as soon as we enter the andante moderato section, the spell is broken. This section is marked "espressivo" and piano, but we get matter-of-fact playing somewhere between mezzo piano and mezzo forte. A comparison to Furtwängler's recording (EMI Great Recordings of the Century) reveals the hushed, flowing serenity that this movement lacks in Karajan's hands. But as soon as we reach the finale, started off by a particularly jolting dissonance, all troubles are forgotten for the moment. Karajan's direction does not become matter-of-fact as we are taken on what can easily seem like a whistle-stop highlights tour of the first three movements. But then, with the hushed entrance of the famous "Joy" theme, we run into trouble again. Karajan's tempo for this section strikes me as too fast, and the playing is not as quiet and meditative as it can and should be. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favourites
Published 3 months ago by Russell Cairns
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic!
I do not profess to be knowledgeable in the field of classical music but I do know what I like and what I do not. Read more
Published 9 months ago by P.A.C.Oldfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
I've yet to find a digital recording of the 9th that brings out the flavor of the orchestra, especially the strings. However, this comes pretty close.
Published 10 months ago by Mark Mahar
5.0 out of 5 stars Best recording of the 9th
This recording is indeed a lyrical interpretation of the 9th. The ponderous pace of most recordings suck the life out of the soul of this symphony. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Burgess said it best...
"Then, brothers, it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed, rot open in bliss, slooshying the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Yslsl
5.0 out of 5 stars Beetoven's best.
This is my absolute favorite work from Beethoven. He has many great works, but this one stands alone. This is performed by a great orchestra and conductor.
Published 19 months ago by P & M
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful rendition
An outstanding choral and orchestra performance. This is a recording I would be happy to recommend to all who appreciate Beethoven's masterwork.
Published 21 months ago by Marilyn Trent
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my faves
probubly one of the best recordings of this perticuler piece of music ive ever heard . and i dont even know if it has been digitaly remasterd .
Published 21 months ago by bullshanon
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite recording of the 9th.
I bought this as Karajan's is my favorite recording of the 9th. (I might be somewhat biased as the very first recording I ever heard of the 9th was Karajan's). Read more
Published on August 27, 2011 by S
5.0 out of 5 stars Karajan and Beethoven, together for eternity.
As an avid collector of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, this recording is among my top few. While Solti's 1972 recording remains my absolute favourite, the great Karajan effortlessly... Read more
Published on July 10, 2011 by samiam
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Karajan - Beethoven Symphony No. 9
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