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  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Egmont Overture
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Egmont Overture Extra tracks, Import

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, January 2, 2001
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Beethoven: Music To Goethe's Tragedy "Egmont" Op.84Ferenc Fricsay 8:54Album Only
listen  2. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestosoFerenc Fricsay16:41Album Only
listen  3. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 2. Molto vivaceFerenc Fricsay10:31Album Only
listen  4. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 3. Adagio molto e cantabileFerenc Fricsay18:00Album Only
listen  5. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 4. PrestoFerenc Fricsay 6:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Beethoven: Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 - "Choral" - 4. Presto - Allegro assaiFerenc Fricsay17:00Album Only

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When I was first introduced to Ferenc Fricsay in Salzburg in 1948 – he was conducting Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé – it was already clear to me that he had it in him to enjoy a major career, but what I did not suspect at that time was that our meeting would lead to an artistic and personal ... Read more in Amazon's Ferenc Fricsay Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Egmont Overture + Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 + Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Coriolan Overture
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ferenc Fricsay
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (January 2, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import
  • Label: Dg Imports
  • ASIN: B000056TKC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,384 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This is simply one of the greatest, most deservedly legendary recordings of Beethoven's 9th Symphony ever offered to the public. Tempos and dynamics vary widely, with Fricsay always considerate of the works many thematic challenges. His handling of the subtle rhythmic gradations of the Molto vivace is peerless and prepare yourself for one of the most exhilarating Allegro assai finales this side of Toscanini. With a line up of soloists including Irmgard Seefried, Maureen Forrester, Ernst Haefliger, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau all in their vocal prime as well, it simply doesn't get any better than this. Deutsche Grammophon's rich well-balanced sound is very good for it's vintage. No matter how many performances of this frequently recorded masterpiece you may already own, don't miss Fricsay's!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I recommend this issue wholeheartedly.
The conductor is successful in drawing fairly precise ensemble work from the orchestra without the music sounding lockstep.
Joseph Kline PhD, MD
This is one of the best recordings of Beethoven's 9th that I have ever heard.
Gerald Rains

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Plaza Marcelino on January 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I cannot but wholeheartedly share my colleagues' enthusiasm for this recording. I grew up with it (and, in fact still own the original 2-LP red album shown in this CD's cover, numbered by DGG -yes, back then they had an extra "D" in their name- as 138002/3 SLPM, one of their very first essays in the then novel stereophonic technology) and it still remains very close to me. Besides the 9th Symphony and the Egmont Overture presented in this reissue, the original release included an excellent rendition of the Leonora Overture No. 3, left out now (I suppose) so that a second CD would not be needed. The CD's higher transfer volume helps in bringing the sound closer to the listener (DGG apparently having decided to play it safe when their engineers cut the LPs' masters in 1958) and conferring to it an immediacy and transparency new to me whilst preserving its beautiful tone.

There's not much I can add to what has been written by others in this site, apart perhaps that by 1957 the Berlin Philharmonic still was very much, staff-wise, what it was under Furtwangler and it shows in this recording's sonority. After all, the grand old man had died scarcely 3 years before these works were put into tape, Karajan had just taken over the orchestra as chief conductor and the lean, muscular and to-the-point sound that became characteristic under his long regime was still two or three years into the future.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic recording of Beethoven's famous ninth symphony. It's the first stereo recording of the symphony, and still very few other recordings come up to its standard, if any.
The first movement is as it should be (and far too often isn't): lively, gradiose, but without pomposity, and in some way barbaric. The second movement, Molto vivace, really dances, and has a rythmic drives that carries it forward and takes you along. The slow movement is really played rather slowly (18 minutes), but it's the most beautiful rendition of it I have ever heard. Fricsay shapes the melody with real care for every little detail, and he manages to make it really sound like music from heaven. Then, after these 18 minutes of gorgeous serenity, the finale comes as a fresh breath of air. Sheer joy shines from this movement, in which Fricsay, unlike many other conductors, avoids being pompous. The soloists are all excellent and in top form, and they sing the music with real vigour and joy.
The orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, is in as fine a form as ever, and the recorded sound is excellent. It sometimes, but very seldom, gets a bit muddy, especially in the first movement, but most of the time it is really sharp with a clarity comparable to that of any later recording. There is only one little problem: There is a lot of tape hiss in the background. But then again: The performance is so good that you have forgotten it after five minutes of listening.
So, finally: A wonderful performance of one of the greatest symphonies ever, far better than the famous Karajan recording, which I find rather cold (compared to this one, at least). I must admit, I haven't heard any recording by Furtwängler, but until that happens this will be my favourite recording of the ninth. A tragedy that Fricsay died so young. If he had lived longer, he would surely have been recognized as one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century, comparable to Karajan, Bernstein and Toscanini.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michael Brad Richman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Ferenc Fricsay's performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (and Egmont Overture) with the Berlin Philharmonic has to be counted among the greatest versions ever recorded. Reissued on CD in the DG Originals series (don't confuse it with Karajan's 9th featuring a remarkably similar cover), this was the first version of the 9th to appear in stereo back in 1958, and it was Deutsche Grammophon's first ever stereo recording with the Berlin Philharmonic. It was a landmark event to be sure, and who better to entrust it with than Fricsay, a colossal figure in his day. Had he not died tragically young at age 48 in 1963, Fricsay would surely be mentioned today in the same company as Karajan and Bernstein. But Fricsay is presently getting his due as two recent reissues attest -- his "Great Conductors of the Century" collection won a Grammophone Award prompting DG to release a 9-CD box set of his recordings in their "Original Masters" series (see my reviews for both titles). Anyway, this glowing account of the 9th is a great place to begin with Fricsay, then be prepared to want more by this brilliant conductor.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Moldyoldie on July 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've read about it for years; so many people saying it's the greatest ever, but I always said: "Ach, I already have too many Beethoven Ninths". Well, I finally broke down and bought it.

Some random thoughts and things that caught my ear to which I found singular to this performance/recording:

-First off, the recording is fine remastered late-'50s stereo, but cannot be mistaken for modern digital. Strings and highs might seem a bit steely, but that didn't bother me. All orchestral sections are vividly portrayed. Fortissimos are crisp and distinct, pianissimos well-distinguishable. Recording perspective puts one on the podium with what sounds like a multi-mike arrangement; i.e., typical Deutsche Grammophon. However, the winds, brass, and tympani are treated as equals to the strings, unlike later with Karajan.

-The first movement pianissimo string tremolos are barely audible beneath that marvelous opening motif, as well as later when repeated. I'm used to hearing the tremolos more pronounced and would probably prefer it that way.

-The first movement builds and ebbs with great aplomb and the crescendos culminate with tympani blazing in the same fashion as Furtwängler/'42, though not quite as overwhelming as to drown the proceedings and rock the foundations, but you definitely know the tympani are there!

-The scherzo second movement offers a tempo which I'd describe as conventional, certainly slower that Karajan and perhaps faster than Böhm/'72. No problems there.

-I had never heard the cellos as pronounced in the second movement as on this recording. Loved it!

-The adagio third movement is beautifully and slowly rendered; the notes say 18:00.
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