4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Far and away the best 9th ever...,
This review is from: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
I decided to write this review only because I read the others, and a few of them left me scratching my head, but to each his own...
The symphony is my favorite form of classical composition, and I have studied the whole life of the symphonic form. That being said, I think that LvB's 9th Symphony is, overall, the greatest symphony ever written. LvB's 3rd Symphony abruptly changed the course of symphonic composition (not to mention classical music as a whole), but after his 9th, there could be no turning back. There are many, many composers who were practically haunted by the mark LvB left, namely Brahms.
But anyway, back to the recording itself: I have listend and compared many recordings of the 9th over the years, and in my humble opinion, this one is easily the best. I mainly pay attention to the small, intricate orchestral details, pacing, overall sound, and how the singers blend with the orchestra. Many recordings do well in two or three of my catagories, but this is the only one that excells on all fronts. I have spent years trying to find a recording better than this one, and my search continues...
As a side note, the best recording on period instruments is by Harnoncourt leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe & the Arnold Schoenberg Choir. A close second is Hogwood leading the Academy of Ancient Music and the London Symphony Chorus, but it's only available as a box set.
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Initial post: Sep 6, 2009 2:16:22 AM PDT
Thomas Plotkin says:
Good review, but a small correction -- Harnoncourt's COE LvB is not really a period instrument recording -- only the brass (and of those, possibly only the trombones) and timpani were olde instruments. Which is telling to me -- if a period instrument Godfather like Harnoncourt thinks Beethoven sounds awful played on gut strings, we should take him seriously.
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