Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
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This welcome reissue of an early stereo Westminster recording will please nostalgic collectors and help introduce new ones to Pierre Monteux's art. Largely restricted to French repertoire by the labels he recorded for, he was also a stellar conductor of the German repertory, especially the music of Beethoven and Brahms. The Beethoven 9th was made when Monteux was 87, but there's no hint of old age in this vigorous interpretation, full of energy and forward motion. Fluidity was a hallmark of Monteux's style, along with other virtues amply exhibited here, such as transparent textures and generous inner voices (he started his career as a violist). The slow movement is never swollen or turgid, always flowing and beautifully phrased. Jon Vickers makes more of the tenor solo in the fourth movement than anyone else I've heard in the part, but the movement does bog down in its bumpy choral phrasing. All in all, a Ninth worth hearing. --Dan Davis
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I own over 20 performances of Beethoven symphony #9.
This one is in the top 3.
Consider the publisher went out of its way to license from the original recording compnay,
pay royalty just to re-print this old tape on CD suggest strong appreciation for this timeless performance.
But that's not why I bought this title.
I listened to Pierre Monteux's Beethoven symphony #5 with London Philharmonic,
and was so blown away by it's unique and moving performance, that I wanted to explore maestro's other works.
My risk buy paid handsome dividend.