on February 1, 2002
I own more than a *few* M9s. My first was the historic 1939 Walter, but the mono sound was SO bad, I only listened to it occasionally. When I got the Bernstein NYPO, everything shot off like a rocket from there. (It was the STEREO sound and the much longer finale that did it.) Thus, now I have 12 recordings of the M9.
Anyway, let me point out that the Audite performance presented here is NOT the same performance of Kubelik's that you'll find on DG (which I own on single disc under the Resonance label); instead, the Audite is supremely better! What was wrong with the DG performance? Basically, the sound was crass and the playing less than exquisite. Oh, and I felt that the finale was much too swift. None of those problems are present in Kubelik's Audite account.
The Audite is a live 1967 concert performance from Tokyo, Japan. Unlike the DG account, the Audite CD boasts fabulous playing and total committment throughout, full of fire and passion. Most importantly, this version seems to find a perfect balance between simply playing what the composer wrote and satisfying the need for the conductor to express himself through interpretation of the music. The only thing I might warn some of you about is that this is, afterall, a single disc ninth, so the movements might be a little too swift for some of you at parts. But that's only a minor admonition. If you own the Bernstein/NYPO, Haitink, or Barbirolli single disc accounts, you will no doubt love this recording.
Thus, for those reasons above, I strongly recommend this disc to you. Kubelik's Audite M9 is most definitely in my top five to ten single disc recordings of the ninth.
Go for it!
on April 19, 2002
I basically second the judgment of the previous reviewer; however I would note that the album cover indicates that the performance is from 1975, not 1967.
Kubelik does a wonderful job of balancing the aching lyrical beauty against the dark dramatic fatalism of the music. He uses rubato in a very masterful, telling way to highlight key phrases, climaxes and transitions. The recording is very clear sounding, and Kubelik further enhances the clarity of the work's considerable contrapuntal detail by employing divided violins.
It is a performance that, while it avoids extremes, lacks nothing in its commitment and intensity. Buy it!