- Audio CD (April 21 1995)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B000001GPY
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,646 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Symphony No 9
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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
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This version is interesting in that it causes a lot of debate: some don't like it, some don't see why it is so popular (as some of the reviews here show), and some find it definitive. Having listened to the 9th for well over 40 years, and having heard more versions than I can count on LP, CD, and live, this is still the one version I'd select if I had to have only one on a desert island. It's not the most adventurous version by any means: it pushes no boundaries. What it does do is deliver a rock-solid performance, as "classic" as you can get, at a decent tempo with excellent recording and dynamics.
There are other versions of the 9th I also love, including, probably second on my list, the Klaus Tennstedt with the London Philharmonic (especially when you know the backstory about this being one of his last few concerts due to a critical illness), but as much as I like that recording (both performance and engineering), this old set of discs from DGG are the ones I will take over all the others, every time. Karajan recorded the 9th four times (as far as I know, 3 for DG and 1 for EMI) but this is the quintessential recording.
Perhaps not the most dramatic, perhaps not the one that pushes the envelope, but definitely the one to compare all the others to, despite its age. Sometimes, old is good!
(P.S. The soloists are indeed powerful and joyous and amazingly skilled and just unbelievably competent... but the timpani do indeed sound like tin pots. Karma, I suppose.)
With just these three movements, this would be a classic recording. But the finale simply steals the show. The soloists are absolutely perfect; particularly Janowitz is magnificent, since in most other recordings that part is overbearing to say the least, but even in the most prominent and difficult parts, Janowitz works perfectly with the other soloists and the orchestra. Delightfully, despite the magnificent soloists, the orchestra is not overshadowed; in fact it comes into its own here and makes for a unique and beautiful artistic experience. A must for any serious collector.
The Coriolan overture is played with all the fire and fury that Beethoven would want it to be played with. Karajan did it again!
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Perhaps one of, if not the, greatest performance of recorded history. This is an impeccible experience offered up by the Berliner Philharmoniker by the and...Read more
Perhaps one of, if not the, greatest performance or recorded history. This is an impeccible experience offered up by yjr Berliner Philharmoniker,...Read more