- Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125 - Ludwig van Beethoven - Bruno Walter - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Vienna State Opera Chorus - Gottlob Frick - Hilde Güden - Elisabeth Höngen - Erich Majkut
Beethoven: Sinfonie No. 9by Bruno Walter
The standard American Bruno Walter Beethoven "Ninth" is the stereo Columbia Symphony recording. Filled with the wisdom of a lifetime on the podium, the Columbia Symphony "Ninth" is Walter at the pinnacle of his career. The alternative American Walter "Ninth" is the mono New York Philharmonic recording. Filled with the passionate intensity of the conducting heir of Mahler, the New York Philharmonic "Ninth" is Walter at the peak of his powers. But the standard European Walter "Ninth" is this one from the re-opening of the Vienna State Opera in November 1955. Although previously available only on pirate labels, the performance was well-known among the cognoscenti as the most heroic, the most fervent, and by far the most ecstatic Walter "Ninth." Walter had long been associated with Vienna and the Vienna Philharmonic and their bond was deep and real. Re-affirming that bond in this performance recorded during their re-opening meant re-affirming the value of music, of community, and ultimately, of humanity. Through the titanic drama of the opening Allegro ma non troppo through the immense games of the Molto vivace and the unbearable beauty of the Adagio molto e cantabile to the overwhelming bliss of the closing "Ode to Joy," Walter and the Vienna rise above the sorrows of this world to the paradise where all men are brothers and joy is always and everywhere. While some might quibble with Erich Majkut's somewhat breathless tenor, soprano Hilde Güden, alto Elisabeth Höngen, and especially bass Gottlob Frick are as fine as any singers who've ever taken on the parts and they are clearly thrilled to be singing again under Walter. Orfeo's remastered sound -- clean, honest, and true -- is surely the best sound the performance has ever received.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsBruno Walter Primary Artist
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