Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral"

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Raymond Leppard conducted Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D minor" with the Ambrosian Singers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994, and his meticulous recording is a testament to the performers' skills and the potential of digital technology, if not really a document of a great performance. While the music may impress through its remarkable clarity and crispness, and satisfy some audiophiles for its wide dynamic range, pristine details, and nearly lifelike fidelity, it never rises to the level of a stirring emotional experience, and anyone who has encountered any of the legendary recordings of the "Ninth" will find Leppard's reading seriously lacking ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Raymond Leppard conducted Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D minor" with the Ambrosian Singers and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1994, and his meticulous recording is a testament to the performers' skills and the potential of digital technology, if not really a document of a great performance. While the music may impress through its remarkable clarity and crispness, and satisfy some audiophiles for its wide dynamic range, pristine details, and nearly lifelike fidelity, it never rises to the level of a stirring emotional experience, and anyone who has encountered any of the legendary recordings of the "Ninth" will find Leppard's reading seriously lacking in mystery, power, beauty, and ecstasy. The first movement has no feeling of terror or tragic majesty, but comes across a bit more as a Classical movement in the mannered style of Sturm und Drang: dark and brooding, perhaps, but a little too elegant and refined. The scherzo is clean and fleet, but in Leppard's hands it seems quite careful, cautious, and restrained, and not the Romantic maelstrom that is more characteristic of Beethoven. The Adagio molto e cantabile is lovely in tone and pretty in a Rococo way, but it is rather rushed, taken almost as an Andantino, and Leppard never touches the deeper emotions that this music should summon. Last of all, the Finale is focused, fast, and technically proficient, but for the first half, this is a stilted, superficial, and sometimes silly-sounding "Ode to Happiness," not the awe-inspiring and transcendent "Ode to Joy" that is required. Only after the fugal chorus "Seid umschlungen, Millionen!" do things pick up and sound properly cosmic and Beethovenian. In the end, as scrupulously executed and polished as this performance decidedly is, it is not a challenging or moving rendition, and it is perhaps best used by students for following a score, rather than heard as an edifying musical experience.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2008
  • Label: Royal Phil Masterwrk
  • UPC: 723721383657
  • Catalog Number: 28210
  • Sales rank: 172,369

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–5 Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125 - Ludwig van Beethoven & Raymond Leppard (70:22)
    Composed byLudwig van Beethoven
    Conducted byRaymond Leppard
    Performed byRaymond Leppard, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    1. 1Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
    2. 2Molto Vivace
    3. 3Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante - Moderato
    4. 4Presto
    5. 5Presto "O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!" - Allegro assai, "Ode to Joy"
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