Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 [2000 Recording]

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 [2000 Recording]

by Karita Mattila
     
 

If you had to pick one defining quality of Claudio Abbado's acclaimed Beethoven Symphony cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic, released in 2000, it would probably be the splendid level of detail. It seems as if every part, no matter how insignificant, comes though in crystalline clarity, perfectly…  See more details below

Overview

If you had to pick one defining quality of Claudio Abbado's acclaimed Beethoven Symphony cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic, released in 2000, it would probably be the splendid level of detail. It seems as if every part, no matter how insignificant, comes though in crystalline clarity, perfectly balanced in the blend of instrumental colors. And that's certainly true of their live performance of the mighty Ninth, available here on a single CD separate from the complete box set. Parts will jump out that you hadn't paid much attention to before: the growly low bassoon at the build-up about 1:30 into the first movement, for example, or the flute's lovely syncopated accents about two minutes later. Then there are the parts you can't miss -- like the thunderous timpani at the opening of the Scherzo -- which sound especially vivid. But aside from clarity of texture, the other striking feature is the Berlin's incomparably beautiful sound. In the Adagio, for instance, listen to the warmth of the strings' tone, or the richness of the winds, which weave their interlacing lyric lines into a smooth, seamless whole. This is orchestral playing of the first order; the Berlin has certainly flourished under Abbado's tenure. Soloists Karita Mattila, Violeta Urmana, Thomas Moser, and Thomas Quasthoff add their voices to the concluding "Ode to Joy," which Abbado molds to thrilling effect. There are dozens of versions of this symphony to choose from, and some of the most prized ones feature this very same orchestra. But if you're looking for a top-choice recording from the digital age, you needn't search any further.

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Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Richard Osborne
I have never heard the finale of the Ninth Symphony so astutely and lucidly performed and recorded, the inner part-writing, vocal and choral, crystal-clear.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/09/2002
Label:
Dg Imports
UPC:
0028947149125
catalogNumber:
471491
Rank:
260798

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral") Op. 125  - Ludwig van Beethoven  - Claudio Abbado  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  -  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir  - Tõnu Kaljuste  - Karita Mattila  - Thomas Moser  - Hartmut Pfeiffer  - Thomas Quasthoff  - Friedrich von Schiller  -  Swedish Radio Choir

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