- Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral") Op. 125 - Ludwig van Beethoven - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - Anilda Carrasquillo - Nick Jones - Alastair Miles - Donald Runnicles - Mary Dunleavy - Stephen Gould - Atlanta Symphony Chorus - Elizabeth Bishop
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9by Donald Runnicles
At the hands of Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9" receives a fairly conventional performance, competently played but neither inspired nor especially insightful. One might classify this as an old-school romantic interpretation, or perhaps a mannered imitation of that style since it sometimes strives for greatness through grandiosity, but without an emotional core. The first movement has some dramatic moments -- the recapitulation is particularly monumental -- but overall lacks tension and drive, flagging at several points for introspective musings. Runnicles lets what little energy he has built up dissipate through an exaggerated ritardando in the coda. The Scherzo is energetic and brisk, but somewhat mechanical and remote, more ice than fire, and there is a lack of warmth in the Trio, symptomatic of the hasty tempo that should have been tempered. The Adagio has fine coloration in the woodwinds and some expressive string playing, but too much rubato weakens the structure and makes the music episodic. Surprisingly, the choral finale comes off better than the previous movements, less distorted by whimsical tempi and given a boost from the quartet of vocalists and chorus. Released in 2003, the recording provides vivid sound when the orchestra obliges.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsDonald Runnicles Primary Artist
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I have heard several recordings of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and this one is truly the best of them all. The second movement and the Turkish march in the fourth movement are especially well done by conductor Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.