- Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125
Great credit must go to the engineers at THS Studio Holger Seidler and Profil for their brilliant restoration of Karl Böhm's 1941 Electrola recording of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Choral," with the Dresden Staatskapelle. But make no mistake: this is a historic recording with many apparent sound problems; and for all the cleaning of surface noises, precise editing of the shellac discs (no less than 17 sides!), and reasonable boosting of volume levels where needed, this still sounds like an old recording and quite far from the clear sound and depth of contemporary CDs. Historians and collectors of vintage records will be thoroughly impressed with the exciting performance, which is remarkably brisk and vigorous for its time, and they will find that the details in the inner parts are fully audible in Böhm's transparent interpretation. They will also note with pleasure the lack of bombast in the "Ode to Joy." The quartet of vocalists -- soprano Margarete Teschemacher, alto Elisabeth Höngen, tenor Torsten Ralf, and baritone Josef Herrmann -- is expressive and ecstatic where necessary, but controlled and not prone to excessive warbling; and the Dresden State Opera Chorus is not too large or ponderous sounding. Because there are many fine digital recordings of Beethoven's "Ninth" available, running the gamut from conventional readings to historically informed versions on period instruments, this venerable reissue is not recommended as a first choice for those starting a collection, but only for listeners who know the symphony well and who may be interested in its fascinating recording history.
|Label:||Profil - G Haenssler|