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Beethoven, Van L.: Symphony No. 9, "Choral"
 
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Beethoven, Van L.: Symphony No. 9, "Choral"

1 Oct 2009 | Format: MP3

7.49 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
1
14:52
2
13:39
3
14:12
4
23:01

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan 2000
  • Label: BIS
  • Copyright: (C) 2000 BIS
  • Total Length: 1:05:44
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002WO0HUA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,517 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I hate to disagree with Santa Fe Listener, whose reviews on American amazon.com are always forcefully written and enlightening, but I'm going to go out on a limb here. I want to suggest that his expectations of the Ninth are the wrong ones. Finally, it's not one of the great heaven-storming Beethoven symphonies -- these would be the Third, the Fifth, and the Seventh -- and I think that Vanska and the Minnesotans do less well with these than they do with the Eighth and (especially) the Sixth -- Vanska's Sixth is the best there is for me. But the Ninth isn't on the level of 3, 5, and 7 for expressive force. I think its spirit is comic, and that its thematic material doesn't haunt the imagination in the way that 3, 5, and 7 do. The finale, I think -- once the voices start -- is about Joy and at the end the Joy has the exuberance of sheer fun and wit. Beethoven is having a good time -- and this spirit is what this recording captures marvelously. When the orchestra cranks up again after the alla marcia section with tenor and chorus, we're off to the races, and it's just invigorating, and in the closing bars, it's like fireworks. Yes, I know Furtwangler did it differently, and did it at Bayreuth's re-opening after the war, and that that was iconic, yadda, yadda, yadda -- but I think that kind of reading misses the point.

The earlier movements aren't agonistic in the manner of the great tragic symphonies (3 and 5), they're more graceful and even humorous, and they are played for grace and humor here. I still prefer Dohnanyi's Telarc 1985 sound in the first three movements -- Vanska's sound is absolutely beautiful but it's a bit bass-light, whereas the Telarc engineers get the lower strings going better and create a fuller texture.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Peacock on 1 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
By any standards, this is a superb rendition of Beethoven's last, ground-breaking symphony.

Although his version is played by a regular symphony orchestra, as you would expect, Vanska has obviously taken on board the some of the tenets of the period performance movement. This is a modern Ninth Symphony, with an eye towards the musical language of High Classicism on which Beethoven cut his teeth and which he subsequently refined and pushed to its limits. Vanska's approach demonstrates as much as any performance I have heard that the genesis of this symphony stems from the Classical era - however much the later nineteenth century regarded the work as the herald of a new, Romantic era for the genre - and he does this without any loss of scale or gravitas.

Along side this, Vanska also conducts with almost clinical precision. My one (minor, in the context of the disc as a whole) quibble is that sometimes Vanska's iron grip on the music leaves you feeling that the performance is a little too controlled. There were a few occasions where I felt that he needed to let himself go a bit and allow the composer's sure sense of form and argument to speak for itself. In this respect, for example, the awe-inspiring recapitulation in the first movement didn't quite have the frisson it should have and it felt as though some of the composer's energy was being slightly reined in. As I say, though, this is only a minor complaint - Vanska's conducting is always at the service of the music, unlike a Karajan (for example) in whose performances you sometimes feel that technical perfection and beauty of sound are ends in themselves.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Nov 2008
Format: Audio CD
I continue to be amazed by this series. All of the performances seem special and many go straight to the top of my list of best versions that I know (and I know a good few). And this Choral is one of those - it is a real cracker! (An award winner, too).

Not that long ago I bought the excellent LSO Live Haitink 9th and was stunned by it. But this Vanska version is somehow even more special. It sometimes seems almost unwolrdly by comparison and makes you see the Haitink as a really very good conventional account (perhaps the best) while this is something more ... Beethoven is realised afresh by Vanska and yet Vanska's work is not about "artist's ego" - this is still very much Beethoven.

I've written reviews here about the other Vanska Beethovens that I have heard and I won't repeat all the virtues I find in these accounts. I've run out of words. Let me just say that if you are new to this series, give the experience a little time: it's clarity might seem a little cold at first but fascination soon turns to love.

In Vanska's hands I get that sense that the music is somehow speech in a strange and marvellous language more intensely than I ever have. And that's just a part of the experience!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcolorenzo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Oct 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is unquestionably a remarkable performance, maybe even DIVINE. The other reviewers here have hit on most of its main virtues. I will just summarizes a few of my impressions. It is: 1) Masculine and muscular. 2) Exciting and emotionally arousing. 3) Teeming with vitality and ideas.
4) Immaculate in purity with highly articulated instrumental lines. 5) Clear and transparent. 6) Dynamically sumptuous, focusing attention on emotional and intellectual musical meaning, and carrying you along on a tale or vital journey in time and motion.
Its only slight blemish are the soloists, they aren't as good as on some other recordings (e.g. Karajan 1963 etc.) but the choral singing is MAGNIFICIENT and more than makes up for this slight blemish.
This performance will make you see Beethoven in a completely different light than has been possible with any previous recording that I am aware of. Essential recording of a great Ninth Symphony performance. STUNNING !
The Complete Symphonies in this series will be released at the end of October 2009 and is a money saver choice (both the 9th, as well as the 4th and 5th are exceptional) you may want to wait and buy the complete set.Nine Symphonies
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