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Symphony 9


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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Oct. 2000)
  • Label: Emperor -- Phoenix --
  • ASIN: B000005896
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,675,557 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a gloriously rich and sublime performance of Schubert's 9th, played with vibrant orchestral colours and noble beauty. Beautifully recorded.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By richard g brown on 9 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
and l am never let down by his music and l accept the world is not the badness that is a part of our life
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark A. Meldon TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After several great recordings, particularly of the earlier symphonies, I'm afraid the late 1980s, early 1990s, Naxos Schubert symphony cycle with Michael Halász and, here, the Budapest-based Failoni Orchestra ends with a failure.

Tempos are rather awry in the first movement, and the Andante is dull, the Scherzo fine, but the finale limp. Whether Maestro Halász and the Failoni were bored rigid by this arguably overlong work is hard to say, but they don't seem at all engaged. The recording, per se, is very good.

Sadly, after so many successes, a disc to avoid, I'm afraid. There are many finer performances out there, from what is one of Solti's best recordings Symphony 9 " Great ", Mackerras Schubert: Symphony No 9 'The Great' /Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment · Mackerras, and Gardiner's second recording Symphony No.9 (Monteverdi Chr, Gardiner), to name but three.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A larger-than-life Schubert Ninth that burns with solemn passion 15 April 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In my experience tis is a uniquely heroic Schubert Ninth, one of the few in modern sound that returns to the way Furtwangler performed it, but going even further in grandeur. In his eighties Giulini became a very slow conductor, and his last phase, as heard on numerous Sony recordings, took patience on the listener's part. In the midst of too many performances where weight and solemnity counted against the music, a few struck gold. No one but celibidache would have dared to unfold the "Great" C Major symphony as if it were by Bruckner; more often conductors try to reverse the link to bring out the Schubertian side of Bruckner, lightening texture and tempo.

Giulini dares to find tragic depth, for example, in the second movement, usually taken at a faster than ambling pace as befits its marking of Andante con moto. Giulini approaches the all but endless repetition in this movement as a protracted outcry from the heart -- an ache that refuses to heal -- leaning into the second subject for lyric anguish. This movement is the touchstone, I think, for whether a listener will respond to the whole interpretation. The other three movements fall into line; the conductor is serious and determined even in the Scherzo. It's startling that he exposes such gravity in the key of C (is there any comparable example in other symphonies?) yet the Bavarian Radio SO follows with sympathy and intensity. Slow tempos can be saved by having inner live, as they do here. The recording, taken from a live concert, is as good as any studio job.

If you have a mind to hear the Schubert Ninth expressed with nobility and passion, this CD is well worth a listen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful 2 Feb. 2008
By David Saemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent version of the symphony. The tempos are on the swift side, but there is flexibility and lovely phrasing. The orchestra makes a beautiful sound, and the first chairs's contributions are excellent throughout. The sound engineering is superb, taking advantage of the fine acoustics of the Italian Institute in Budapest. Budget price not withstanding, this could be a first choice for the work.
A youthful. carefree Schubert 9 that should be heard 17 Jan. 2015
By Fiddler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazon has appended the wrong reviews to this webpage. This one pertains to the actual disc in question, the Naxos release conducted by Michael Halasz featuring the Failoni Orchestra of Budapest. (That other disc, of Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, is also well worthy of your attention, though it's cut out of much broader cloth.)

Here is Schubert's "Great" C-major symphony shorn of much of its Teutonic gravitas, applied retrospectively by generations of interpreters who saw this work as a dense, embracing orb of Jovian proportions, a foreshadowing of great German music to come. But as Michael Halasz sees it, the "Great" is more a dance symphony than a proto-Brucknerian disquisition, more Mercury than Jupiter. His account skips and prances lightly. It's a refreshing change, and appropriate, since this work (aside from that harrowing moment of crisis in the second movement) does not address the tragic questions that haunted Schubert towards the end of his short life. This is a celebration of life and living and Halasz brings out its affirmative and joyful qualities. Recorded in the excellent, resonant acoustics of the Italian Institute in Budapest, the performance makes a good case for now-discarded scholarly view that this piece dates from earlier in Schubert's oeuvre -- it would seem to come before the Unfinished's bleak recognition of life's inescapable tragedy, sadness and beauty. This symphony, to my ears anyway, seems to belong to the innocent, carefree world of the "Trout" Quintet rather than the mordid desolation of the Cello Quintet.

The orchestral forces are chamber-sized, certainly closer to what Schubert might have expected to hear in his own era. Shedding the thick sonic midriff that a larger string section carries, this svelte, athletic reading reveals a wealth of hitherto unheard detail in the woodwinds. The sprightly, coltish spirit of Halasz's concept carries its own logic in performance -- he accelerates into first movement's "allegro ma non troppo" without inhibition or embarrassment (with a "soulful, bounding leap," as Bob Dylan might put it) and the moment just feels right, musicological quibblings notwithstanding. There are other moments where Halasz shifts tempo and favors a spontaneous, of-the-moment kind of inspiration. But this flexibility of tempo isn't simply whimsical. Halasz relaxes the pace for the second theme before the exposition repeat, but once the orchestra jumps back to the top, it's in the same giddy tempo as the first time. So there is evidence of forethought and deliberation, though in practice, all is sweetness and light and a feeling of spontaneity abounds.

There is something liberating about this. Halasz does not seem troubled by the grave, talmudic questions, the overthinking that has dogged generations of interpreters, and his solutions seem as plausible, and certainly as musical, as any others we have heard. (Yes, that's an accent on the last chord, not a diminuendo, for crying out loud.)

By trusting his instincts and choosing to live in the moment, Halasz has given us a happy and untroubled traversal of Schubert's vast heavenly arc, one whose transparent, momentary pleasures become eternally sun-dappled and bathed in grace. It's a memory, captured in a recording, you don't mind returning to over and over again.
The "Old Man's" Schubert--a pillar of musiccal thought. 22 Oct. 2013
By NUC MED TECH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
10-22-2013 Recorded live in April 1991, in the NDR's home hall, Musikhalle, Hamburg, here is Gunther Wand and the NDR Symphony Orchestra in the Symphony in C-major"The Great" of Franz Schubert. The maestro has probably recorded this work over a half dozen times or so in his long life on earth, but this may be the finest one in his stable. The recording runs a lengthy 53:41, and, it's inclusion of aconcert program assures the audience of getting their money's worth. But, of course, it isn't just the money but the quality they get for the price of admission. Wand probably knows this music as well as anyone and it shows. He breathes a powerful and commanding presence into his orchestra for this final symphony, written in 1827/28, and is seem as the composer's farewell. Wand re-recorded this music in the mid 90's with the Berrlin Phil and the differece between the two is negotiable. I own 'em both, and so should you.And, I'm betting that the Berlin reading was done for two reasons. Number !,BMG/RCA simply offered it,so why not earn a little extra cash? Secondly, and more importantly, he had a chance to work with the Berlin orchestra, which is something, Wand didn't do that often. This review is of the NDR reading on 1991.

The 1st movement runs almost 21 minutes and is grandly paced, as it should be. First chair players get right into the action with their superb technique. These players probably knew wand as well as anyone, and i certain, there were tears in their eyes when they played a memorial concert about 6 months after the maestro's passing. This was one of his calling card, going bck to his Cologne days with the WDR ensemble, still available on Amazon. I should pick up his Wand cycle as well as his other older cycles, Brahms included. The long intro strides forward with a very dignified grace we have come to expect from this Great conductor, one of the 20th Century's finest. He is up there with Karajan, Solti, Klemperer, Furtwangler and surely Giulini, Sanderling Walter etc. A short list, as lists go, but more than just a handfull. I omitted Toscanini because this is Schubert not "Schubetini." not everything needs parmasean on it.(L. O.L.).

After the long and stately intro, Wand charges into the music at the 3:33 point with astonishing energy for an 80 year old. Almost instantly, the Wand style is discernible. His orchestra have a sharp edge to their brass, particularly in the trombone section and the timpni is also crisp. The whole brass choir, in fact, has a snarl and bite to itI hear in few other conductors, especially in "old guys" like this one. He's alive and well, and probably grinning as he booms his way through the pages. Talk about staying young!! We,and particularly me, could learn a thing or two from this remarkable man. To his credit, Wand went out on top. Not as a confused, senile and weak embarassment, but as a sturdy, resolute and lovingly stern taskmaster with this fine regional orchestra, the North German radio of Hamburg. I have him on video, in his mid-later 80's with this group doing Bruckner's 8th and 9th, and it is quite something to see. Very frail and led to the podium, still he hasn't lost ony, or much ,of his pizazz.

It is difficult to listen and critique at the same time, especially when one has such an astounding cd to examine. I just wanted to turn off my I-pad and listen. Wow. The Andante con molto 2nd movementis pure geneous. The NDR winds are superlative in their clarity and this BMG/RCA collaboration has engineered this music with great finess and skill. I listen in the very earlyhours of this day, Oct.22 with Bose headphone, my wife still asleep. Boy, when the music's right in your ear, Wand stands up to the closest of scrutiny. Schubert's 3rd movement is a bouncy lively affair in Wand's hands as the rhythm of the great master composer never wavers on this recording. This movement, perhaps more than any other place on this RCA demonstrates the maestro's agility at such a great age. Having seen him on video tape,he smiles little and always appears stern and grouchy. I doubt he id the later, but firm, instead of stern is more than acceptable, especially for German orchestras. I don't think the players would melt if scowled at, as conductors of ten exaggerate to get what they want. Even American orchestras are used to this. Still, this is a light hearted section and Wand clearly understands this. The central trio lilting Landler style dance and rolls along gracefully. This scherzo has helped me hear the connection between the Bruckner scherzo of whirling,pounding rhythms, with a waltz like middle trio for contrast. This pace may seem slow to some, but any faster, and the wonderful phrases Schubert created would be slurred. I've heard them and it is not good. Wand is just about right.

The finale is a grand quick march type movement, with royal sounding trumpet flourishes. The contrast between loud and soft is exciting and highly sophisticated and the only word that describes Wand's leadership fairly is magnificent. I don't think the NDR has ever sounded better, althoughI'm sure their Wand Bruckner would give me pause, and it should. The clarity is awesome and the strict attention to all the rhythmic detail is exceptional. I simply can't say how impressed I am with this wonderful reading and rather than just ramble on needlessly, I'll close with a soaring 5 STAR rating and let it goat that. DO NOT pass this one up,it is terrific. Many hours of enjoyable listening, to you!!! Tony
nothing quite like it . . . 21 Dec. 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
So it's quite slow, and there isn't a whole lot of hyperactivity in the forward progress -- but nonetheless this is a riveting recording of a 1993 live performance in Munich. A lot of credit has to go to the engineers and the producer, for what Giulini provides is an inexorable rhythmic tread that could easily get boring if we couldn't hear the subtle plasticity of the moment-by-moment phrasing and the ever-changing textures of the moment-by-moment phrasing, as well as all the little counter-figures with their own phrasing and textures that enliven the main line of the musical argument. In other words, the quality of the detail -- or, if you prefer, the sheer amount of aural information -- is amazingly clearly caught, so that the effect is of transparency. We believe we're hearing EVERYTHING that Schubert put in there for us to hear. Of course, that's probably an illusion to some extent, but the sound was really exceptionally clear in my Bose headphones. All of that might not matter if Giulini's grip on the forward movement were slack, but it's rock-steady, and the climaxes, when they come, are the more powerful for the restraint with which the main development is offered. The passages in the slow movement where "things fall apart," as Yeats might say, are powerful in a Brucknerian way here, and Giulini manages the transitions into and out of them masterfully -- but then, all his transitions are well handled. Simply superb, both musically and sonically.
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