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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing.
The intensity of this apocalyptical performance is not for everyday listening, and its power cannot be appreciated in a casual listening: it demands time (not only whilst the discs are playing, but for a considerable while afterwards) and attention. It was recorded live at a concert in 1981 (apparently with "patching" from rehearsals, though I defy anyone to identify...
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by nwc

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9 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really essential.
This recording of Mahler's 9th symphony is somewhat overrated; it does not really deserve the almost hysterical praise it gets from many reviewers.
As many serious reviewers have noted, Karajan's interpretation is mainly a lightweight and superficial version of Mahler 9. It is a showpiece not reaching the interpretational depths and violent expression that we, for...
Published on 12 Jan 2004 by L. Johan


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing., 18 Jun 2012
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
The intensity of this apocalyptical performance is not for everyday listening, and its power cannot be appreciated in a casual listening: it demands time (not only whilst the discs are playing, but for a considerable while afterwards) and attention. It was recorded live at a concert in 1981 (apparently with "patching" from rehearsals, though I defy anyone to identify where these occur) but there is no audience noise: at the risk of sounding "hysterical", it was one of those occasions where the rapt audience seemed to hold its collective breath whilst the work enveloped them.

There are more user-friendly recordings of the work - Klemperer, Barbirolli, Boulez, Bernstein (VPO or Concertgebeouw) and Karajan's own earlier studio version are all outstandingly good - but as a rare experience of this awesome, awe-filled, devastating Music, only Walter's Live recording from 1938 is this version's peer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential listening, 15 Feb 2014
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
I would say this is essential listening, sitting alongside Bernstein, Haitink, Barbirolli, Klemperer amongst others on my shelves. the recording sound for me is a little close up but I adjust to that quite quickly for a performance which is deservedly praised by critics. In particular the finale reveals a powerful concentration I find very moving.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be rated high!!!, 29 Mar 2009
By 
Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
I find the comparison with Klemperer's 1967 interesting, because I feel the other way around - Karajan's live version is more powerful and profound and Klemperer's somewhat clinical, dry and at times tame in the first movement, although I admire Klemperer's Mahler very much.

Karajan's live recording is certainly not lightweight, as it matches Bernstein's outrageously explosive live recording on DG in depth and profundity. Karajan really knows how to achieve maximum emotional intensity and richness of Mahler's orchestration and to capture the sublimity of this amazing music.

If you are after super-profound performance of 9th, I can not recommend this one more alonside Giulini, Maderna, Bertini, Svetlanov and Horenstein's powerfully moving performances not to forget James Levine's amazing account on RCA.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great mahler, 31 Oct 2007
By 
Gerald M. Allen "gezza" (thirsk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
those who write the penguine guide - a pretty authoritative publication for the past 40 yrs or so - rate this very highly, and so they should..they give it top billing.......it is an enthralling, pulsating, dynamic reading very well recorded and performed by the best band in the world.....i rate this alongside karajan's mahler 6, another fantastic reading ...this mahler 9 is just a joy to listen to.....echt mahler the real mccoy....however you want to phrase it, this mahler 9 is terrific and at 6 it is a steal...it used to sell for 28 not so many years ago...how things have changed
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9 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really essential., 12 Jan 2004
By 
L. Johan (Earth) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Gustav Mahler: Symphony 9 (Audio CD)
This recording of Mahler's 9th symphony is somewhat overrated; it does not really deserve the almost hysterical praise it gets from many reviewers.
As many serious reviewers have noted, Karajan's interpretation is mainly a lightweight and superficial version of Mahler 9. It is a showpiece not reaching the interpretational depths and violent expression that we, for instance, can hear in Klemperer's 1967 powerful recording with the NPO.
The price is another drawback: you can get three fine recordings of Mahler 9 for the price of this one! (E.g. Barbirolli, Ancerl, Haitink).
Klemperer's, Giulini's, Haitink's, Barbirolli's, and Ancerl's recordings of this work are still the first recommendations - and that at midprice. A good thing with the three latter is also that they appear on single discs. Finally, Boulez' account can be considered for those who want superb digital sound and a crisp interpretation. It is also caught on a single disc.
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