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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beethoven's Ninth brought to life (SACD version), 14 April 2008
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
This 2005 performance of Beethoven's 9th symphony I believe should be considered the benchmark recording of this century so far.

The London Symphony Orchestra using their own LSO Live label has combined digital recording methods with a `Live' venue (London's Barbican) to produce an absolutely stunning version of Beethoven's final symphony.

It's clear from the start of the first movement that this recording is a good one - no evidence of audience noise from a supposed `live' recording - and by the time the Ode to Joy fourth movement arrives almost 45 minutes later the anticipation is of a big finale.

This 25 minute finale is sheer brilliance, for me this is the most perfectly performed and exciting recording of the ninth symphony I have ever heard. The interaction between the four soloists (Twyla Robinson, Karen Cargill, John Mc Master, Gerald Finley) the choir (London Symphony) and orchestra gives a unified performance which is so well balanced and executed that I can only sum up in one word.

Exhilarating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haitink's performance of the Ninth makes Beethoven's music sound fresh from the pen, 20 Jan 2011
By 
Andrew R. Barnard (Leola, Pa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
This recording completes Bernard Haitink's set of the complete Beethoven Symphonies. And, as I'm glad to say, this is a fantastic recording that brings his Beethoven set to a brilliant conclusion. It is no exaggeration, in fact, it's in understatement to say that this is the strongest and greatest symphony ever written. It presents an enormous task to the interpreter. It needs to sound big and powerful but never harsh or forced.

Haitink is the man for this job. With the fabulous LSO to help him out, he gives us a rendition that is fresh, full of life and vigor. But there is also a lot of beauty here. In the opening movement, Haitink chooses a tempo that keeps this piece moving at a fast pace without sounding rushed. The LSO never sounds angry; they keep all the passion and power in, though. The second movement is a thrill. With a strong, sharp timpanist, the movement is full of exhilaration and spirit. Haitink's performance of the 3rd movement is especially memorable. Too often conductors turn this piece into a slow moving dirge. Not Haitink. With his flowing, breathing tempo, the listener is able to take in the beauty of this slow movement. And, oh, what beauty is here! Of all of the amazing slow movements of the Beethoven symphonies, this one has the most gravity and depth. The great and mighty choral finale could hardly be better. The soloists are staggering, not to mention the shockingly good LSO Chorus. Especially good is the very first entrance of the choir in this movement. The male voices sing their part with such an anticipation of what is to come. While all the power of this finale is here, as it should be, I found myself marveling at the BEAUTY of this recording - a beauty I didn't know was hear until I heard this recording. The listener won't go away feeling heavy after hearing this recording - the listener will go away fighting tears of joy. It's simply indescribable.

Needless to say, I am extremely enthusiastic about this recording and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful, 16 Nov 2008
By 
enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
This is a very powerful account, beautifully paced and well played (and sung): a tremendous 9th and a real highlight of the recent LSO Live Haitink Beethoven series. Like buses great 9ths seem to all come alonmg together for this entered the catalogue at around the same time as Vanska's - which is from another world altogether. However it is, no-one could regret buying this record.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Culmination, 29 Dec 2013
By 
Lance Edwards (derbyshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
I was at first disappointed in this CD. Then I turned up the volume some more and that helped. But as it continued the performance became more and more intense, culminating in a very impressive last movement. I look forward to hearing it again on my new amplifier (a Christmas present to myself) and suspect it will be one to keep. In fact the whole cycle is, in my opinion, one to keep.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome music ... the finest Mr. B, 10 Jan 2014
By 
A. Bingham (lymington,hants,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
wonderful Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) always loved Beethoven and this is as good as He gets ; the LSO is guided with such skill by Haitink.
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0 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review, 24 Sep 2011
This review is from: Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) (Audio CD)
Arrived on time and is what I expected. I have written the remaining words to achieve the ridiculous target of twenty words !
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Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink)
Beethoven - Symphony No 9 (LSO, Haitink) by Twyla Robinson (Audio CD - 2006)
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