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on 23 November 2009
relatively unidiosyncratic - except quite classically proportioned, excellent modern chamber orchestra and chorus, very well recorded. I return to this one more often than, say, Bernstein or Karajan - this is one you can live with, if less teutonic and monolithic than others.

Very very highly recommended to anyone who likes Beethoven in the modern chamber-scaled way. Superb bargain at 25p (apparently) 2nd hand on Amazon reseller....
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I wish this CD had been around when I got my first recording of the 'Choral' - a muddily-recorded budget LP no more than adequately played and sung. This inexpensive version does Beethoven proud. Follow it with the score - it is absolutely faithful in terms of dynamics, pacing, balance (inevitably Drahos does not follow Beethoven's metronome marks, except in the Scherzo, but neither does anyone else, and he comes closer than many). The orchestra is excellent, with I think a smallish body of strings, so that this is a lithe performance rather than a weighty one, but I don't think it suffers from that at all. Drahos is very good at managing the big climaxes, and indeed not playing his hand too early - the first movement recapitulation is shattering - and he is very well served by his players at every point in the score. The choir is good and the soloists excellent (interesting to read that the splendid tenor was a pop singer until he retrained at 23). Add to that a quite excellent modern recording and, really, there's very little to complain about here. Very warmly recommended.
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I quite agree with the other reviewer of this CD; it is excellent and well-worth buying. The mid-1990s Naxos Beethoven symphony cycle is far ahead of much of the competition. I particularly like the chamber orchestra like approach, thus removing some of the needless "weight" from these works that features on many "default" recordings.

The Hungarian orchestra has been augmented for this recording to a size a little larger than that suitable for, say, Haydn, and has a particularly strong woodwind section.

This is an immaculate performance in spectacular sound, with a really good choir and soloists. Perhaps the reading is a little middle-of-the-road, compared to those performances emphasizing the "spiritual" approach to Beethoven (like Furtwangler & Bernstein), but that's fine for me. A good choice, especially at the prices you often see this CD for!
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on 21 September 2013
Excellent rendition of this, the finest of the fine! (In my humble opinion). I bought this version to compare with others I have and this is creeping up to the top of my favourites.
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on 21 April 2014
I originally bought another performance which had poor reproduction. In consequence I then bought this version. This is what I was hoping for with the first purchase. Reproduction is crystal clear and the performance is excellent.
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on 10 October 2014
Great version by The Halle Orchestra. Had the opportunity to hear them perform it live in 2013, great to bring back those memories in 2014.
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on 24 February 2015
present for dad he liked it
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on 10 June 2015
A terrific work.
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on 16 January 2016
A bit long
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on 31 December 2015
Great item
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