Discussion:
A Recommendation on Beethoven's 9th Symphony
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James Redford
2006-06-18 21:39:13 UTC
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The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988. This recording has been published as Beethoven:
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.

I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).

Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.

But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.

Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.

While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.

Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.

If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.

---

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125

Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger

Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass

Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.

All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)

---

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501):

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766

http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
Vaneyes
2006-06-18 22:01:46 UTC
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CSO/Solti (Penguin Classics, rec. 1972).

Regards
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-18 22:13:04 UTC
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Post by James Redford
Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos...
Naxos has a budget line ?
James Redford
2006-06-18 22:28:13 UTC
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 18:13:04 -0400, Paul Ilechko
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by James Redford
Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos...
Naxos has a budget line ?
Apparently they do. A budget-brand within a budget-brand. It's like a
Matryoshka doll, or wheels within wheels, or worlds within worlds,
etc.
David Oberman
2006-06-18 23:24:34 UTC
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Post by James Redford
Post by Paul Ilechko
Naxos has a budget line ?
Apparently they do. A budget-brand within a budget-brand. It's like a
Matryoshka doll, or wheels within wheels, or worlds within worlds,
etc.
The Naxos American Classics series is a budget series.
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-19 02:06:44 UTC
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Post by David Oberman
Post by James Redford
Post by Paul Ilechko
Naxos has a budget line ?
Apparently they do. A budget-brand within a budget-brand. It's like a
Matryoshka doll, or wheels within wheels, or worlds within worlds,
etc.
The Naxos American Classics series is a budget series.
As compared to what? I thought they were the same price as most other
Naxos discs. I think perhaps you missed the perceived strangeness of a
budget label having a budget line ...
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-06-19 02:52:08 UTC
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Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by David Oberman
Post by James Redford
Post by Paul Ilechko
Naxos has a budget line ?
Apparently they do. A budget-brand within a budget-brand. It's like a
Matryoshka doll, or wheels within wheels, or worlds within worlds,
etc.
The Naxos American Classics series is a budget series.
As compared to what? I thought they were the same price as most other
Naxos discs. I think perhaps you missed the perceived strangeness of a
budget label having a budget line ...
Actually, a subtle "second tier" was started a few years ago, when their
opera recordings began to have prices a dollar a disc greater than the
"regular" budget ones. I think it's more or less all equalized now.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Steven de Mena
2006-06-19 02:46:26 UTC
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Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by James Redford
Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos...
Naxos has a budget line ?
From their web site:

"About The Amadis Collection Amadis is the super-budget label with a
difference. In a market place flooded with inferior product, with old
recordings passed off as new digital recordings using fictitious names of
conductors and orchestras to disguise their origins, Amadis is a breath of
fresh air. Amadis offers a basic repertoire of the best known works by the
greatest composers in critically acclaimed all-digital recordings, performed
by well-known conductors and orchestras. In contrast to most labels at this
price, there is a steady flow of new releases. In fact, this catalogue
features twenty-two of them. Amadis is a bargain too good to be missed.
Especially at this price"

Steve
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-06-19 02:52:08 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Steven de Mena
Post by Paul Ilechko
Amadis is the current budget-brand of Naxos...
Naxos has a budget line ?
"About The Amadis Collection Amadis is the super-budget label with a
difference. In a market place flooded with inferior product, with old
recordings passed off as new digital recordings using fictitious names
of conductors and orchestras to disguise their origins, Amadis is a
breath of fresh air. Amadis offers a basic repertoire of the best known
works by the greatest composers in critically acclaimed all-digital
recordings, performed by well-known conductors and orchestras. In
contrast to most labels at this price, there is a steady flow of new
releases. In fact, this catalogue features twenty-two of them. Amadis is
a bargain too good to be missed. Especially at this price"
What happened with/to Lydian?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Roderick Stewart
2006-06-18 22:13:53 UTC
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Post by James Redford
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic.
Have you heard the performance by Benjamin Zander? The 9th synphony isn't
a particular favourite of mine, but I do like the 5th, and bought a copy
based on personal recommendation from someone who has worked with him.
Zander takes particular care to keep to Beethoven's prescribed metronome
markings, which few others do, and seems also to have a rare personality
that can inspire others to great efforts. If you think you know the 5th
(and who doesn't?), this version will be a revelation, almost like
listening to a new piece of music. The CD comes with a bonus disk where
he explains the symphony and his approach to it, which is fascinating. He
has also recorded the 9th and everybody seems to think it's a good one,
so if it's your favourite I'm sure you'll find it interesting at least.
Check out www.benjaminzander.com for details.

Rod.
James Redford
2006-06-18 22:50:09 UTC
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 23:13:53 +0100, Roderick Stewart
Post by Roderick Stewart
Post by James Redford
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic.
Have you heard the performance by Benjamin Zander? The 9th synphony isn't
a particular favourite of mine, but I do like the 5th, and bought a copy
based on personal recommendation from someone who has worked with him.
Zander takes particular care to keep to Beethoven's prescribed metronome
markings, which few others do, and seems also to have a rare personality
that can inspire others to great efforts. If you think you know the 5th
(and who doesn't?), this version will be a revelation, almost like
listening to a new piece of music. The CD comes with a bonus disk where
he explains the symphony and his approach to it, which is fascinating. He
has also recorded the 9th and everybody seems to think it's a good one,
so if it's your favourite I'm sure you'll find it interesting at least.
Check out www.benjaminzander.com for details.
Rod.
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound. I very much love Beethoven's 5th Symphony, as well.

Thanks for your recommendation.
David W
2006-07-26 23:03:12 UTC
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Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale (preceding the movement's
signature theme), in particular, is way too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the symphony.

David
JR
2006-07-26 23:23:10 UTC
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Has anyone heard the new Skrowaczewski/Saarbrucken 9th?
Matthew
2006-07-27 01:08:46 UTC
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thank you, hearing you speak from such a point of passion has made it
clear to me that i need to get this recording.
Roderick Stewart
2006-07-27 09:20:27 UTC
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Post by David W
Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale (preceding the movement's
signature theme), in particular, is way too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the symphony.
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness' sake? If the
composer's markings indicate it should be played in a particular way, isn't that
the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying to say Beethoven was wrong about
Beethoven's music?

Rod.
Richard Schultz
2006-07-27 10:45:24 UTC
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In rec.music.classical.recordings Roderick Stewart <***@escapetime.nospam.plus.com> wrote:

: Are you trying to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?

Why should a composer of a piece of music necessarily know the best way
of performing it?

-----
Richard Schultz ***@mail.biu.ac.il
Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Opinions expressed are mine alone, and not those of Bar-Ilan University
-----
"You go on playing Bach your way, and I'll go on playing him *his* way."
-- Wanda Landowska
William Sommerwerck
2006-07-27 11:33:05 UTC
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Post by Richard Schultz
Why should a composer of a piece of music necessarily know
the best way of performing it?
Again, I don't have the reference, but a British composer supposedly told a
conductor that he had never thought of perfoming a piece the way this
conductor did, but he approved of it.
O
2006-07-27 13:31:38 UTC
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Post by Richard Schultz
In rec.music.classical.recordings Roderick Stewart
: Are you trying to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Why should a composer of a piece of music necessarily know the best way
of performing it?
Toscanini: You've heard me perform your "Pines of Rome?"

Resphighi: No, I haven't.

Toscanini: You should! You wouldn't recognize it!


-Owen
William Sommerwerck
2006-07-27 11:31:44 UTC
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Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.

I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a movement of
one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would consider
excessively -- insanely -- fast.

Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners and
conductors prefer.
j***@aol.com
2006-07-27 18:55:02 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.
I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a movement of
one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would consider
excessively -- insanely -- fast.
Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners and
conductors prefer.
If you had spent months slaving away at a score, you might be bored
with it too and want to get it over with.

(Mascagni is an exception here and I'm sure there are others: his
Cavalleria Rusticana is slower than any I know.)

--Jeff
Michael Haslam
2006-07-27 19:11:17 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.
I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a movement of
one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would consider
excessively -- insanely -- fast.
Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners and
conductors prefer.
Over the last 50 or 100 years tempi have got more extreme; the Overture
to Russlan and Ludmilla goes about double its former speed these days,
the opposite for the Adagietto from Mahler 9.
--
MJHaslam
Remove accidentals to obtain correct e-address
"What does your unnecessary question have to do with classical music,
tallis?" - Dr. David Tholen
j***@aol.com
2006-07-27 19:14:18 UTC
Reply
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Post by Michael Haslam
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.
I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a movement of
one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would consider
excessively -- insanely -- fast.
Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners and
conductors prefer.
Over the last 50 or 100 years tempi have got more extreme; the Overture
to Russlan and Ludmilla goes about double its former speed these days,
the opposite for the Adagietto from Mahler 9.
Do you mean the Adagietto from Mahler 5?

--Jeff
Michael Haslam
2006-07-27 20:18:46 UTC
Reply
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Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Haslam
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.
I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a
movement of one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would
consider excessively -- insanely -- fast.
Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners
and conductors prefer.
Over the last 50 or 100 years tempi have got more extreme; the Overture
to Russlan and Ludmilla goes about double its former speed these days,
the opposite for the Adagietto from Mahler 9.
Do you mean the Adagietto from Mahler 5?
Er, probably. The Death In Venice one.
--
MJHaslam
Remove accidentals to obtain correct e-address
"What does your unnecessary question have to do with classical music,
tallis?" - Dr. David Tholen
Peter T. Daniels
2006-07-27 23:13:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Haslam
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by Michael Haslam
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Roderick Stewart
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness'
sake? If the composer's markings indicate it should be played in a
particular way, isn't that the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying
to say Beethoven was wrong about Beethoven's music?
Perhaps.
I remember reading (somewhere) that Brahms wanted a tempo for a
movement of one his piano concerti that was faster than what we would
consider excessively -- insanely -- fast.
Composers, in general, seem to want tempi faster than what listeners
and conductors prefer.
Over the last 50 or 100 years tempi have got more extreme; the Overture
to Russlan and Ludmilla goes about double its former speed these days,
the opposite for the Adagietto from Mahler 9.
Do you mean the Adagietto from Mahler 5?
Er, probably. The Death In Venice one.
Both of them -- the Adagio from 9 and the Adagietto from 5 -- were
played in transcription at the organ recital at Trinity Church this
afternoon (by one Alexander Frey, a Chicago-born conductor, pianist,
and organist who is based in Prague but for some reason represented
Germany in the summer's International Festival of Organists). The
arrangements were by one Jerry Kinsella. If you're thinking that you
can't imagine symphonic movements less suited to the organ, you're
right.
Roderick Stewart
2006-07-28 04:27:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Michael Haslam
Post by j***@aol.com
Do you mean the Adagietto from Mahler 5?
Er, probably. The Death In Venice one.
Both of them -- the Adagio from 9 and the Adagietto from 5 -- were
played in transcription at the organ recital at Trinity Church this
afternoon (by one Alexander Frey, a Chicago-born conductor, pianist,
and organist who is based in Prague but for some reason represented
Germany in the summer's International Festival of Organists). The
arrangements were by one Jerry Kinsella. If you're thinking that you
can't imagine symphonic movements less suited to the organ, you're
right.
I once heard, in the course of an informal concert by a musician
friend, "Hey Mister Tambourine Man", and a few Beatles tunes, played on
a church organ. That was an interesting experience.

Rod.
tom
2006-07-28 01:22:34 UTC
Reply
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Post by Michael Haslam
MJHaslam
Remove accidentals to obtain correct e-address
"What does your unnecessary question have to do with classical music,
tallis?" - Dr. David Tholen
I love the new sig :-)
Peter T. Daniels
2006-07-27 11:48:17 UTC
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Post by David W
Post by David W
Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale (preceding the
movement's
Post by David W
signature theme), in particular, is way too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the
symphony.
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness' sake? If the
composer's markings indicate it should be played in a particular way, isn't that
the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying to say Beethoven was wrong about
Beethoven's music?
Is it no longer believed that Beethoven's metronome didn't work right?

After all, Mr. Maelzel had just invented the thing, and maybe quality
control wasn't all it should have been.
David W
2006-07-28 00:33:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by David W
Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale (preceding the
movement's
Post by David W
signature theme), in particular, is way too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the
symphony.
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness' sake?
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most. Most conductors that
I've heard play them at a slow or moderate tempo, which really sounds right for them. At
Beethoven's tempo they are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting Australia who
described those parts as sounding "superficial" when played at Beethoven's tempo, and I
agree.

David

P.S. It's nice to see that this newsgroup can still burst into life occasionally.
Roderick Stewart
2006-07-28 04:27:12 UTC
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Permalink
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most. Most conductors that
I've heard play them at a slow or moderate tempo, which really sounds right for them. At
Beethoven's tempo they are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way.
You'll be saying the composer must have been deaf next..... :-)

Rod.
Franneke
2006-07-30 10:19:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by Roderick Stewart
Post by David W
Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to
check into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make
the work sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale
(preceding the movement's signature theme), in particular, is way
too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the symphony.
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness' sake?
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
Some 120 to 140 years ago composers like Mahler and Wagner re-wrote sections
of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And they did so
because they thought that the music needed to be adapted to new
circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls, different
instruments, a different balance between strings and winds in favor of
strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes simply didn't
work in these new circumstances.
Especially the "improvements" by Wagner were used by generations of
conductors up to this day. Besides that, there was a tendency to perform the
music slower and slower, with a few exceptions.

The result is that we simply forgot what Beethoven implied in his own notes.
Thanks to modern scholarship we know by now that there is nothing wrong with
Beethoven's original notes and tempi, but that they simply ask for
orchestras that don't try to perform a Beethoven symphony like a late
romantical piece of music.
It's all a matter of rebalancing strings and winds, keeping the orchestra
relatvely small, and last but not least, use the kind of sharp phrasing from
Beethoven's days, rather than the sluggish one that we have come used to. Of
course, period instruments might help greatly in keeping the clarity, even
while performing at the speed that Beethoven asked.

In my view there is nothing wrong with Beethoven's metronome markings in the
symphony, as long as the performing style of his days is used.
Gabriel Parra
2006-07-30 13:10:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Franneke
Some 120 to 140 years ago composers like Mahler and Wagner re-wrote sections
of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And they did so
because they thought that the music needed to be adapted to new
circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls, different
instruments, a different balance between strings and winds in favor of
strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes simply didn't
work in these new circumstances.
Especially the "improvements" by Wagner were used by generations of
conductors up to this day. Besides that, there was a tendency to perform the
music slower and slower, with a few exceptions.
The result is that we simply forgot what Beethoven implied in his own notes.
Thanks to modern scholarship we know by now that there is nothing wrong with
Beethoven's original notes and tempi, but that they simply ask for
orchestras that don't try to perform a Beethoven symphony like a late
romantical piece of music.
It's all a matter of rebalancing strings and winds, keeping the orchestra
relatvely small, and last but not least, use the kind of sharp phrasing from
Beethoven's days, rather than the sluggish one that we have come used to. Of
course, period instruments might help greatly in keeping the clarity, even
while performing at the speed that Beethoven asked.
In my view there is nothing wrong with Beethoven's metronome markings in the
symphony, as long as the performing style of his days is used.
Yes, and all that this supposed scholarship has accomplished is music
that sounds awful at tempi that trivialize the spirit, if not the
letter, of the score. If you like your music this way, great, but don't
tell me that suspect "scholarship" founded on very shaky ideological
grounds has found a way into Beethoven's dead head, thereby divining
his "real" intentions.

The vast majority of performing musicians, whose authority in music is
greater than that of academics who try to make science of what they
seem to forget is an art, agree that Beethoven's tempi are quite simply
wrong. Either his metronome malfunctioned--and let's not forget that
Malzel, besides inventing the metronome, was the man principally
responsible for the worst piece of music Beethoven ever wrote--or in
his head, the music sounded quite differently than it does in practice.
Either way, even if Beethoven's tempi were his preference, that means
nothing, since we are the ones who get to decide how we want our music
played, and not academic research and especially not a man who's dead.
Gerard
2006-07-30 13:46:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
The vast majority of performing musicians, whose authority in music is
greater than that of academics who try to make science of what they
seem to forget is an art, agree that Beethoven's tempi are quite
simply wrong.
Are you sure? Are they all interviewed and did they say so?
I think that *you* think they are wrong and put your thoughts in "the vast
majority".
Post by Gabriel Parra
Either his metronome malfunctioned--and let's not
forget that Malzel, besides inventing the metronome, was the man
principally responsible for the worst piece of music Beethoven ever
wrote--or in his head, the music sounded quite differently than it
does in practice. Either way, even if Beethoven's tempi were his
preference, that means nothing, since we are the ones who get to
decide how we want our music played, and not academic research and
especially not a man who's dead.
Here it's the same. *You* think that you can decide how "we" want "our" music
played. It's like you consider Beethoven's music as your music. But it's
Beethovens'.
Franneke
2006-07-30 14:29:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
sections of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And
they did so because they thought that the music needed to be adapted
to new circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls,
different instruments, a different balance between strings and winds
in favor of strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original
notes simply didn't work in these new circumstances.
Especially the "improvements" by Wagner were used by generations of
conductors up to this day. Besides that, there was a tendency to
perform the music slower and slower, with a few exceptions.
The result is that we simply forgot what Beethoven implied in his
own notes. Thanks to modern scholarship we know by now that there is
nothing wrong with Beethoven's original notes and tempi, but that
they simply ask for orchestras that don't try to perform a Beethoven
symphony like a late romantical piece of music.
It's all a matter of rebalancing strings and winds, keeping the
orchestra relatvely small, and last but not least, use the kind of
sharp phrasing from Beethoven's days, rather than the sluggish one
that we have come used to. Of course, period instruments might help
greatly in keeping the clarity, even while performing at the speed
that Beethoven asked.
In my view there is nothing wrong with Beethoven's metronome
markings in the symphony, as long as the performing style of his
days is used.
Yes, and all that this supposed scholarship has accomplished is music
that sounds awful at tempi that trivialize the spirit, if not the
letter, of the score. If you like your music this way, great, but
don't tell me that suspect "scholarship" founded on very shaky
ideological grounds has found a way into Beethoven's dead head,
thereby divining his "real" intentions.
Well just like Beethoven devoted much of his energy in adding the subtlest
possible tempo indications (e.g. he clearly showed his frustration with the
lack of accuracy in tempi by changing an "andante con moto" to "andante con
moto quasi allegretto moderato ma non troppo vivace", shortly before he
discovered the value of the new metronome), he spent a great deal of time
establishing what he thought the best speeds for his symphonies, and the
interrelationships between the different tempi within movements. So why not
take him seriously? I suppose you also agree with the mutilation of his
scores by Wagner and others, because they are in accordance with Beethoven's
real spirit? How far can one go in defending real spirits?
Post by Gabriel Parra
The vast majority of performing musicians, whose authority in music is
greater than that of academics who try to make science of what they
seem to forget is an art, agree that Beethoven's tempi are quite
simply wrong.
That's simply nonsense. It's more that many performers understand the
relationships between tempi and instruments, etc., but don't have the urge
for historical correctness.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Either his metronome malfunctioned--and let's not
forget that Malzel, besides inventing the metronome, was the man
principally responsible for the worst piece of music Beethoven ever
wrote--or in his head, the music sounded quite differently than it
does in practice. Either way, even if Beethoven's tempi were his
preference, that means nothing, since we are the ones who get to
decide how we want our music played, and not academic research and
especially not a man who's dead.
Sure, everybody should decide for himself how he wants Beethoven to be
played, I even know people who prefer it by MIDI. But if you find historical
facts of any value in the understanding and appreciation of the nusic, you
should be aware that there is a strong relationship between tempi, phrasing,
orchestral size, used instruments, and changing aesthetics.
Already during Beethoven's life tempi began slowing down as an element of
the Romantic movement, and in fact this was one of the reasons why Beethoven
found the new invention by Maelzel useful.

The active role of the greatest forger of all time, Schindler, in the
decennia after Beethoven's death, as an advocate of slowing down Beethoven's
tempi, and his controversy with fast conductors like Mendelssohn-Bartholdy,
is well-known by now. If you believe that slowing down tempi is a way to
regain the real spirit of a piece of music, I wonder why Beethoven himself
thought radically different.

A good performance by an orchestra that takes the aesthetics of Beethoven's
time as a point of departure rather than those prevailing a century later,
concerning tempi, phrasing, balance, etc., shows that there is hardly any
problem in performing the music according to Beethoven's wishes, concerning
drama, spirit, architecture, and clarity. Besides, an "improved" score is
not necessary, because textual problems cease to exist!

btw Wellington's Sieg might be noisy and overpopular; at the same time it's
a very clever and exciting piece of music that only Beethoven could have
written. It's a sign of weakness that you use your disgust for this music as
an argument against the reliability of the metronome.
David W
2006-08-01 00:33:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Franneke
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
Some 120 to 140 years ago composers like Mahler and Wagner re-wrote sections
of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And they did so
because they thought that the music needed to be adapted to new
circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls, different
instruments, a different balance between strings and winds in favor of
strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes simply didn't
work in these new circumstances.
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but Cook claimed that the
changes went further. He said that Mahler made it sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven
(I don't recall if he also said that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
Post by Franneke
Especially the "improvements" by Wagner were used by generations of
conductors up to this day. Besides that, there was a tendency to perform the
music slower and slower, with a few exceptions.
The result is that we simply forgot what Beethoven implied in his own notes.
Thanks to modern scholarship we know by now that there is nothing wrong with
Beethoven's original notes and tempi, but that they simply ask for
orchestras that don't try to perform a Beethoven symphony like a late
romantical piece of music.
Maybe there's nothing "wrong" with the original notes and tempi, but slowing down the low
string parts won't merely correct for changes to instruments and orchestra sizes to
produce an experience as much as possible like Beethoven intended with the orchestras in
his day. When played fast, I simply don't have time to appreciate those parts, and the
"argument" between the different sections of the orchestra as to what to play just doesn't
sound right. It sounds as though the conductor is trying to get that whole section out of
the way, as though it is a nuisance. It will sound like that regardless of the orchestra
or the instruments used.

David
Peter T. Daniels
2006-08-01 03:00:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by Franneke
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
Some 120 to 140 years ago composers like Mahler and Wagner re-wrote sections
of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And they did so
because they thought that the music needed to be adapted to new
circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls, different
instruments, a different balance between strings and winds in favor of
strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes simply didn't
work in these new circumstances.
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but Cook claimed that the
changes went further. He said that Mahler made it sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven
(I don't recall if he also said that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
Mahler's Schumann certainly doesn't sound like Mahler.

But if you want to complain about that sort of thing, how about
Mozart's Messiah and Mendelssohn's St. Matthew Passion?

These are two examples of a very different kind of "arranging" --
important for "reception history" as conductors' retouchings of
orchestration to take into account the different qualities of modern
instruments is not.
Franneke
2006-08-03 16:41:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by David W
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but
Cook claimed that the changes went further. He said that Mahler made
it sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven (I don't recall if he
also said that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
Mahler's Schumann certainly doesn't sound like Mahler.
I just read an article in the latest issue of '19th Century Music' (vol.
XXIX/3) about Mahler's retouchings, but the critics of those days, around
1900, don't agree with you. In fact, they found that every Austro-German
composer as revised and conducted by Mahler, sounded like Mahler.
A lot of antisemitism was involved; one critic wrote about "a vampire in
need of sound"; and in their vision all German music was poisoned by the
typical yewish materilistic nervous style of Mahler the yew.
They had a point though by accusing Mahler of "overpainting" ("übermahlen")
Beethoven's Ninth. But why not complain of Wagners overpaintings? Wagner,
btw, setting the tone with his essay "Das Judentum in der Musik", in which
he stated that yews were BAD for German music.
A startling article; an abstract can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/zhc2s
Post by Peter T. Daniels
But if you want to complain about that sort of thing, how about
Mozart's Messiah and Mendelssohn's St. Matthew Passion?
Both very nice and interesting to compare with the "real" stuff.
Post by Peter T. Daniels
These are two examples of a very different kind of "arranging" --
important for "reception history" as conductors' retouchings of
orchestration to take into account the different qualities of modern
instruments is not.
Yep, but there wasn't such a thing as "HIP"yet. So they both didn't just
rearrange in order to make the music fit for their modern orchestras, but
also for new tastes.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-03 19:35:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
... and in their vision all German music was poisoned by the typical
yewish materilistic nervous style of Mahler the yew.
Wagner, btw, setting the tone with his essay "Das Judentum in der Musik",
in which he stated that yews were BAD for German music.
All this fuss over a bunch of coniferous trees!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Franneke
2006-08-03 19:49:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
... and in their vision all German music was poisoned by the typical
yewish materilistic nervous style of Mahler the yew.
Wagner, btw, setting the tone with his essay "Das Judentum in der
Musik", in which he stated that yews were BAD for German music.
All this fuss over a bunch of coniferous trees!
Hum.... I deeply apologize to all yews and to all jews for mixing them up.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-04 01:52:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Franneke
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
... and in their vision all German music was poisoned by the typical
yewish materilistic nervous style of Mahler the yew.
Wagner, btw, setting the tone with his essay "Das Judentum in der
Musik", in which he stated that yews were BAD for German music.
All this fuss over a bunch of coniferous trees!
Hum.... I deeply apologize to all yews and to all jews for mixing them up.
Thank yew!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Franneke
2006-08-01 09:31:36 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
sections of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And
they did so because they thought that the music needed to be adapted
to new circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls,
different instruments, a different balance between strings and winds
in favor of strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original
notes simply didn't work in these new circumstances.
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but
Cook claimed that the changes went further. He said that Mahler made
it sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven (I don't recall if he also
said that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
Wagner didn't go as far a Mahler if I am right, but he was far more
influential. He revised the score of the ninth several times, and justified
this by saying that he felt it as a moral obligation to do so: in the first
place in order to adapt the work to the new orchestras and the new balances;
in the second place because he believed, or wanted to believe, that
Beethoven, due to his deafness, had been stuck in his head with the
classical orchestras of Mozart's days. Wagner believed that due to his
"improvements" (adding instruments, transposing passages, changing tempi,
etc.) he made Beethoven more sound like Beethoven than Beethoven did
himself.
Some of these Wagner changes are still in use.
Post by David W
Especially the "improvements" by Wagner were used by generations of
conductors up to this day. Besides that, there was a tendency to
perform the music slower and slower, with a few exceptions.
The result is that we simply forgot what Beethoven implied in his
own notes. Thanks to modern scholarship we know by now that there is
nothing wrong with Beethoven's original notes and tempi, but that
they simply ask for orchestras that don't try to perform a Beethoven
symphony like a late romantical piece of music.
Maybe there's nothing "wrong" with the original notes and tempi, but
slowing down the low string parts won't merely correct for changes to
instruments and orchestra sizes to produce an experience as much as
possible like Beethoven intended with the orchestras in his day. When
played fast, I simply don't have time to appreciate those parts, and
the "argument" between the different sections of the orchestra as to
what to play just doesn't sound right. It sounds as though the
conductor is trying to get that whole section out of the way, as
though it is a nuisance. It will sound like that regardless of the
orchestra or the instruments used.
Ok, I can understand that you prefer the section slower in order to
appreciate it better. On the other hand, I believe that Beethoven wanted the
music to sound just as he had written it down, and there is nothing to
improve. People's tastes differ, but there is nothing wrong with the music
as it is.
Alan P Dawes
2006-08-01 10:53:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
sections of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And
they did so because they thought that the music needed to be adapted
to new circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls,
different instruments, a different balance between strings and winds
in favor of strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes
simply didn't work in these new circumstances.
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but
Cook claimed that the changes went further. He said that Mahler made it
sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven (I don't recall if he also said
that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
I thought that Mahler's changes to the Beethoven 9th were for specific
performances not as a new edition for universal use as Wagner's seem to
be. Mahler was an excellent conductor and would have been acutely aware of
limitations within the orchestra and hall sound so eg the addition of
lower brass to help out a weak sounding double bass section in a
particular performance would be perfectly reasonable. To me the orchestral
writing in Mahler's symphonies suggests that he had a keen ear for clarity
of textures so changes to the orchestration in other works to aid this in
halls that were particularly reverberant also seem reasonable provided
they were only meant for his own performances. Were these changes
published for others to use? If so was it Mahler himself who published
them or was it later when he was so famous that a publisher could make
money by using Mahler's name on the edition?

Alan
--
--. --. --. --. : : --- --- ----------------------------
|_| |_| | _ | | | | |_ | ***@argonet.co.uk
| | |\ | | | | |\| | | ***@riscos.org
| | | \ |_| |_| | | |__ | Using an Acorn RiscPC
Eric Grunin
2006-08-05 07:25:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by Franneke
Post by David W
For me of course. It's the low string parts that suffer the most.
Most conductors that I've heard play them at a slow or moderate
tempo, which really sounds right for them. At Beethoven's tempo they
are rushed through and sound so wrong that I can't imagine anyone
preferring them that way. I remember one British conductor visiting
Australia who described those parts as sounding "superficial" when
played at Beethoven's tempo, and I agree.
Some 120 to 140 years ago composers like Mahler and Wagner re-wrote sections
of Beethoven's 9th. They called these "improvements". And they did so
because they thought that the music needed to be adapted to new
circumstances.
These circumstances were: bigger orchestras, bigger concert halls, different
instruments, a different balance between strings and winds in favor of
strings. Some of the effects of Beethoven's original notes simply didn't
work in these new circumstances.
I'm aware of this mostly from Nicholas Cook's book on the ninth, but Cook claimed that the
changes went further. He said that Mahler made it sound like Mahler rather than Beethoven
(I don't recall if he also said that Wagner made it sound like Wagner).
I think this is just wrong, but you can hear it for yourself: all the
Beethoven/Mahler symphonies have been recorded by Peter Tiboris. The
booklets for those issues also helpfully point out where the more
audible changes are. (I've only heard the Eroica, and unfortunately
it's terribly dull.)

Regards,
Eric Grunin
www.grunin.com/eroica
Donn Miller
2006-08-13 08:07:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David W
Post by David W
Post by James Redford
I don't believe I have heard Benjamin Zander's conduction of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It seems like something interesting to check
into, in order see how Beethoven's metronome markings make the work
sound.
They make it sound lousy, IMHO. The early part of the finale (preceding the
movement's
Post by David W
signature theme), in particular, is way too fast. Beethoven's tempi ruin the
symphony.
Too fast for whom? You? Beethoven? Who wrote the thing for goodness' sake? If the
composer's markings indicate it should be played in a particular way, isn't that
the way he meant it to sound? Are you trying to say Beethoven was wrong about
Beethoven's music?
Tempi are more of a conceptualization, an idea of how fast the piece
should be performed, but only in theory. In practice, there are other
factors which would greatly affect the speed at which it would be
performed. By the time the composer made it to the concert hall, and
had to adjust to acoustics and real instruments, no doubt there would be
"adjustments". But the argument is not should adjustments be made, but
how liberal should the conductors/performers be in "adjusting" the tempi.

Another thing to keep in mind is that tunings were slightly lower in
Beethoven's day, so, naturally, this should be kept in mind as well.
These discrepencies in frequency can have a profound effect on the mood
on some pieces. Every key, every modulation was carefully chosen by
Beethoven. Of course, the relationships between keys will be the same,
but the mood is definitely affected.

So, even if the tempi were obeyed, there's still the issue of tunings.

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Lora Crighton
2006-08-13 18:07:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Donn Miller
Another thing to keep in mind is that tunings were slightly lower in
Beethoven's day, so, naturally, this should be kept in mind as well.
These discrepencies in frequency can have a profound effect on the mood
on some pieces. Every key, every modulation was carefully chosen by
Beethoven. Of course, the relationships between keys will be the same,
but the mood is definitely affected.
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He says "No
one will deny that a composition, transposed from its original key into another,
produces a different effect or that this alteration is produced by a difference
in the character of the keys; only try the "Desir Waltz" in A major, or the
"Bridal Chorus" in B major! The new key seems contradictory to the feeling: the
normal state of mind in which these compositions were written has been carried
into a foreign sphere."

His examples are both changing the pitch by only a semitone, which is actually
not enough that I would even notice a difference to hear it. How much would the
mood really be affected by the difference in pitch between Beethoven's time and now?
--
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.
David Gray Porter
2006-08-13 18:27:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lora Crighton
Post by Donn Miller
Another thing to keep in mind is that tunings were slightly lower in
Beethoven's day, so, naturally, this should be kept in mind as well.
These discrepencies in frequency can have a profound effect on the mood
on some pieces. Every key, every modulation was carefully chosen by
Beethoven. Of course, the relationships between keys will be the same,
but the mood is definitely affected.
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He says
"No one will deny that a composition, transposed from its original key
into another, produces a different effect or that this alteration is
produced by a difference in the character of the keys; only try the "Desir
Waltz" in A major, or the "Bridal Chorus" in B major! The new key seems
contradictory to the feeling: the normal state of mind in which these
compositions were written has been carried into a foreign sphere."
His examples are both changing the pitch by only a semitone, which is
actually not enough that I would even notice a difference to hear it. How
much would the mood really be affected by the difference in pitch between
Beethoven's time and now?
Drawing on some personal knowledge, there's a piece by Bill Houston (written
for the Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra) called "No Work on the
Collective Farm." There's no program to it, it's just an elegy-piece in Bb
minor. Lloyd Rodgers described it in notes as a piece in the bizarre dark
key of Bb minor. But it never struck me as a bizarre or especially dark
key. But when I listen to Bach that is written in C minor (say the Musical
Offering, and by Leonhardt), it comes closer to being in today's B minor,
and it is a very bright key (brighter than C minor). So the key described
as the "dark and bizarre Bb minor" may actually be A minor -- which is the
key of Mahler's 6th Symphony as an example of very dark and bizarre music.
David Gray Porter
2006-08-13 18:30:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
That quartet at the end of the Finale sounds even weirder in lowered pitch.

"Must be a full moon out, the Bass has turned into a growling beasts!"
"AAAAHHHHH, ahhhhh-ahhhh-ahhhh-ahhhhh-ahhhh...."
"Yes, there is a full moon out, it's Beethoven dropping his pants at the
Bass."
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-13 20:36:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lora Crighton
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He
says "No one will deny that a composition, transposed from its original
key into another, produces a different effect or that this alteration is
produced by a difference in the character of the keys; only try the
"Desir Waltz" in A major, or the "Bridal Chorus" in B major! The new key
seems contradictory to the feeling: the normal state of mind in which
these compositions were written has been carried into a foreign sphere."
I wonder what Schumann would have thought of Perry Como's version of his
"Wilder Reiter"?
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Lora Crighton
2006-08-13 20:49:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Lora Crighton
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He
says "No one will deny that a composition, transposed from its original
key into another, produces a different effect or that this alteration is
produced by a difference in the character of the keys; only try the
"Desir Waltz" in A major, or the "Bridal Chorus" in B major! The new key
seems contradictory to the feeling: the normal state of mind in which
these compositions were written has been carried into a foreign sphere."
I wonder what Schumann would have thought of Perry Como's version of his
"Wilder Reiter"?
That would certainly be carrying it into a foreign sphere.
--
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions
To all musicians, appear and inspire:
Translated Daughter, come down and startle
Composing mortals with immortal fire.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-13 21:08:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lora Crighton
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Lora Crighton
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He
says "No one will deny that a composition, transposed from its
original key into another, produces a different effect or that this
alteration is produced by a difference in the character of the keys;
only try the "Desir Waltz" in A major, or the "Bridal Chorus" in B
major! The new key seems contradictory to the feeling: the normal
state of mind in which these compositions were written has been
carried into a foreign sphere."
I wonder what Schumann would have thought of Perry Como's version of
his "Wilder Reiter"?
That would certainly be carrying it into a foreign sphere.
On horseback, yet.

http://musicyouwont.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_musicyouwont_archive.html

May 20th.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Lora Crighton
2006-08-14 01:55:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Lora Crighton
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder what Schumann would have thought of Perry Como's version of
his "Wilder Reiter"?
That would certainly be carrying it into a foreign sphere.
On horseback, yet.
http://musicyouwont.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_musicyouwont_archive.html
"It would take schools of the finest professors
usin' their thinkers to keep you from me"

I'd forgotten just how silly some of his lyrics were!
--
Io la Musica son, ch'ai dolci accenti
So far tranquillo ogni turbato core,
Et or di nobil ira et or d'amore
Poss'infiammar le più gelate menti.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-14 05:37:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lora Crighton
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by Lora Crighton
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder what Schumann would have thought of Perry Como's version of
his "Wilder Reiter"?
That would certainly be carrying it into a foreign sphere.
On horseback, yet.
http://musicyouwont.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_musicyouwont_archive.html
"It would take schools of the finest professors
usin' their thinkers to keep you from me"
I'd forgotten just how silly some of his lyrics were!
Hot diggity, you're right!
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Peter T. Daniels
2006-08-13 22:54:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Lora Crighton
I read an interesting article by Schumann on the subject of keys. He says "No
one will deny that a composition, transposed from its original key into another,
produces a different effect or that this alteration is produced by a difference
in the character of the keys; only try the "Desir Waltz" in A major, or the
"Bridal Chorus" in B major! The new key seems contradictory to the feeling: the
normal state of mind in which these compositions were written has been carried
into a foreign sphere."
His examples are both changing the pitch by only a semitone, which is actually
not enough that I would even notice a difference to hear it. How much would the
mood really be affected by the difference in pitch between Beethoven's time and now?
I once asked my chorus director why it seemed to me that two pop songs
we had done several seasons apart were similar or related (I don't
remember what they were, except one of them might have been "Sometimes
When We Touch," which I think is by Billy Joel), and the only thing he
could come up with was that our arrangements were in the same key.

(And I don't have anything remotely approaching perfect pitch.)

I also find that many of my favorite pieces are in Eb Major (Sinfonia
Concertante, Wagner's Ring, Mahler's 8th, etc.). But I have no reason
to suppose that if I heard something new and liked it, that I'd
recognize it as Eb Major!
Keith Edgerley
2006-08-14 09:24:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
I once asked my chorus director why it seemed to me that two pop songs
we had done several seasons apart were similar or related (I don't
remember what they were, except one of them might have been "Sometimes
When We Touch," which I think is by Billy Joel), and the only thing he
could come up with was that our arrangements were in the same key.
(And I don't have anything remotely approaching perfect pitch.)
I also find that many of my favorite pieces are in Eb Major (Sinfonia
Concertante, Wagner's Ring, Mahler's 8th, etc.). But I have no reason
to suppose that if I heard something new and liked it, that I'd
recognize it as Eb Major!
(drifting even further...)

Listening to a jazz piece with a pianist friend the other day, we wondered
what key the band was playing in. Some play it in F, others in G.

"One moment," he says, gets out a handkerchief, and noisily blows his nose.

"It's in F," he says.

It turns out that when he blows his nose, that organ consistently sounds an
Ab, which he can then use as a reference.

Has anyone else heard of this kind of phenomenon?

Keith Edgerley
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-14 14:37:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Keith Edgerley
Listening to a jazz piece with a pianist friend the other day, we
wondered what key the band was playing in. Some play it in F, others in
G.
"One moment," he says, gets out a handkerchief, and noisily blows his nose.
"It's in F," he says.
It turns out that when he blows his nose, that organ consistently sounds
an Ab, which he can then use as a reference.
Has anyone else heard of this kind of phenomenon?
No, but I'll bet he gets offers from his friend to buy him a pitchpipe.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Mark
2006-08-13 18:56:21 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Donn Miller
Another thing to keep in mind is that tunings were slightly lower in
Beethoven's day, so, naturally, this should be kept in mind as well.
These discrepencies in frequency can have a profound effect on the
mood on some pieces. Every key, every modulation was carefully chosen
by Beethoven. Of course, the relationships between keys will be the
same, but the mood is definitely affected.
So, even if the tempi were obeyed, there's still the issue of tunings.
What about temperament? Was equal temperament common at the time? Did
Beethoven know (of) it? Or was he perhaps conditioned to earlier forms of
temperament when he was younger?
--
Mark

x = 123 in email address
Thornhill
2006-06-18 22:51:13 UTC
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Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
Gardiner/ORR (DG/Archiv)

Szell/Cleveland (Sony)

Muti/Philadelphia (EMI)
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-19 02:07:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Thornhill
Gardiner/ORR (DG/Archiv)
Szell/Cleveland (Sony)
Muti/Philadelphia (EMI)
Perhaps you're not aware that it is possible to edit a post when
responding to it ?
j***@aol.com
2006-06-18 22:51:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
So where does Toscanini not seem to know how to achieve his goal in
this work?
Post by James Redford
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing.
And, um, where exactly was it that Karajan seemed lost, by comparison,
or at least where his orchestra doesn't know what it's doing?

I'm not a collector of Beethoven 9ths like you, but I have trouble
remembering more than one or two that struck me as seeming lost or
straining at things they don't understand. Otherwise, I think I'd leap
to my feat and buy this recording you recommend.

--Jeff
James Redford
2006-06-18 23:29:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
Post by James Redford
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
So where does Toscanini not seem to know how to achieve his goal in
this work?
Post by James Redford
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing.
And, um, where exactly was it that Karajan seemed lost, by comparison,
or at least where his orchestra doesn't know what it's doing?
All over the place. It (i.e., the 1962 performance that I own) is a
sloppy work as compared to Richard Edlinger's conduction of the Zagreb
Philharmonic. Particularly with the tempi in a number of places, the
dynamics of instruments and voices in various places, and choral
harmonics.
Post by j***@aol.com
I'm not a collector of Beethoven 9ths like you, but I have trouble
remembering more than one or two that struck me as seeming lost or
straining at things they don't understand. Otherwise, I think I'd leap
to my feat and buy this recording you recommend.
--Jeff
Raymond Hall
2006-06-19 00:29:20 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
I'm not a collector of Beethoven 9ths like you, but I have trouble
remembering more than one or two that struck me as seeming lost or
straining at things they don't understand.
I was going to say something, and then felt charitable ....
<g>

Ray H
Taree
d***@andadv.com
2006-06-19 17:37:58 UTC
Reply
Permalink
***@aol.com wrote:> And, um, where exactly was it that Karajan
seemed lost, by comparison,
Post by j***@aol.com
or at least where his orchestra doesn't know what it's doing?
I'll add my own observation here. Karajan's early '60s version was the
very first 9th I purchased on LP (c. 1978), so I've lost count of how
many times I've listened to it over the years. I've always found it to
be nearly out of control in most of the first movement, from about the
middle all the way to the end, and in parts of the second movement as
well. "Nearly" is the operative word here. It sounds to my ears as
though (1) Karajan is pushing the orchestra at one blistering pace and
(2) the orchestra itself is moving at an almost equally (but different)
blistering pace and (3) it seems to be only by sheer luck that the two
entities come back together without falling on their collective faces.
Yes, there is slight exaggeration in my comments...but ONLY slight.
Some people might find it thrilling, but more and more in replaying
this performance I find myself perceiving it as sloppy. I most
definitely prefer precision and control in tandem with extreme speed.
This conductor/orchestra disconnect seems to reappear in the second
movement but the problem clears up much more quickly and the playing
improves from that point on. Still, in those two sections, I'd have to
agree with the comments of the OP.

Other sections of the performance, of course, are splendid...and so it
maintains a relatively high rating with me in spite of these
shortcomings. And of course, these ARE only my opinions. YMMV and
probably will.

Now as to the specific recommendation on Naxos & other associated
labels, I cannot comment at all, not having heard it. Though I admit
that I'm curious...

FWIW,

Dirk
Peter T. Daniels
2006-06-19 22:05:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by j***@aol.com
seemed lost, by comparison,
Post by j***@aol.com
or at least where his orchestra doesn't know what it's doing?
I'll add my own observation here. Karajan's early '60s version was the
very first 9th I purchased on LP (c. 1978), so I've lost count of how
many times I've listened to it over the years. I've always found it to
be nearly out of control in most of the first movement, from about the
middle all the way to the end, and in parts of the second movement as
well. "Nearly" is the operative word here. It sounds to my ears as
though (1) Karajan is pushing the orchestra at one blistering pace and
(2) the orchestra itself is moving at an almost equally (but different)
blistering pace and (3) it seems to be only by sheer luck that the two
entities come back together without falling on their collective faces.
Yes, there is slight exaggeration in my comments...but ONLY slight.
Some people might find it thrilling, but more and more in replaying
this performance I find myself perceiving it as sloppy. I most
definitely prefer precision and control in tandem with extreme speed.
This conductor/orchestra disconnect seems to reappear in the second
movement but the problem clears up much more quickly and the playing
improves from that point on. Still, in those two sections, I'd have to
agree with the comments of the OP.
Other sections of the performance, of course, are splendid...and so it
maintains a relatively high rating with me in spite of these
shortcomings. And of course, these ARE only my opinions. YMMV and
probably will.
Now as to the specific recommendation on Naxos & other associated
labels, I cannot comment at all, not having heard it. Though I admit
that I'm curious...
Why is "extreme speed" a Good Thing?
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
d***@andadv.com
2006-06-21 16:48:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Peter T. Daniels wrote:> Why is "extreme speed" a Good Thing?


It isn't, necessarily. It provides visceral excitement and an
opportunity for virtuosic display, of course, but to each his own.

More to the point of this discussion, it exists in Karajan's version of
the LvB 9th, and if a conductor (or a solo musician, for that matter)
is going to offer us that as an approach for a particular piece, I
personally want to hear precision and control providing a foundation.

By the same token, extreme slowness also takes superb concentration and
care to pull off well if one is to avoid audience foot-shuffling or
snores--c.f., any of a number of solo pieces by Sviatoslav Richter
(often he pulls it off, sometimes he doesn't).

Remember, too, these comments represent my opinion--nothing that's
binding on anyone else.

Cheers,

Dirk
d***@andadv.com
2006-06-21 19:12:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by d***@andadv.com
--c.f., any of a number of solo pieces by Sviatoslav Richter
Oops. Slip o' the keyboard.

I meant cf.--not c.f.

Mea culpa,

Dirk
Simon Roberts
2006-06-19 18:17:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
In article <***@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
***@aol.com says...

[snip]
Post by j***@aol.com
I'm not a collector of Beethoven 9ths like you, but I have trouble
remembering more than one or two that struck me as seeming lost or
straining at things they don't understand. Otherwise, I think I'd leap
to my feat and buy this recording you recommend.
My initial reaction was to wonder why it had taken so long for a post written on
April 1 to reach my news server....

Simon
Ronit
2006-06-18 23:27:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I suppose I'm a collector of the 9th symphony, since I own more
recordings of this work than any other.

I think Furtwangler/BPO/1942 is pretty much the final word here.
Nothing else really compares. If you haven't heard it yet, you simply
must do so!

For something in modern sound, I hold Barenboim/Berliner Staatskapelle
in quite high esteem.
David Oberman
2006-06-18 23:53:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ronit
I suppose I'm a collector of the 9th symphony, since I own more
recordings of this work than any other.
I think Furtwangler/BPO/1942 is pretty much the final word here.
Nothing else really compares. If you haven't heard it yet, you simply
must do so!
There's an interesting discussion of that (as well as an audio file)
over on the Beethoven Reference Site bulletin board:
http://www.gyrix.com/cgi-bin/beethoven/Ultimate.cgi?
Ronit
2006-06-19 00:12:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David Oberman
Post by Ronit
I suppose I'm a collector of the 9th symphony, since I own more
recordings of this work than any other.
I think Furtwangler/BPO/1942 is pretty much the final word here.
Nothing else really compares. If you haven't heard it yet, you simply
must do so!
There's an interesting discussion of that (as well as an audio file)
http://www.gyrix.com/cgi-bin/beethoven/Ultimate.cgi?
I don't see an interesting discussions as much as a bunch of pedantic
HIPsters whining about metronome markings.

(I'm not generally biased against HIP at all, but some of the
philistines on that thread are really off-putting.)
Ronit
2006-06-19 00:16:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ronit
Post by David Oberman
Post by Ronit
I suppose I'm a collector of the 9th symphony, since I own more
recordings of this work than any other.
I think Furtwangler/BPO/1942 is pretty much the final word here.
Nothing else really compares. If you haven't heard it yet, you simply
must do so!
There's an interesting discussion of that (as well as an audio file)
http://www.gyrix.com/cgi-bin/beethoven/Ultimate.cgi?
I don't see an interesting discussions as much as a bunch of pedantic
HIPsters whining about metronome markings.
(I'm not generally biased against HIP at all, but some of the
philistines on that thread are really off-putting.)
Er...I may have over-reacted. It seems mostly to be one uninformed
idiot named Rod dominating the discussion. His comments on Bach are
just as ridiculous.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-06-19 02:52:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ronit
I suppose I'm a collector of the 9th symphony, since I own more
recordings of this work than any other.
I think Furtwangler/BPO/1942 is pretty much the final word here.
Nothing else really compares. If you haven't heard it yet, you simply
must do so!
That's the one I call a "Heil-fest." It disgusts me.

My favorite, on the other hand, is Weingartner/VPO 1935.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Ronit
2006-06-19 03:21:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
That's the one I call a "Heil-fest." It disgusts me.
I could see someone not liking it, but "disgusts" seems like a very
strong reaction. Care to elaborate why?
Todd Schurk
2006-06-19 03:32:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ronit
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
That's the one I call a "Heil-fest." It disgusts me.
I could see someone not liking it, but "disgusts" seems like a very
strong reaction. Care to elaborate why?
Tennstedt/London Phil.,1991 in the Memories complete set. The Alpha and
Omega. The only one I can really put in the same league as Furtwangler
'42. Klemp live on Testament '57 , Szell live on Living Stage from
Vienna '68, and Bruno Walter live from Vienna '55 on Orfeo D'or are
just slightly less than those two imo. But those 5 are far ahead of
anything I've come across. Which means 50 or more others including the
one lauded in the original post which I found run of the mill at best.
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-06-19 03:51:47 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ronit
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
That's the one I call a "Heil-fest." It disgusts me.
I could see someone not liking it, but "disgusts" seems like a very
strong reaction. Care to elaborate why?
Well, obviously the composition of the audience was the most disgusting
ever assembled. If an Allied bomb had landed on the auditorium, reducing
it and all those within to tiny fragments, the world would immediately have
become a better place ... despite the sad collateral loss of Furtwängler
and the orchestra.

But that's an extracurricular reason. If you ask me for a musical reason,
it is because it reduces Beethoven's great call for joy from a celebration
to a shriek of pain and irony. I've seen some of the performance's
supporters claim that it was actually a sort of coded protest against the
regime then in power, and its methods ... in which case it is the single
most futile protest in the history of humankind.

Give me Weingartner/VPO 1935, which is a call for the brotherhood of all
people, and not a savage mockery of what I like to think was Beethoven's
intentions in setting Schiller's poem.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Curtis Croulet
2006-06-19 03:45:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"Disgusts" isn't a word I would apply to it, but I certainly feel
uncomfortable listening to it. I often wonder what was going through the
minds of the audience. What did they think when they heard "Alle Menschen
werden Brüder," knowing that their neighbors were, um, disappearing?
--
Curtis Croulet
Temecula, California
33°27'59"N, 117°05'53"W
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-06-19 03:51:48 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Curtis Croulet
"Disgusts" isn't a word I would apply to it, but I certainly feel
uncomfortable listening to it. I often wonder what was going through
the minds of the audience. What did they think when they heard "Alle
Menschen werden Brüder," knowing that their neighbors were, um,
disappearing?
Some of them, I am sure, didn't consider some of the inhabitants of their
Homeland to have been quite human.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Michael Lehrman
2006-06-19 23:39:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
[snip]
Post by James Redford
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
For $13 one may get it out of a pure curiosity. Pity Cheryl Studer is not in
it.
ML
Ortrud
2006-06-21 15:07:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Pity Cheryl Studer is not in it.
Actually, Cheryl Studer can be heard in TWO recordings of LvB's 9th.

Cheryl Studer, Delores Ziegler, Peter-Maria Schnitzer (nee Seiffert),
James Morris
The Westminster Choir, Director: Joseph Flummerfelt
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Conductor: Riccardo Muti
Recording: Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, April 1988
EMI CDC 7 49493 2

Cheryl Studer, Anke Vondung, Christian Elsner, Johannes Schwärsky
Philharmonie der Nationen, Conductor: Justus Frantz
Live recording: Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt zu Berlin
12 January 2003
Available from Justus Frantz's website
http://www.justus-frantz.de/207/de/0/a/0/vol_37_ludwig_van_beethoven.html
s***@online.no
2006-06-20 00:22:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
The 8th from the series was alway one of my favorite Beethoven disks.
Unbelievable that Naxos once with-drew these recordings from their
main label and replaced them with the rather boring Drahos ( in worse
sound even).
I have often wondered why Edlinger is not recorded more, or why not
invited to Vienna and Berlin etc (instead of all these usual bores)?
O.S.
Sacqueboutier
2006-08-05 18:48:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
Just listened to Kletzki with the Czech Phil. While I rather like
his no-nonsense approach to the music, and I LOVE the sound
of that orchestra, this recording is just not competitive as it
features what surely must be the WORST vocal quartet ever
to have graced this piece. The soprano alone is laughable.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Matthew B. Tepper
2006-08-05 19:03:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Sacqueboutier <***@nocomspamcast.net> appears to have caused the
following letters to be typed in news:2006080514483750073-
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
Just listened to Kletzki with the Czech Phil. While I rather like his
no-nonsense approach to the music, and I LOVE the sound of that
orchestra, this recording is just not competitive as it features what
surely must be the WORST vocal quartet ever to have graced this piece.
The soprano alone is laughable.
The same that Victor Carr raved about on this site?

http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1907
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)
Sacqueboutier
2006-08-05 23:39:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
following letters to be typed in news:2006080514483750073-
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
Just listened to Kletzki with the Czech Phil. While I rather like his
no-nonsense approach to the music, and I LOVE the sound of that
orchestra, this recording is just not competitive as it features what
surely must be the WORST vocal quartet ever to have graced this piece.
The soprano alone is laughable.
The same that Victor Carr raved about on this site?
http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=1907
That's the one. I agree with everything he writes save for his
praise of the soloists. The chorus is great. The orchestra is great.
The conductor knows his stuff. The soloists suck.

I was playing it in the van today and my 11 year old daughter
exclaimed from the back seat, "Dad, what is WRONG with her?"
She was wobbling all over the place and didn't really land on
many notes.

As for the "O Freunde...", I don't really like the tone of this
bass/baritone at all
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
Vaneyes
2006-08-06 01:12:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
I was playing it in the van today and my 11 year old daughter
exclaimed from the back seat, "Dad, what is WRONG with her?"
Heh heh.

Regards
Sacqueboutier
2006-08-06 10:59:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Vaneyes
Post by Sacqueboutier
I was playing it in the van today and my 11 year old daughter
exclaimed from the back seat, "Dad, what is WRONG with her?"
Heh heh.
Regards
...and might I add, my daughter studies voice. She doesn't react this
way to all classical singing. She also loves the opera.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
a***@aol.com
2006-08-05 19:43:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
Just listened to Kletzki with the Czech Phil. While I rather like
his no-nonsense approach to the music, and I LOVE the sound
of that orchestra, this recording is just not competitive as it
features what surely must be the WORST vocal quartet ever
to have graced this piece. The soprano alone is laughable.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I'll leave others to dissect that:):) but that's bloody great playing
in Movement III - Furtwangler with "top".

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Sacqueboutier
2006-08-05 23:40:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Sacqueboutier
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
in September 1988.
Just listened to Kletzki with the Czech Phil. While I rather like
his no-nonsense approach to the music, and I LOVE the sound
of that orchestra, this recording is just not competitive as it
features what surely must be the WORST vocal quartet ever
to have graced this piece. The soprano alone is laughable.
--
Best wishes,
Sacqueboutier
I'll leave others to dissect that:):) but that's bloody great playing
in Movement III - Furtwangler with "top".
Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
That's bloody great playing throughout the whole piece. Choral singing, too.
It's the quartet that brings the piece to its knees.
--
Best wishes,

Sacqueboutier
David Gray Porter
2006-08-06 21:46:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Sacqueboutier
That's bloody great playing throughout the whole piece. Choral singing, too.
It's the quartet that brings the piece to its knees.
Especially when the bass enters on that low F#. "Waaaaaaaa,
aaaa-aaaaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-aaaa...."
Sounds like a Volkswagen warming up.
g***@gmail.com
2018-09-02 07:34:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
Which recording should I listen to to experience the following?:

- At a certain place in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, for example, he might feel that he is floating above the earth in a starry dome, with the dream of immortality in his heart; all the stars seem to glimmer around him, and the earth seems to sink ever deeper downwards.

Friedrich Nietzsche ("Human, All Too Human")
O
2018-09-03 02:10:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by g***@gmail.com
- At a certain place in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, for example, he might feel that he is floating above the earth in a starry dome, with the dream of immortality in his heart; all the stars seem to glimmer around him, and the earth seems to sink ever deeper downwards.
Friedrich Nietzsche ("Human, All Too Human")
You'll need to take the same drugs Nietzsche was on at the time.

-Owen
g***@gmail.com
2020-08-30 07:55:10 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
https://slippedisc.com/2020/08/677484/
John Gladney Proffitt
2020-09-04 19:20:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
If you do not know the Franz Konwitschny/Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra recording from 1959, you owe it to yourself to do so. It has never been bettered, in my opinion. The 2017 new remaster from the original analogue tapes by Berlin Classics is the one to hear.
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
https://slippedisc.com/2020/08/677484/
g***@gmail.com
2020-09-04 19:42:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by James Redford
The best performance and recording--by far--that I've ever heard of
Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 was
conducted by Richard Edlinger and performed by the Zagreb Philharmonic
Symphony No. 9 'Choral' (Naxos 8.550181), and in the five-CD sets
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Lydian 18501), and
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-9 (Complete) (Amadis 7501). (Amadis is
the current budget-brand of Naxos, and was formerly under the name
Lydian. These two five-CD sets are apparently identical, as far as the
actual recordings go.) This is an all-digital recording (stereo, DDD).
This recording has also appeared in various other Naxos sets.
I own Naxos 8.550181, which is no longer in print. But this recording
is the fith CD in the Lydian 18501 and Amadis 7501 sets, of which I
see that the Lydian 18501 set seems to be the one currently available
from online stores. I do not own nor have I listened to the other
recordings in these sets, but going based only on this recording of
the 9th Symphony, I can emphatically recommend and indeed urge that
people get this set (all the more since the entire set is going for
the price of a single typically-priced CD).
Beethoven is my favorite composer, and I've been collecting recordings
of his 9th Symphony since my early teens (I'm currently 28 years of
age). Beethoven's 9th Symphony is my single favorite piece of music.
Currently I only own five different performances and recordings of the
9th Symphony, although previously I've owned quite a number more.
Besides Naxos 8.550181, I also currently own the recordings of Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther
Festspiele on July 29, 1951 (mono, ADD, EMI 5 66953 2), and Herbert
von Karajan conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker in October 1962
(stereo, ADD, Deutsche Grammophone 447 401-2), among others.
But of all the many different performances of Beethoven's 9th Symphony
that I've listened to in great detail, none have I found that come
anywhere close to the competency, grace, grandeur, and emotional power
of the performance given by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb
Philharmonic. It makes all the other recordings of the 9th Symphony
that I've heard figuratively seem like jerry-built contraptions
hobbled together with duct tape and Bondo by comparison, i.e., an
attempt at something that they didn't have the resources (i.e., skill)
available to do right; or even more often, straining at trying to
achieve a goal without knowing how to do it.
Whereas the prowess and the intellectual and emotional command of the
material displayed by Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic on
this recording is breathtaking--as if they have untold skill in
reserve and are just having fun toying with us puny humans. Never do
they come to a passage wherein it seems as if they're lost and don't
know what they're doing. From the first sound of the first movement to
the last in the fourth movement, it feels as if every sound takes its
place and truly belongs, with no sound seeming out of place. And every
passage is performed at a tempo which makes it lock into the entire
movement, forming a seamlessly coherent whole. The result conveyed is
a masterfully articulate performance wherein the masters know
precisely, exactly what it is that they are doing at every moment, and
execute their intention just as they had wanted; moreover, that
Richard Edlinger and the Zagreb Philharmonic have an exceedingly
profound understanding of what it takes to make every passage, every
note, every vocal utterance fit perfectly within the entirety of this
work.
While all the movements on this recording are performed with this
phenomenal adroitness and deep comprehension, most stunning of all is
the fourth movement, especially the choral performance. The vocals
come through loud, clear and awesomely beautiful. One can actually
hear the words pronounced, instead of being a muddled mess like on a
number of recordings of the 9th Symphony. The hormonics created by the
choir are heavenly, as if a host of radiant angels had just descended
from paradise, bringing with them, in song, otherworldly and divine
music. Never have I heard the choral arrangements of the 9th Symphony
performed with such poised competency as on this recording.
Now I say the foregoing based solely on the actual performance, and
not the technical quality of the recording medium or the conditions
under which it was obtained. But when we come to the fidelity of the
actual recording, this performance has been superbly, exquisitely
captured. Although the printed material that came with my CD doesn't
say, based just on listening to the recording, I take it that it's a
studio recording, as there are no coughs, sniffles, or other
extraneous noises to be found, and indeed no clapping at the end of
the fourth movement. And given that no specific day is listed for the
performance, I assume it might have been recorded over the course of
some days in September 1988, possibly with a number of takes.
If the latter part of the previous sentence is the case, then it
somewhat helps in explaining how this masterwork came to be. Although
it is the penetrating choices made in how to perform this piece and
the sheer skill of its execution which makes it the truly magnificent
treasure that it is.
---
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125
Zagreb Philharmonic
Conductor: Richard Edlinger
Gabriele Lechner, Soprano
Diane Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Michael Pabst, Tenor
Robert Holzer, Bass
Recorded in Zagreb in September 1988.
All-digital recording (stereo, DDD)
---
http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1478736
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=2766
http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1196717
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001KPE/
Furt vs. Karajan:

https://slippedisc.com/2020/09/furtwangler-on-beethoven/

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