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Thread: Schubert's 9th - recommended recordings?

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    Junior Member Kryten's Avatar
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    Question Schubert's 9th - recommended recordings?

    I've been listening to a recording of Schubert's 9th recently - to put it lightly, I had to wait in the car for almost an hour this afternoon with nothing else to do but listen to this symphony... the time passed in what felt like seconds.

    The recording I have is one from a BBC Music Magazine coverdisc, recorded live at the BBC Proms back in '91. I couldn't really fault the performance but, as it's a live recording in front of an audience, it contains a fair amount of sneezing and coughing.

    Therefore, I offer myself infront of this forum's collective expertise and ask: are there any recordings of this symphony that you'd particularly recommend as a replacement? Are there any I should avoid?

    Many thanks in advance
    "No silicon heaven? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?"

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    one of my top ten fav symps

    i like Karajan's EMI, Solti out of print, Bohm, Muti,. all stereo

    Furtwangler is great if you don't mind mono.

    you can get Bohms box of all the symps for about 20 dollars.
    Last edited by Itullian; Jan-29-2012 at 19:47.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryten View Post
    I've been listening to a recording of Schubert's 9th recently - to put it lightly, I had to wait in the car for almost an hour this afternoon with nothing else to do but listen to this symphony... the time passed in what felt like seconds.


    Many thanks in advance

    That's nice to read bearing in mind the amount of folk who think the 9th is far too long! Among the recordings of which I'm particularly fond of even though in time-honoured fashion they have garnered disdain and praise alike - Charles Munch's fleet (c. 45 minutes) 50s recording with the Boston SO (on the RCA 'Living Stereo' disc it comes with a v. good Unfinished). Another - which I used to own and play regularly but has since unaccountably gone walkies - is Gardiner's 90s lush but sprightly recording on DG with the VPO. If you fancy a heftier 'heavy-duty' performance (detractors may instead say 'stodgy') try Bohm's recording on DG with the BPO.

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    Senior Member GrosseFugue's Avatar
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    The only version you need is Furtwangler's: http://www.pristineclassical.com/Lar...al/PASC253.php

    It's ruined any other version for me. Yes, it's mono. But it's SO INCREDIBLE that won't matter. Even Solti's highly vaunted version seems to pale in comparison.

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Seriously, there is rarely a single "definitive" recording of a major work such as Schubert's 9th (Kleiber's recording of Beethoven's 5th may be an exception... and even then it is enlightening to hear other interpretations such as Gardiner's HIP version). For Schubert's 9th I would suggest Furtwangler, Karajan, Solti, Ivan Fischer, Solti, or George Szell... any one of which is a fine recording in its own right. The "best" depends upon your own personal tastes.

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    Hard to find, but the live '57 Knappertsbusch/VPO is very good. I also have a weak spot for (the very different) Klemperer and Krips studio recordings.
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    The version with Ricardo Muti and the Wiener Philarmoniker is good too.
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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    Seriously, there is rarely a single "definitive" recording of a major work such as Schubert's 9th (Kleiber's recording of Beethoven's 5th may be an exception... and even then it is enlightening to hear other interpretations such as Gardiner's HIP version).
    I couldn't agree with you more...

    Here are the three I have in my colllection - in order of acquisition:

    - Schippers/Cincinnati SO (VOX on cassettte)
    - Tate/Staatskapelle Dresde (Angel, Vinyl)
    - Abbado/Chamber Orch of Europe (DG, DDD) - so-called "manuscript version"

    I like them all, but I prefer the Tate among the three. I found the Tate in re-issue, as part of a mammoth set showcasing the recorded legacy of Staatskaopelle Dresde, so I'm not the only person who thinks highly of that recording...

    Other suggestions in this thread are also probably VG in their own right, though I only heard some of them once.

    As for the symphony itself, it is a milestone work, judged "too long, too pompous, too difficult" in Schubert's time, and was given a proper reading by Mendelssohn and the Leipzig Gewandhaus decades after Schubert's passing, at the behest of Robert Schumann. I agree it is a "milestone", but don't consider it Schubert's best work - at times, I find the "little C Major" to be a more ingenious work...

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    Senior Member GrosseFugue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StlukesguildOhio View Post
    Seriously, there is rarely a single "definitive" recording of a major work such as Schubert's 9th
    Yes, but I still think Kryten will be BLOWN AWAY once he hears the Furtwangler wartime version. Play it LOUD. And if you've got a great system then I envy the heck out of you!

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    My favorite is Sinopoli

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    Senior Member GrosseFugue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
    My favorite is Sinopoli
    Bigshot, I have Sinopoli's Schubert 8. I remember it as being very good, with a personal stamp to it; different. (Still not as good as Furtie's though ) How would you characterize his 9th as being?

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    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    For people not offended by vintage sound, the various Mengelbergs and Abendroth should also be mentioned - lots of original details and very engaged playing.

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    Senior Member muxamed's Avatar
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    I vote for Bernstein's recording on Sony. It can be hard to find.

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    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    Bernstein's sony recording for me too. I also like Karajan's recording from 1968. Both wonderful.

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    I have a few by some great names but for this piece I stick with my boy Rene Leibowitz and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of the early 60's.
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