Banner: The symphonic suite Cantabile

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 51

Thread: Beethoven: Symphony #9 in D minor, op. 125 "Choral"

  1. #1
    Senior Member science's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    The Eastern and Northern
    Posts
    20,204
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    51

    Default Beethoven: Symphony #9 in D minor, op. 125 "Choral"

    This is probably the most famous and popular work in the history of classical music.

    Naturally, wikipedia has a good article on it.

    But how do you personally feel about it? Do you love it? Why?

    And the essential question - given that probably hundreds of recordings of it have been made - what are your favorite recordings? And, if you can put it in words, why?

    (I will quote relevant posts from other threads here to gather people's comments, insights, and recommendations together.)
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

  2. Likes classfolkphile liked this post
  3. #2
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kampen (NL)
    Posts
    27,658
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    But how do you personally feel about it?
    I can't stand it. Really. The three first movements for me are just ok (on par with the eighth, nothing special), the fourth I find just awful. Beethoven produced some of my favourite works (e.g. Symphony 6, Violin concerto, Late string quartets, Lots of piano sonatas), but every time he writes for the voice he loses me. The 9th is the worst, but I also do not like the Missa Solemnis, Fidelio, or An die ferne Geliebte. I have nothing against using voices in classical music in general by the way.

  4. Likes science, premont liked this post
  5. #3
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,894
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    45

    Default

    Whilst it's not my favourite LvB symphony (well down the list, tbh) and I don't think, as a complete piece, it hangs together that well its Beethoven so I'm biased. I've always said it sounds like two different ideas mashed together to form a whole. Lots of great recordings of it though. The ones I personally love are:

    Leinsdorf /BSO (still my fave. Moderate speeds but snappy and crisp playing)
    Blomstedt / Dresden (biggggg band sound)
    Fricsay / BPO (superb pacing / performance)
    Solti /CSO (builds tension really well)
    Karajan /BPO 63 (benchmark great recording - first complete 9th I owned)
    Munch / BSO (bombastic and exciting to say the least. Others view it as 'obscene'. Lol)
    Gardiner / ORR (love Gardiner's rhythms and brisk pace)
    Szell / Cleveland (great powerful performance)

    Lots of people will say Furtwangler but his 9ths are still not in my faves (Contentious, Merl!)

    Just bubbling under (and all excellent too) Stokowski, Tennstedt, Chailly, Barenboim, Klemperer.........
    Last edited by Merl; Jul-21-2018 at 17:30.

  6. Likes classfolkphile, Granate, science liked this post
  7. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    68
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I like it: it's a impressive work, even though, yes, it doesn't entirely hang together. The last movement does feel a bit tacked on and is a touch bombastic. But I love the vocal quartet and the slow movement is sublime. Favorites include:

    Bohm/VPO
    Furtwangler/Lucerne
    Fricsay/BPO
    Stokowski/LSO
    Karajan/BPO ('63/'77)

  8. Likes science liked this post
  9. #5
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    4,272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Cool

    No work of classical music has ever captured the imagination of the world as much as Beethoven's 9th Symphony with its Ode to Joy anthem to the Brotherhood of Man. As much as the composer's critics like to grouse about it as being inferior to the rest of the symphony, Beethoven was right in using it as an ideal to hold up to humanity. It was his greatest hope.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jul-21-2018 at 19:36.
    "That's all Folks!"

  10. Likes science liked this post
  11. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Posts
    15,244
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I guess I'm in the minority here. Of course, I hear the first 2 chapters of Genesis in it: the first movement is creation ex nihilo by the Father; the second is the creative power of the Son; and the third is the Spirit of God moving over the waters, stilling the chaos. The fourth is the creation of mankind, the human voice singing the Two Great Commandments, love your neighbor (joy descended from heaven brings us together) and love God (worship the loving Father above the starry heavens). That's subjective, and I don't think LvB thought of it that way. But in that context, it makes sense.

    I have a ton of 9ths, but as of right now, my favorites are Szell and Furtwangler 1942.

  12. Likes science, chill782002, ORigel liked this post
  13. #7
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,894
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    45

    Default

    The Japanese are obsessed with the 'Big Nine (Daiku) in a tradition allegedly stretching back 100 years. It's a Christmas / New Year tradition. The more singers in the choir the better. I have many of these collected together on the NHK Beethoven Chonicles discs, where guest conductors from around the world would lead the NHK SO. I find it amazing that the Japanese took this extraordinary symphony to heart.

  14. Likes science liked this post
  15. #8
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    20,262
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    The Japanese are obsessed with the 'Big Nine (Daiku) in a tradition allegedly stretching back 100 years. It's a Christmas / New Year tradition. The more singers in the choir the better. I have many of these collected together on the NHK Beethoven Chonicles discs, where guest conductors from around the world would lead the NHK SO. I find it amazing that the Japanese took this extraordinary symphony to heart.
    Japan also has over a thousand statues of Colonel Sanders. There must be a connection.
    Last edited by KenOC; Jul-21-2018 at 22:08.


  16. Likes Merl liked this post
  17. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    River Forest, Il, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,922
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am so used to seeing this work praised, that I’m a bit taken aback by other posters having some criticisms of it. It’s a unique experience, one that shouldn’t be used as background music. I don’t like recordings that play it safe (I.e. Marisa Yawnsons and his ilk), because Beethoven was letting it all hang out here, and a recording should convey the risks, even if it fails to surmount them.
    Koussevetsky/Boston, Furtwangler, Toscanini lead the way for me. Hogwood and the AAM are my modern alternative

  18. Likes Manxfeeder, science, classfolkphile and 1 others liked this post
  19. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    2,498
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It is a significant and special work -- neither my favorite, Beethoven's greatest, nor on my list of greatest ever written. Yet you can't ignore it -- nor listen to it casually. The first movement is like rough hewn granite; the second is unique; a good performance of the third absolutely soars; the finale, though hardly flawless, does things no piece of music before attempted. It is arguably one of the most influential pieces ever composed in terms of other composers imitating parts of it.

    Personal favorite performance: Munch / BSO.

  20. Likes science, classfolkphile, Merl liked this post
  21. #11
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    1,952
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    So we're saying it isn't that great? Mmmmm.

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    Fricsay, Solti (for his gorgeously slow third movement) or Jochum's London recording.

  22. Likes SixFootScowl liked this post
  23. #12
    Assistant Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    11,202
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Beethoven's 9th is not only my favorite Beethoven symphony, but if pressed, I would place it as the greatest classical work (i.e. my favorite). I don't care much about how well the the movements fit together. I really can't say for this work or for others. For me Beethoven's 9th symphony is roughly 1 hour of continuously sublime music. Every minute not only seems to grip me but appears blissfully beautiful. I have never heard a work that I enjoy as much for so long.

    My first recording was Muti with the Philadelphia Orchestra. I have always loved that, but of course, perhaps that's because it was my first. I also love Solti.

  24. #13
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    32,009
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Beethoven's 9th is one of my favorite symphonies. Although the first three movements are mighty fine, it's the final movement that totally captures my heart.

    Having said the above, I must admit that the last movement of Mahler's symphony no. 4 edges out Beethoven's final movement.
    Last edited by Bulldog; Jul-21-2018 at 23:39.

  25. Likes science liked this post
  26. #14
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    4,272
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Bernstein abundantly rhapsodizing about Beethoven and the 9th:



    He does go on.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jul-22-2018 at 06:19.
    "That's all Folks!"

  27. Likes science, Opera For Life liked this post
  28. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    68
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Pickett View Post
    So we're saying it isn't that great? Mmmmm.

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    Fricsay, Solti (for his gorgeously slow third movement) or Jochum's London recording.
    I think the consensus here is closer to, it's a great, if slightly flawed, work.

    That said, it seems for many over familiarity breeds not contempt but a touch of jadedness at times (of which I plead guilty).
    Last edited by classfolkphile; Jul-22-2018 at 19:16.

  29. Likes Triplets, CnC Bartok liked this post
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •