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Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Munch, Boston Symphony

Release Date: 04/30/2009 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 38428  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maureen ForresterLeontyne PriceDavid PoleriGiorgio Tozzi
Conductor:  Charles Munch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony OrchestraNew England Conservatory Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***

Charles Munch's isn't the most subtle Beethoven around, but it certainly is exciting, and that counts for a lot. In particular, this Ninth has what has to be one of the angriest, most fiery first movements ever recorded. It's worth hearing for that alone, but there are other attractions as well, including a perfectly paced Adagio (about 14 minutes), and a very well-sung finale with some stellar names among the soloists. The Leonore Overture No. 3 also is a barn-burner of a performance, full of genuinely operatic drama and tension. Sonically the disc could use careful remastering. In the symphony, there's no real soft dynamics at all, but
Read more the mid-to-late-'50s stereo sound is otherwise acceptable. This will not be an uncontroversial recommendation: several friends and colleagues have referred to this performance over the years as "vulgar", and I take their point. Munch fans of course will already own this recording in one of its prior incarnations, but I suspect that more recent collectors might very well find this Japanese RCA reissue, available on demand from Arkivmusic.com, a real treat.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Leonore Overture no 3 in C major, Op. 72a by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Charles Munch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 2/27/1956 
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Maureen Forrester (Alto), Leontyne Price (Soprano), David Poleri (Tenor),
Giorgio Tozzi (Bass)
Conductor:  Charles Munch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/1958 

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