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Introducing Masterpieces - Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Abbado

Beethoven / Bpo / Abbado
Release Date: 03/29/2011 
Label:  Euroarts   Catalog #: 2056128  
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Violeta UrmanaThomas MoserKarita MattilaEike Wilm Schulte
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraEric Ericson Chamber ChoirSwedish Radio Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Introducing Masterpieces of Classical Music is an informative and entertaining guide to some of the most important symphonic works of music history. As well as featuring a complete concert performance it also includes an insightful documentary, in which an expert presenter guides the viewer through the structure of the music. Renowned scholar Wulf Konold discusses Beethoven’s life and the circumstances surrounding the composition of the Ninth Symphony. A detailed discussion of the composer’s aesthetic and political ideals, quotations from his contemporaries, as well as plentiful musical examples, help to bring this glorious masterpiece vividly to life. Documentary written by Martin Feil · Directed by Angelika Stiehler, produced by Read more Paul Smaczny & Günter Atteln. Concert performance recorded live at the Philharmonie, Berlin in 2000, directed by Bob Coles, produced by Paul Smaczny.

Picture format: NTSC 16:9
Sound format: PCM Stereo / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 26 mins (documentary) + 69 mins (performance)
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W: 3512430.az_BEETHOVEN_Symphony_9.html

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 & Claudio Abbado, cond; Berlin PO; Karita Mattila (sop); Violeta Urmana (mez); Thomas Moser (ten); Eike Wilm Schulte, (bs); Swedish RCh; Eric Ericson CCh EUROARTS 2056128 (DVD: 69:00) Live: Berlin 5/1/2000

& Wulf Konold discusses Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (26:00)

This is another in the EuroArts series of documentary-and-performance videos called Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music , pairing short documentaries about the composer and his work with full performances, often taken from previously available DVDs, as this one is. I reviewed Claudio Abbado’s performance of the Ninth (included in the DVD box set of his complete Beethoven symphonies) in Fanfare 33:1. The DVD featuring his performance of the Fifth in this series was reviewed in 34:4; this new release is very similar.

The documentary is narrated in English, Wulf Konold’s lecture is in German, and subtitles are provided in English, German, French, and Spanish. The documentary is brief enough for even the very impatient, but also substantive enough to be more than a mere makeweight. Konold provides context for the genesis of the symphony that includes the political developments of that time; he suggests that the symphony as a form was in disfavor, and, with the return of monarchy after the Treaty of Ghent in 1815, opera was on the ascendant, since it more comfortably represented the established order. It is interesting that later, Konold likens the opening of the finale of the Ninth to that of an opera, setting forth a crisis to be resolved, and with the introduction of the voices, Beethoven “transforms the concert hall into a cosmic stage.”

This video can be recommended for the performance alone, but the documentary is informative and entertaining.

FANFARE: Christopher Abbot
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Violeta Urmana (Soprano), Thomas Moser (Tenor), Karita Mattila (Soprano),
Eike Wilm Schulte (Baritone)
Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria 

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