Notes and Editorial Reviews
As part of the celebration of Robert Shaw's centenary the Atlanta Symphony is issuing for public sale a live recording of the Beethoven Symphony No. 9, recorded in a single concert with Mr. Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus just prior to their triumphant 1988 tour to Europe. This particular concert also marked Mr. Shaw's final appearance in Atlanta as Music Director of the orchestra.
This recording sets to rights a major gap in the recorded legacy of Robert Shaw. As a young man Robert Shaw prepared the chorus for the legendary 1952 Arturo Toscanini recording. Shaw performed it countless times in his own career. He recorded the 9th for Pro Arte in 1982 but it suffers from over mixed audio which mutes the performance. Later in the 1980s when it would have been possible to re-record the Beethoven 9th in the ongoing relationship with Telarc, the 9th was 'off the table' because Telarc had committed themselves to a complete Beethoven cycle with the Cleveland Orchestra and its then Music Director Christoph von Dohnanyi. Shortly before his death in 1999 Robert Shaw and Telarc's founding producer Robert Woods began planning a Beethoven 9th which ultimately did not come to pass.
In recent years Robert Woods has been digitizing all the historic Atlanta Symphony live broadcast tapes, including this powerful May 20, 1988 performance.