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  Universal (Japan) -
  Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 - Bernstein
  Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Gwyneth Jones, soprano
Hanna Schwarz, alto
René Kollo, tenor
Kurt Moll, bass
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
Wiener Philharmoniker
Leonard Bernstein
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by analogue July 17, 2015 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
1980/ 5 tracks/ 71 minutes

I am both hot and cold when it comes to Bernstein. I like his work when he was getting older as opposed to when he was younger. It has to do with pacing which I personally feel is at times quirky and fast. With regards to this version of Symphony 9.......he does a pretty darn good job. Is it the best version ever performed and recorded?? I cant say and would stay away from such remarks. Is it a good, solid take on this great classical piece?? hell yes!!

As it is such a famous work I own 4 or 5 versions on sacd already not to mention cd. IT DOES GET SILLY AFTER A WHILE. I do however have to state that this newly transferred Dsd to tape Shm Sacd is the best sounding if not the best performed. It has a live old fashioned approach which I find very charming. Its as if the instruments used are period ones and perhaps they sound a little different than modern day instruments. I cant prove this of course but its what I hear. This recorded version sounds unlike any other I have heard. Less smooth but more honest. Very difficult to articulate such an opinion in words.

The sound quality is excellent all around and I have to say that the final piece (TRACK 5) IS A LITTLE MOMNUMENTAL IN THE SOUND DEPARTMENT. I would warn listeners of lowering the volume ever so much to approximate how powerful the volume does get. The choir and music is captured beautifully and puts the Pentatone sacd to shame. And I do like that sacd much. The sound is open and inviting and lifelike in the best terminology of audiophile verbiage.

In summation: I did not state this is the all time greatest version of this work. Nor did I say its the best sounding ever put on tape. But I am stating unequivocally that this is the best version I have heard thus far even if the performance is at times a little sloppy here and there. As Bernstein is not some robot who merely regurgitates the written chords as they are written.....rather as he will add some of his own humanity into said does need to allow a certain latitude to how one might expect it to sound. You could do much worse than this disc.

Excellent performance and Dsd transfer.
Highly recommended.

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Review by dist1610 July 20, 2015 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have about 30 Versions of this symphony in my CD-shelf. For me it's one of the finest Version. Originally I purchased the RB-CD, published in 1980 by Deutsche Grammophone. Now I ordered the SACD-Version and was pretty surprised. The sonics are much better than the RB-CD. The varióus instruments are clearly seperated, the violins do not Sound so harsh. The voices of the soloists are focused very well. It is very interesting for me, that the DSD-Transfer was made at the Emil Berliner Studios in May 2015. For me, Leonard Bernstein did a good Job with the Vienna Philharmonics, the 2 reservations I have is:
a) the tempo of the 3rd movment is a Little bit slow. (but not so slow as the Version of Sir Georg Solti)!
b) The voice of Rene Kollo sounds very strained.

Over all, the DSD-Transfer was very successfully. For me I can recommend this SACD.
For those, who prefer versions with period instruments, you have to look for other conductors (maybe Herreweghe)

Greetings from Dietmar, Austria

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Works: 1  

Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"