Berliner Philharmoniker, Ferenc Fricsay – Beethoven: Symphony No.9, Overtures Egmont & Leonore III (1958/2015) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Ludwig Van Beethoven – Symphony No.9, Overtures Egmont & Leonore III – Berliner Philharmoniker, Ferenc Fricsay (1958/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time –  01:31:47 minutes | 1,74 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recording date: 12/1957, 1,4 & 9/1958 ; Recording Location: Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany

This is simply one of the greatest, most deservedly legendary recordings of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony ever offered to the public. Tempos and dynamics vary widely, with Fricsay always considerate of the works many thematic challenges. His handling of the subtle rhythmic gradations of the Molto vivace is peerless and prepare yourself for one of the most exhilarating Allegro assai finales this side of Toscanini. With a line up of soloists including Irmgard Seefried, Maureen Forrester, Ernst Haefliger, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau all in their vocal prime as well, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Deutsche Grammophon’s rich well-balanced sound is very good for it’s vintage. No matter how many performances of this frequently recorded masterpiece you may already own, don’t miss Fricsay’s!

Debilitating illness and premature death prevented Ferenc Fricsay from extensive work in the studio, which is a terrible shame because virtually all of his surviving recordings are excellent. This one, DG’s first stereo Ninth, remains among the best ever recorded. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what about this recording makes it so special. Certainly, there aren’t any unusual or bizarre touches such as characterize Furtwängler’s readings, nor does Fricsay have a particularly personal “sound,” as did Klemperer with his forward wind balances. Perhaps what governs this performance more than any other single quality is rhythm: a wholly natural, impulsive, life-affirming forward momentum that makes the first two movements breathtakingly exciting, endows the very slow (18 minutes) Adagio with an unforgettably timeless grace, and caries the choral finale forward on an irresistible wave of increasing joyousness. A fine quartet of soloists, enthusiastic chorus, gorgeously expansive recorded sound (superbly remastered), and wonderful playing by the Berlin Philharmonic (by no means a consistently exceptional ensemble in 1958), set the seal on a performance that should never have been permitted to leave the active catalog. Thank God it’s back. Terrific Egmont Overture too. Enjoy while you can! -David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No.9 In D Minor, Op.125 ‘Choral’
1. I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso 16:42
2. II. Molto vivace 10:31
3. III. Adagio molto e cantabile 18:01
4. IV. Presto – 06:13
5. IV. Presto – ‘O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!’ – Allegro assai 17:07
6. Ouvertüre ‘Egmont’, Op.84- Sostenuto ma non troppo – Allegro 09:00
7. Ouvertüre ‘Leonore No.3’, Op.72b 14:16

Irmgard Seefried, Soprano (#5)
Maureen Forrester, Contralto (#5)
Ernst Haefliger, Tenor (#5)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Baritone (#5)
Chor der St. Hedwig’s-Kathedrale, Berlin (#5)
Berliner Philharmoniker
Ferenc Fricsay, Conductor



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