Beethoven: Symphony No 9 / Abbado, Eaglen, Terfel, Meier, Heppner
The soloists are generally good or even better, but Bryn Terfel's rolled /?s in the opening recitative of the Finale may prove irritating. But this does not detract from the merit of Abbado's conception. In the accompanying annotations, by the way, he points out that this is the first recording to draw upon the critical edition of Jonathan del Mar. Those who know the score well may notice a few textural differences, none of major significance. The main issue here is that this performance, like the recent Maag account, can take its place beside the finest available editions, notably Karajan (1963 or 1977), Bernstein (DG 1979), Wand, Sawallisch, and Kletzki. Abbado observes both repeats in the second movement and follows Beethoven's Urtext, avoiding the orchestral reinforcements favored by many other conductors.
-- Mortimer H. Frank, FANFARE [1/1997]
Catalog Number: SONY 62634
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Chorus
Performer: Ben Heppner, Bryn Terfel, Jane Eaglen, Waltraud Meier