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Old 01-01-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
yolhanson
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9th. I get it now.

Hi, all.
A couple of years ago I posted that I was struggling with the 9th Symphony. It seemed to be a rambling thing in search of a home.

Well, the penny has dropped.

Now I love it. Absolutely love it. I look forward to coming home and playing it. I bought the score and have pencil marks all over it.

I think the first movt. is majestic; the second, just a pure delight from start to finish; the third, among the most beautiful music I have heard; the fourth... well, "inspired" doesn't do it justice. It is difficult to offer a valid comment on something that was so unconventional, yet done so well.

The only niggle I have is the lower bass work at the start of movt.4. I just don't like it very much.
I do like the recurring themes from earlier in the work, mingled with the bass work.

As I type this, I'm listening to Barenboim's 2012 job at the Proms. It's good. Big, but very good.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:25 PM   #2
Harvey
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Fantastic. You can get a CD-ROM of it (cheap used) that has the score running across your screen as you play it. I have it but never played it because CD-ROM won't play on my computer because I am using a Linux operating system. Image Here.

Apart from that, for an audio recording, I don't think there is a finer recording than Ferenc Fricsay late 1950s Ninth. I have several dozen or more Ninths and Fricsay is my favorite.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:28 AM   #3
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I don't think there is a finer recording than Ferenc Fricsay late 1950s Ninth
Thank you... just bought it used "with one click." Can't wait to hear it
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:58 AM   #4
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Thank you... just bought it used "with one click." Can't wait to hear it
This is also my favourite recording of the 9th - enjoy!
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
Michael
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Originally Posted by yolhanson View Post
Hi, all.
A couple of years ago I posted that I was struggling with the 9th Symphony. It seemed to be a rambling thing in search of a home.

Well, the penny has dropped.
The Ninth is hard going when you first hear it. Most people come to it with the "Ode to Joy" in mind and are confronted with this stark and "tuneless" opening movement. But when - as you say, the penny drops - it can be a tremendous experience.
Somebody once said "Beethoven always asks you to wait" and it's one of my favourite quotations about the man.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:37 PM   #6
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A piece of music that feels like an event every time I listen to it; a musical experience unmtached in my opinion.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:50 PM   #7
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I listened to this a couple of years ago. It's long but it's worth it I think.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
hal9000
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Originally Posted by yolhanson View Post
Hi, all.


The only niggle I have is the lower bass work at the start of movt.4. I just don't like it very much.
I do like the recurring themes from earlier in the work, mingled with the bass work.
This is interesting. The double bass recitative is very operatic, but it serves as a way for Beethoven to organically transition into voice, since it mirrors the opening baritone solo. Personally, I think it's an inspired way to tie the voice with the orchestra. Beethoven's "voice" has to me always been the lower bass string instruments (wish I could say the same about Mozart, but variety is the key to life ).
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:18 PM   #9
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Somebody once said "Beethoven always asks you to wait" and it's one of my favourite quotations about the man.
I have the same feeling about Bruckner, who maybe took it a but further, but always worth the wait...
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:21 PM   #10
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A Bruckner symphony would be a good choice for a desert island.
You're sure to be rescued before you got to the end of it.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:37 PM   #11
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A Bruckner symphony would be a good choice for a desert island.
You're sure to be rescued before you got to the end of it.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:50 AM   #12
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I have it but never played it because CD-ROM won't play on my computer because I am using a Linux operating system.
You mean it is not CD-DA (compact disk digital audio)? I had a Microsoft CD containing the music from The Rite of Spring and a lot of sort of games based on the score. Two of the tracks did not contain audio but only data that a CD player would never know what to do with. But my machine could understand the disc perfectly well, though it was Windows it was running. However, only a specia program, coming within the CD knew how to use that disc, and play the games, see the several pictures, read a lot of information et cetera.

I think your CD is just the same. The CD contains software to let you see the score and hear the music at the same time. But the software will only run on a predetermined operating system.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:54 PM   #13
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Just to take up Yolhanson's point about "getting the 9th", I would like to say that I still have problems being totally comfortable with the 4th movement, magnificent as it is in its various parts...
I know, who I am to even envisage a slightly less than worshipful attitude to this iconic master work? But there it is, that's my honest feeling about it.
The actual point I'd like to make concerns another thread that talks about "hearing in the head" as opposed to actual performance.
When Beethoven composed the 9th (over several years), his deafness was quite acute. This in itself was not a "problem" for Beethoven who could write and "hear" a score without recourse to his piano; he had that ability to know pretty exactly how the notation sounded, a bit like our ability, as Schindler wrote, to read a letter without having to read it out loud !!
But as Peter mentioned in that other thread about how some composers compose away from the piano and "hear" the mental performance quicker (or perhaps even slower) than they would play it in practice, I wonder if this "ideal" (mental) composition of the 4th movement of the 9th is why I personally find it ever so slightly wanting.
Beethoven for sure knew that the parts for the chorus (the sopranos, especially) were quite high in register (and remember, the pitch was lower at that time!) and perhaps this "straining" of the voice was intentional. Or perhaps not? Would it be ridiculous to suggest that Beethoven's "ideal/mental" perception of these passages was at odds with the chorus's physical performance abilities?
Now I do happen to know that certain contemporary composers (Xenakis and Ferneyhough, to name two examples) intentionally incorporate instrumental writing that involves -to all intents and purposes - the sheer impossibility of totally faithful rendition of the written score. (I wonder, too, if they may not have been inspired by Beethoven in that aspect.) But this is by the way; my question is if there was, finally, a real disjoint between Beethoven's "mental" perception and physical performance.
I hope this isn't too rambling a post !!

Last edited by Quijote; 08-31-2017 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Fine tuning of the text. Pun intended.
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