Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 – Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch (1959/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 – Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Munch (1959/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz  | Time – 01:02:10 minutes | 2,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA Records

Charles Munch’s isn’t the most subtle Beethoven around, but it certainly is exciting, and that counts for a lot. In particular, this Ninth has what has to be one of the angriest, most fiery first movements ever recorded. It’s worth hearing for that alone, but there are other attractions as well, including a perfectly paced Adagio (about 14 minutes), and a very well-sung finale with some stellar names among the soloists. The Leonore Overture No. 3 also is a barn-burner of a performance, full of genuinely operatic drama and tension. Sonically the disc could use careful remastering. In the symphony, there’s no real soft dynamics at all, but the mid-to-late-’50s stereo sound is otherwise acceptable. This will not be an uncontroversial recommendation: several friends and colleagues have referred to this performance over the years as “vulgar”, and I take their point. Munch fans of course will already own this recording in one of its prior incarnations, but I suspect that more recent collectors might very well find this Japanese RCA reissue, available on demand from, a real treat. –David Hurwitz,

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125 “Choral”
1 I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso 14:08
2 II. Molto vivace 10:23
3 III. Adagio molto e cantabile 14:04
4 IV. Presto – Allegro assai 23:35

Leontyne Price, soprano
Maureen Forrester, contralto
David Poleri, tenor
Giorgio Tozzi, bass
New England Conservatory Chorus
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Charles Münch, conductor