Beethoven 9 Recording – International Record

Posted on February 28, 2012

Mortimer H Frank writes in the April edition of International Record Review about Manchester Camerata’s recording of Beethoven 9 – the final installment of the orchestra’s mammoth beethoven cycle under the baton of Douglas Boyd.

“Anyone who feels that a period style performance of this towering masterpiece is a contradiction in terms should hear this impressive account, one that can still hold its own with some of the best modern instrument versions and easily surpass some of the less attractive period ones”.

“The hushed other-worldiness of the harmonically vague opening is aptly mysterious, expanding gradually into a D minor eruption in which the brass have welcome colour and bite. Never rushed or unduly protracted, the pacing is steady and constantly pressing forward while avoiding even a hint of rigidity.”

“As heard under Boyd, the movement gains a gorgeous lyrical flow that conveys an apt unity, tenderness and delicacy.” “The finale is also impressive, erupting, with exceptional clarity and aptly terrifying in its dissonant brashness.” “The orchestra variations of the main theme that follow press forward but with ample breathing room and exception clarity, their expanding orchestration culminating in the splendorous main theme in the bright sunlight of D major. The passage is of course familiar but I mention it here because I have never heard it conveyned better.”

“Boy’s approach may differ a bit from Toscanini’s in its closer adherence to Beethoven’s instructions, but it is to his credit that he does not go to Furtwanglerian extremes. Rather his performance shines musically and sonically, as the finest of the ‘period’ accounts I have heard. An Outstanding release.

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International Record – Beethoven 9 Recording, – International Record Review