PENTATONE’s fourth release from Rafael Kubelik’s acclaimed Beethoven cycle of symphonies in its Remastered Classics series is his commanding reading of the ninth symphony performed by the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, joined by the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks and a quartet of outstanding soloists in the famous choral finale with the “Ode to Joy”.
Beethoven’s ninth is one of the best symphonies ever written, an autonomous work of art that transcends borders and sets new standards, which in its humanitarian thinking and belief in the progressive development of mankind towards freedom, powerfully appeals to the human heart. The combination of Romantic expression and modern transparency and clarity that characterises Kubelik’s Beethoven interpretations in general also defines this performance. His reading of the ninth brings together “sweeping grandeur, volatile energy and radiant emotion” with “crisp orchestral playing and fine articulation”. His “deeply felt rendition” fully lives up to the “human aspiration and cosmic majesty” of this exceptional work (allmusic.com).
Rafael Kubelik recorded his cycle of Beethoven symphonies in the 1970s for Deutsche Grammophon, each with a different orchestra, earning widespread praise. Although recorded in multi-channel sound, these unmissable performances have previously been available only in the conventional two-channel stereo format. Using state of the art technology which avoids the need for re-mixing, PENTATONE’s engineers have remastered the original studio tapes to bring the performances to life as originally intended: in compelling and pristine multi-channel sound.
Other releases from PENTATONE in the Kubelik Beethoven cycle are the Symphonies 1 & 4 (with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra), Symphonies 2 & 5 (with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Symphonies 6, 7 & 8 (with the Orchestre de Paris, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra).