Monday, May 7, 2024

Wiener Philharmoniker, Dirigent: Riccardo Muti. Wiener Singverein; Julia Kleiter, Sopran; Marianne Crebassa, Mezzosopran; Michael Spyres, Tenor; Günther Groissböck, Bass. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphonie Nr. 9 d-Moll op. 125 (Übertragung aus dem Großen Musikvereinssaal in Wien in 5.1 Surround Sound)

Two-hundred years ago to this date Beethoven Nine was premiered. In the light of the press-release below I hastily checked ORF’s schedule for a live broadcast … and evening plans were changed. Given Apple’s involvement with this performance, and the potentially large audience for it, you don’t need much from me. With excellent radio sound the first movement was powerful and questing, woodwinds and bass line exposed, a tumultuous climax reached; then the Scherzo was measured if rhythmically buoyant – lumbering might be the word (a good idea on this occasion to omit the second repeat) – with a lyrically lovely Trio that could also be thought somewhat pedestrian. The Adagio was spacious, a little static (greater Andante variance needed) if beautifully played (to the manner born throughout the performance); and the Finale caught the celebratory mood – fine solo and choral singing – Muti continuing to introduce unexpected emphases and rhetorical gestures, if fewer, which made for interesting listening. The closing bars were a victory lap, grand and dashing, and won an ovation.