Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Otto Klemperer Beethoven Symphony No 9|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A Giant in a World of Dwarfs
Daniel L. Farber | pawcatuck, CT USA | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The video of Klemperer, near 80, is a moving testament not only to the conquering of age and obvious infirmity, but simply as an outstanding, albeit slow for most tastes, performance of the Ninth. I would recommend it especially for those who grew up on self-aggrandizing, "physical" conductors like Bernstein--i.e. like just about everyone past 1970. Klemperer does not tell the story for the audience but does serve the musicians extraordinarily well, through eye gestures and subtle cueing of important thematic elements that are often buried in other performances. (See, for example,the first movement development section.) The gestures may seem minimal, even vague, but the musicians seem fully to understand and respond. Klemperer's lack of concern for the audience becomes nearly comical as his bowing is reduced to curt nodding.
The Orchestra--The "New" Philharmonia of London--was at the time fighting for its survival, as record producer Walter Legge had just abandoned them. Klemperer, the Orchestra's President, conducted without fee and permitted, for the first time, the performance to be televised in order to generate favorable publicity and funding."
It's a Joy to See Great Masters at Work
Min Byeong June | Daegu, Korea | 11/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The main feature of this DVD is, of course, Beethoven's Symphony No.9 performed by New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Otto Klemperer. The soloists are Agnes Giebel(soprano), Marga Hoeffgen(mezzo-soprano), Ernst Haefliger(tenor), and Gustav Neidlinger(bass). It is a pity that the solo singings are in general not as good as in Klemperer's EMI recording, with the possible exception of Haefliger. Other than that, it is a memorable performance. But I'd have to take into consideration that it is a live performance made in 1964 (in black and white video). A Klemperer fan should not miss this DVD. However, if you want only one Choral Symphony DVD, maybe you should opt for Leonard Bernstein with Wiener Philharmoniker.
The bonus feature is Beethoven's Symphony No.7 by Orchestre Philharmonique de l'ORTF conducted by Ernest Ansermet.(Another black and white video presentation.) Although his Beethoven does not have a special character that Klemperer or Furtwaengler has, I enjoyed seeing his conducting. I just wonder why did it have to be a Beethoven. A Stravinsky would have been fabulous."
Joel Alan Fox | 09/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Save the good but not spectacular soloists, I would say without hesitation that this is one of the greatest performances I have ever heard. Add in the fact that you get to see the whole thing, and this DVD becomes is a must for anyone who loves classical music. It would be hard for me to compare this performance to the others I have of Klemperer without spending hours listening to them consecutively (since they are all great). I own the 1961 Testament recording which many say is his best, and I would rate this roughly equally (Though as I said, I have not done a rigorous comparison. Also the soloists here are overall not quite as good). If you have not heard Klemperer conduct Beethoven before, then you are in for an amazing treat. No other conductor is as majestic and sincere (in this regard I would liken him to Rubinstein). Hearing and seeing him conduct Beethoven's 9th - in my opinion the greatest work ever composed - is nothing short of inspirational. I think most of you will feel the same.
I have not much else to add, except to repeat that this DVD is absolutely not to be missed."