BEETHOVEN Symphonie No. 9 Welser-Möst 4777132

This great orchestra has been given new life by its sturdy, youngish music director Franz Welser-Möst. They offer up the big "Ode to Joy" symphony with four great vocal soloists, including Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman. The quartet and choir are powerful in the final movement . . .

. . . this recording has the added bonus of René Pape in the bass part.

Welser-Möst offers a strong, cogently conceived finale, with some fine singing, particularly from the chorus and the bass, René Pape. It all adds up, and the sound quality is both rich and mellow . . .

The third movement -- in its refreshingly direct simplicity -- is . . . free of the ludicrous elongations favoured . . . It certainly gains expressivity as a result of not being exaggerated . . . tempos throughout are uncommonly lively, the brass . . . well forward . . . I find the performance interesting . . . Welser-Möst's has a communicative power of its own . . . possesses unique features . . .

. . . a fine performance of Beethoven's Ninth, with Franz Welser-Möst admirably conveying the work's mystery, drama and warmth. The slow movement is particularly impressive, its relaxed tempo allowing the music's expansive lyricism adequate space to breathe, without ever sentimentalising it.

It is . . . a pleasure to welcome the first commercial recording in seven years by one of this country's finest orchestras under its current music director . . . I looked forward to this recording with keen anticipation. I was not disappointed. The sound is immediate, detailed, and bass-heavy: the winds and low strings benefit, while the violin sound somewhat recessed; the basses are remarkably deep and resonant, easily the most impressive I've heard in quite some time . . . the excitement of the live concert setting is vividly communicated . . . This is the kind of performance that results when conception and execution mesh -- one of those recordings you can sing along with, and not just in the finale; it is a so tremendously exciting. Some of the more notable highlights: an opening movement in which the excitement is communicated through playing of admirable precision, particularly for a live recording; the clarity of the inner voices in the Scherzo; an Adagio in which the cantabile marking is given voice in violins that are particularly poignant; and a finale in which the drama is palpable -- powerful, deeply eloquent, and very musical . . . The vocal quartet features two standout soloists: Pape delivers another riveting performance, summoning the spirit of brotherhood with authority, and Brueggergosman's voice soars above the orchestra with seeming effortlessness. The coda is breathtaking, and the audience erupts, initiating an ovation that surely continued for quite some time . . . it is the kind of performance that is refreshing and familiar all at once.

Plötzlich und unverhofft ist nun sogar die erste Welser-Möst-CD aus Cleveland auf dem Markt: Beethovens 9. Sinfonie in einer schlanken, weichklingenden Wiedergabe, die die Tugenden dieses Spitzenorchesters plastisch zur Geltung bringt.

Bei Franz Welser-Möst entwickelt sich Beethovens Neunte als groß angelegtes Menschheits-Drama, gipfelnd in einem mitreißenden Freudengesang. Doch der Österreicher präsentiert keine hohle Weihestunde, in der alles nur aufs Finale wartet. Das Presto wirkt wie ein bizarres Schattenspiel, das Adagio ist ein einiger, zeitvergessener, friedvoller Orchestergesang. Glänzend die Clevelander, transparent der Klang. Auch bei Welser-Möst tönt die Ode am schönsten, wenn sie noch eine leise Ahnung ist.

Après de brillants concerts à Lucerne et une excellente symphonie n°5 de Bruckner en DVD, on se réjouissait de retrouver le Cleveland Orchestra et son chef Franz Welser-Möst dans un tube du répertoire . . . La convenable distribution vocale est dominée par la prestation de René Pape.

Le résultat est séduisant, à considérer la clarté remarquable des lignes, la perception du détail des pupitres (les toutes premières mesures) et la façon dont la musique respire. Bravo au chef et à l'ingénieur du son . . . La lecture du chef autrichien est marquée par cet éland volontaire, cette pulsation presque impatiente . . . Vif et enlevé, le tempo est aussi parfaitement soutenu, et la texture orchestrale n'a as une once de lourdeur -- on retrouve ici la légèreté du son du Cleveland Orchestra . . . Welser-Möst traite l'Adagio molto e cantabile avec une continuité dans la douceur du phrasé qui est un élément cardinal de son approche: il recherche moins la transcendance qu'une infériorité pensive et concentrée, exprimé par la texture presque pastel des cordes, et la lumière de bois . . . Pape est impeccable, Brueggergosman tendu . . . et le ch¿ur un splendide miroir de l'orchestre (transparence, douceur, précision des contours).