Beethoven Symphony No. 9


Beethoven Symphony No. 9 concert. Christian Thielemann conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker (Chorus Master Johannes Prinz). Soloists are Annette Dasch, Mihoko Fujimura, Piotr Beczala, and Georg Zeppenfeld. Video direction by Agnes Méth. Also comes with a 58-minute Discovering Beethoven documentary with a conversation between Thielemann and music critic Joachim Kaiser. The documentary film was made by Anca-Monica Pandelea & Christoph Engel. Released in 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: B

This is just an exact rehash of 1/3 of a title with Beethoven Symphonies 7-9 that came out in 2011. We gave this a B then, which was probably overly generous. So here with this new offering you can buy No. 9 at a reduced price without having to buy No. 7 and No. 8.  The documentary conversation with Joachim Kaiser isn't going to hurt anyone. But it's mostly a bloated exercise in mutual back-scratching that's about as exciting as watching concrete cure. These DVDitis-plagued Blu-rays from earlier years are pretty much obsolete and washed up now. When 4K arrives, we hope we will finally start getting top-quality symphony recordings and that the scourge of DVDitis will be over. Shop around. Or just buy CDs. Or if you want nice video, focus on some of the wonderful ballet/dance and opera titles we now have in Blu-ray.