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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ()

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At the hands of Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 receives a fairly conventional performance, competently played but neither inspired nor especially insightful. One might classify this as an old-school romantic interpretation, or perhaps a mannered imitation of that style since it sometimes strives for greatness through grandiosity, but without an emotional core. The first movement has some dramatic moments -- the recapitulation is particularly monumental -- but overall lacks tension and drive, flagging at several points for introspective musings. Runnicles lets what little energy he has built up dissipate through an exaggerated ritardando in the coda. The Scherzo is energetic and brisk, but somewhat mechanical and remote, more ice than fire, and there is a lack of warmth in the Trio, symptomatic of the hasty tempo that should have been tempered. The Adagio has fine coloration in the woodwinds and some expressive string playing, but too much rubato... Hide synopsis

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