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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral‘

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral‘— Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Robert Shaw (ASO Media 1007)

2016 marks the centenary of the great choral conductor Robert Shaw, and as part of the celebration, the Atlanta Symphony has issued this live recording of Beethoven’s Ninth, performed May 21, 1988, Mr. Shaw’s final concert in Atlanta as the ASO’s Music Director. Here at WCLV, we’ve been airing for more than a decade a Cleveland Orchestra Blossom recording led by Mr. Shaw in 1995. He had recorded the work for Pro Arte in 1985, but was not satisfied with the result. When the ASO moved to Telarc in the 1980s, a recording of the Choral Symphony was off the table because the label had committed to a Beethoven cycle with…The Cleveland Orchestra!  By 1998, enough time had passed to plan a Shaw Ninth, but the conductor died in January 1999, a few months before the scheduled recording dates. Robert Woods, founding producer of Telarc, has been digitizing the Atlanta Symphony’s broadcast tapes and said of this Shaw Ninth: “This performance is one of those in which all of the participants were playing for the sake of the music and were caught up in a vortex of musical union and humanity the likes of which you just don’t encounter very often, if ever in a lifetime.”

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