Ode to Freedom: Bernstein in Berlin (FLAC)
Ode to Freedom: Bernstein in Berlin (FLAC)

Performer: Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus, Berliner Rundfunksinfonie chor, Dresden Staatskapelle, New York Philharmonic, Sarah Walker
Orchestra: St.Petersburg Kirov Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Paris Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 333 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”), Op. 125
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Paris Orchestra, St.Petersburg Kirov Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra
with Sarah Walker, Dresden Staatskapelle, Jan-Hendrik Rootering, Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus, Klaus Konig, New York Philharmonic, June Anderson
Conducted by Leonard Bernstein

01. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
02. Molto vivace
03. Adagio molto e cantabile
04. Presto – Allegro assai

To me, it’s a toss-up between evaluating a performance …

To me, it’s a toss-up between evaluating a performance and a disk for its (1) explicit QUALITY performance … and (2) its CONTEXT. In this case, I think the context wins out. That is, I value this performance of Beethoven’s 9th for what that particular performance meant on Christmas Day in 1989 in front of the Berlin Wall, especially after 40 years of “The Cold War” — from the Berlin Airlift in 1948 to the Berlin Wall being torn down in 1989. Bernstein’s substitution of the word “Freedom” for the word “Joy” makes the performance even all that more special. When I created a 6-CD set for my grand (former) kids of my “classical music faves,” I preceded the Ode To Freedom performance with a brief audio clip of President Reagan in 1987 imploring Mr. Gorbachev in 1987 to “Tear Down That Wall!” How’s that for context? All in all, I will treasure this disk for a long time to come.

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