Beethoven’s euphoric Symphony No. 9, like his Symphony No. 5, is one of those pieces of classical music which transcends the barrier between musical genres – one of the few pieces of the classical canon in the popular consciousness. Few can fail to be uplifted and caught up in the joyous Ode to Joy finale. For this performance, recorded live at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1994, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment were joined by the renowned conductor and long-time collaborator, Sir Charles Mackerras, a partnership between him and the OAE that lasted almost a quarter of a century.
★★★★★ One of the most thrilling Beethoven interpretations I have ever heard. It bristles with revolutionary spirit … The OAE play like gods and demons – The Financial Times
★★★★★ The slow movement is full of spiritual balm. The outer movements are elemental in proper revolutionary style; the finale’s found British soloists are excellent. Highly recommended – The Mail on Sunday
Fine choral singing by the New Company, and Mackerras’s masterly control, make the finale as electrifying as only it can be – The Times