Beethoven Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op. 125
Original Concert Recording

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Elisabeth Höngen
Hans Hopf, Otto Edelmann

Bayreuth Festival Orchestra

The version of this concert that had been commercialised since the 1950's was edited with rehearsal material. This became more evident when the original tape of the concert surfaced in Bavarian Radio a few years ago. This is that version.

Unfortunately, that concert version has inferior sound to what the edited version has. It required even more work to get the sound to the level offered here. Still, I think the sound of the edited version is better.

Historically, there is no question that this is the version that accurately reproduces what happened at the concert. However, artistically it is a different matter. Although I disagree with Walter Legge's objectives when recording for EMI, I think he did a good job in this case. He corrected orchestral mistakes and removed extraneous sounds from the concert recording, using material recorded at the rehearsals. I feel that the interpretation is not compromised in any way, and the artistic experience is enhanced by eliminated distracting noises, as well as better sound. This is, of course, a subjective matter, but I confess that I would choose the edited version when I want to sit back and listen to this magnificent performance.

We encourage you to also browse through the rest of our collection, including recordings from the creator of this website and remasters Eduardo Chibás, the renowned pianist Artur Schnabel and other historical directors