[ Arte Nova / CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 22 May 2007
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"The Tonhalle Orchestra gives Zinman a performance with a warm and supple tone given to its previous Beethoven recordings together. The chorus is strong and subtle, and the soloists, except for the sometimes wayward tenor, are soulful and superb."
James Leonard, All Music Guide
"Great as it is - and, let's face it, it's the greatest symphony ever written - the Ninth Symphony isn't Beethoven's greatest choral-orchestral work. His greatest choral-orchestral work, as Beethoven was the first to point out, was the Missa Solemnis. After all, the Ninth may be great through and through, but it's only choral-orchestral in the Finale while the Missa Solemnis is choral-orchestral all the time. Beyond that, the Ninth sets only an elevated drinking song by Schiller, while the Missa Solemnis sets the text of the Roman Catholic Mass. But at its core, the issue boils down to intention because the Ninth is a secular work while the Missa Solemnis is a sacred work, and while the one is addressed to humanity, the other is addressed to divinity.
In this recording with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, David Zinman is clearly aiming his performance at divinity, and, miraculously, he makes it. The intensity, the exaltation, and above all the inspiration of Zinman's conducting is palpable and the musicians respond with a performance that rises above the terrestrial to embrace the celestial. The Tonhalle Orchestra gives Zinman a performance with a warm and supple tone given to its previous Beethoven recordings together. The chorus is strong and subtle, and the soloists, except for the sometimes wayward tenor, are soulful and superb. While there have been greater recordings of the Missa Solemnis - the Klemperer, the Böhm, and the Kubelík among them - Zinman's is surely one of the best recordings of the work in the past 20 years. Arte Nova's sound is lush, round, and clear."
~ James Leonard, All Music Guide
David Zinman, born in 1936 in New York, studied violin and conducting at the Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Minnesota, the Berkshire Music Center and finally with Pierre Monteux in Maine. 1965-1977 he conducted the Netherland Chamber Orchestra, 1977-1982 the Rotterdam Philharmony. Since 1985 he was musical director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and in 1995 he became chief conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich. Zinman performs with all major American and European orchestras, among them the Concertgebouworkest and the London Symphony Orchestra.