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Masur at 85 - concert from 1981

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 Miki: Symphony for Two Worlds Thiele, S: Gesänge an die Sonne

Gewandhauschor & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur

Thiele, Miki & Beethoven

Berlin Classics 0300439BC

This is an impressive double CD of a historic concert in 1981, inaugurating Leipzig's new concert hall, and released for Masur's 85th birthday.

For British collectors (we are notoriously poor linguists) there are serious drawbacks in the presentation.

The track-listing is awry because there is an extra track inserted for applause after the important Thiele premiere.

There are no English translations, a serious lack in the case of Siegfried Thiele, who is little known over here; his Song of the Sun sounds fine, with a special part for the organ.

The texts by Goethe, Schiller and Holderlin are out of copyright, so maybe Berlin Classics could, at the least, put them on their website, pending re-printing of the booklet, which carries an important essay about conditions in the GBR at that time and the difficulties for Masur in promoting the work Thiele in the political context of the time.

Minoru Miki's Symphony for Two Worlds is a successful "cultural dialogue" for symphony orchestra and the musicians of Pro Musica Nipponia.

I haven't heard this Ninth, but am confident it will be worth setting aside time for it.

Peter Grahame Woolf

q.v. e.g. Kurt Masur's live 1981 reading of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 is comparable with many mainstream interpretations of its time, and may be regarded as a reasonable choice among the affordable CDs put out by Berlin Classics.
Blair Sanderson