Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 & Missa solemnis, Op. 123 (Live)
As the head of the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio, Rafael Kubelik was one of the major personalities of post-war German music life. His proverbial modesty and his creed of absolute faithfulness to the original work earned him many admirers, especially during his years in Munich as principal conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Radio (1961–79). Let it be noted that it was less the person Kubelik that was venerated, but rather his interpretation of music: uncompromising concentration on what was essential, unadulterated and relevant in the best sense of the word. Examples of this can be shown by these audio recordings of two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s best-known works, the Missa Solemnis, in which Beethoven like in no other work thematized his life-long struggle with faith, and the famous Symphony No. 9, which by including a choral movement broke with the conventions of Viennese Classicism like no other symphony of the time and was viewed as a ground-breaking work. With Helen Donath, Brigitte Fassbaender, Peter Schreier, John Shirley-Quirk and other voices from the very top ‘league’ of the concert and song guard of the 1970s and 1980s, these Munich recordings also go far beyond the status of historical sound documents – they are veritable reference recordings!