Berliner Philharmoniker / Herbert von Karajan - IX. Symphonie (1963), 5/10

It is difficult to discuss the musicality of a recording such as this without explaining every detail of an already deeply studied piece of material. That said, after many years of revisitation, Beethoven’s ninth symphony remains underwhelming and fails to move me. First, second, and twelfth impressions yield the same results so I can confidently say there is not much to glean from the recording that has not already been noticed. If it indeed moves you like it does the vast majority of listeners, revel in its glory and joy. A building set of movements leading to the grandest finales either moves you with its magnificent choir and summation of the previous motifs or it will likely never illicit a strong reaction. Respect for Beethoven’s progressive genius does not inspire rapture, only appreciation and reverence.