Nominated for the 50th Annual GRAMMY® Awards
in the category Best Orchestral Performance (Classical)
Classics Today 10/10; Gramophone: outstanding; BBC Music Magazine: outstanding.
Few works of art - musical or otherwise – are as firmly established in the canon of global culture as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The sheer size and complexity of it is daunting even today, and at the time of its composition it was a highly revolutionary work. Even so, the audience at the first performance, in 1824, was enthusiastic – as audiences have been ever since. Its appeal has not only stood the test of time, however – the Ninth holds significance for people all over the world, regardless of country: the closest we have to a truly universal piece of music. To record such a work is not a task to take lightly. In preparation for the great occasion, Osmo Vänskä and his Minnesota Orchestra paced themselves by recording two previous discs of Beethoven symphonies, both of which have been greeted with great acclaim. 'It's obvious from the first bars of the Eroica that this is something special... these are great interpretations and a true 21st century take on the music...' wrote the reviewer in Classic FM Magazine of recently released BIS-SACD-1516, while Financial Times' critic stated about the same disc: 'I choose my words carefully when I say this is the best recording of Beethoven symphonies since Carlos Kleiber's with the Vienna Philharmonic a generation ago.' The recording of the Ninth was preceded by three concert performances, and the Minnesota Chorale – one of the finest symphonic choirs in the USA – was meticulously prepared for both concerts and recording. The quartet of soloists has been handpicked and gives a final edge to this huge ensemble in the final movement's Ode to Joy, filling it with all the excitement that this exciting music invites. About a previous disc the critic of the web site Classics Today wrote: 'There's no question that Osmo Vänskä is a true Beethoven conductor.' There is also no question that Vänskä's account of the greatest of the Beethoven symphonies is something that must be experienced!