The legendary Ansermet recording from 1960 shown above is the best sounding Beethoven 9th we have ever had the pleasure to audition here at Better Records.
Ansermet’s performance is clearly definitive to my ear as well. The gorgeous hall the Suisse Romande recorded in was possibly the best recording venue of its day, possibly of all time; more amazing sounding recordings were made there than any other hall we know of.
Both sides are big, rich and clear, and both were showing us pretty much everything that’s good about a vintage symphonic recording.
To get the chorus to play cleanly right to the very end is difficult for any vinyl pressing and this one is no exception. The chorus should play mostly without distortion or congestion even in the loudest parts, but we can’t say there won’t be a trace of one or both. (more…)