The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has issued a live recording of Robert Shaw’s final performance in Atlanta as Music Director of the ASO, captured on May 21st, 1988, conducting the symphony and chorus in a stirring performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
“This performance is one of those in which all of the participants were playing for the sake of the music and were caught up in a vortex of musical union and humanity, the likes of which you just don’t encounter very often, if ever, in a lifetime,” noted Robert Woods, who has been digitizing all of the historic Atlanta Symphony live broadcast tapes for preservation, and was clearly struck by the quality of this particular performance.
“Every corner of this recording bears the unique artistic stamp of Robert Shaw’s genius. It is his mature interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the pinnacle of the choral orchestral repertoire, performed by the orchestra he shaped, the chorus he formed, and a superb cast of vocal soloists. The electricity in the room was palpable: the audience responded with an enthusiastic ovation of nearly nine minutes. We believe audiences everywhere will relish the opportunity to be part of this extraordinary artistic moment and to experience Shaw’s voice anew, for the first time in nearly 30 years,” adds Jennifer Barlament, ASO Executive Director.
The CD, issued through the ASO Media label, is available at finer online and brick-and-mortar music retailers, and at the Symphony Store in Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center.