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Beethoven's symphonies have fared well on SACD, particularly the remarkable Leipzig Gewandhaus/Kurt Masur set recorded 1974 -1976 in quad and now released by Pentatone. There are a number of other recordings of various symphonies (many mentioned on this site) , but none of them have the plus of Tacet;s "true surround sound." This site has praised previous issues in the label's Beethoven symphony cycle with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Wojciech Rajski. These are vital, dynamic readings, beautifully played and recorded in spectacular"true surround sound."

Now the cycle is completed with the mighty Symphony No. 9 and it does not disappoint. It is a fine, energetic performance with an outstanding quartet of soloists. Hearing it in 5.1 audio is a thrilling experience. A diagram in the booklet shows location of all performers. The chorus is spread around the hall, with male voices in the rear. The four soloists are nicely spaced, women front left, men, front right. Low strings are very pronounced, and there always is a fine sense of being in a great concert hall. Surprisingly, cymbals, used only in the finale, are virtually inaudible. However, without question this is a major issue for those interested in multi-channel audio. This has been issued as a separate SACD, but if you don't have the other eight, surely the way to get it is on the Blu Ray set that contains all nine symphonies. If you already own the others, get the single disk Ninth. If you have a true interest in surround sound, you should not miss these unique recordings. (…)

Robert Benson

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