A New, Yet Familiar Piece: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Conductor Benjamin Zander on his interpretation and his new album


Conductor Benjamin Zander. (Paul Marotta)

Benjamin Zander‘s new recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (“Benjamin Zander Conducts Beethoven Symphony No. 9 ‘Choral'” available on Brattle Media) is the result of a lifetime’s study of Beethoven’s score. But spend any time with Zander and you come to realize both how absorbed by the music he is, and how his study of it has not been intended to perfect his own interpretation but to divine Beethoven’s intentions.


I recently met up with Zander to talk about the new recording and the ideas behind it, particularly with regard to his interpretation of Beethoven’s metronome marks.


Does the world need yet another recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony? Zander feels very strongly that it does. He has worked on the symphony for over 40 years and given many performances of it. He is passionate about investigating Beethoven’s original