Music: Pick of the Pack

BEETHOVEN: THE NINE SYMPHONIES (Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Sir Georg Solti, conductor; London; $50). With at least 15 complete sets of the Beethoven symphonies on the market, there could be only two reasons for yet another version: Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony. Solti has in this orchestra as versatile and flexible an instrument as any conductor could ask for. When the collaboration is fueled by the immense spirit of Beethoven, the result is a glorious musical combustion.

An unsentimental romanticist, Solti works easily within the huge design of the Eroica. He treats...

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