I prefer the Deutche Grammophone edition.
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Tim the Karajan 63 & 77 recordings have some noticeable differences, as does the entire Beethoven symphony cycle
recorded then. I much prefer the 1977 9th, it is a more inspired reading and the closing of the final movement has a passion and fury rarely seen by Karajan, thrilling experience! With very good recording quality this has to rank near the top of any list......Although DG must not agree with me as I believe they chose the 1962 version to remaster as "DG Original" series
Mg123, the back cover will have a copyright-type logo toward the bottom which will show the date of the recording. Was the 77 recording analog or digital, anyone aware? I have the '63 recording both on CD and vinyl, and it's an excellent performance. I'm intrigued by the Celibidache recommended by Iasi, as Iasi played the scherzo movement of that version for me and it is a MUCH slower tempo than anyone else's I've heard (advantage of cleaner and more precise articulation of the strings, disadvantage of less energy in the movement), and the version is over 75 minutes long in total! It's a live recording and well recorded by EMI; probably worth considering as an alternative to other, more conventional versions.
I have two CD versions: The Royal Philharmonic Orch., Rene Leibowitz conducting. It’s on the Chesky label and is ADD. The recording was made in mid. 1961 and remastered in 1990. There is a minor tape hiss but it is an outstanding performance. The other is Gunter Wand and the North German Radio Symphony Orch. It is on RCA Victor Red Seal and is DDD.
The Chesky disc is warm, smooth and has a near perfect soundstage. The RCA CD is sounds to my ears, very much like a live performance. It’s a little bright and out front with a fair to good soundstage.
I love both and play them often..