The Beethoven cycle of the 21st century! Christian Thielemanns and Wiener Philharmonikers recording of BEETHOVEN 9 had been their first recording in HD of all nine Beethoven symphonies, accompanied by nine hour-long documentaries, one on each symphony, featuring Thielemann and Prof. Joachim Kaiser. From insights into Beethovens musical thinking to interpretational comparisons, including excerpts from performances by Karajan, Böhm, Bernstein, Järvi etc., to historical perspectives no aspect of Beethovens symphonic oeuvre will remain untreated! Thielemanns recordings of the Beethoven symphonies stand head and shoulders above the countless and mostly undistinguishable versions on offer. (Die Presse) The Vienna Philharmonic literally grew beyond itself that evening in the Konzerthaus. (Neue Züricher Zeitung) Missa Solemnis: Thielemann conjured up the gigantic cosmos of the Missa with such lightness and grace that its mystery seemed to reveal itself.
"Antonini succeeds in nothing less than building a bridge between the historical, musical performance practice and the intellectual-historical tradition of this work … Strong singers are at his side." (Stereo) "One of the most exciting Beethoven recordings of our days" (Rondo) "Fresh as the first day: Giovanni Antonini knows how to make Beethoven's dramaturgy vivid." (Concerti) These are only a few of the many great reviews for the recordings of Beethoven's symphonies by Kammerorchester Basel (Basel Chamber Orchestra) under Giovanni Antonini. For Beethovens 250. anniversary year 2020, a 6-CD-Set of these "sensational recordings" (NDR) of Kammerorchester Basel is being released.
Masters of Classical Music is an informative and captivating guide to twenty of the most important works in music history. Outtakes from the original scores within the documentaries, assist the viewer by making it easier to follow the music and to overall comprehend the structure of the works. The viewer will travel back in time to experience the birth places of these compositions and will thereby gain insight into the lives of the composers whilst receiving a thorough introduction to the works.
This is the latest and, they tell us, the last of EMI’s Simon Rattle Edition, gathering together the conductor’s complete forays into certain composers and repertoire. As with any such project the sets hitherto released have contained both treasures and duds. Even though not everything here is perfect, this set sends the series out on a high with his complete Vienna recording of the Beethoven symphonies.
Recorded live in 1983, Alfred Brendel's third go-round with these works drastically improves on his previous Beethoven concerto cycles. He finds a calmer, more direct route to the Emperor Concerto, although the Fourth's first movement is still pock-marked with finicky phrase adjustments that pull focus from the music's poetic arcs. Levine provides sympathetic and alert support, yet is much more than a mere deferential accompanist.
Beethoven's trios for violin, viola, and cello remain among his least-played works. They seem to point back to the occasional chamber music of the Classical period, and if they're not given the proper attention, that's exactly what they do. But Beethoven himself thought enough even of the very early String Trio in E flat major, Op. 3 (1794), to supervise a keyboard arrangement of the work in the 1810s, and the Op. 9 set heard here, composed in 1798, is almost as ambitious as the group of Op. 18 string quartets that followed it by about a year, and for which it can be seen as a kind of study. The hard, weighty performances by the Trio Zimmermann command attention for these works. Hear the way it sculpts out the jagged opening melodic material of the climactic String Trio in C minor, Op. 9/3, or lay into the quasi-orchestral finale of the first trio of the set. There's a good deal of motivic work here that forecasts the density of Beethoven's mature chamber music language.