Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
EuroArts will release a special edition of all nine Beethoven Symphonies played by the Berlin Philharmonic under former chief conductor Claudio Abbado. The cycle will be released gradually throughout 2007 – having been launched with symphonies 3 and 9, it now continues with Symphonies 1,6 and 8, recorded in February 2001. Each of the symphonies is a masterpiece in itself – they are all quite different, each representing the composer’s musical idiom at a particular stage in his development. This DVD not only includes the first and the second last of these masterpieces, representing a time-span of more than 10 years in Beethoven’s life, but also the famous Pastorale, the sixth symphony. As an additional feature, this DVD offers the “Conductor Camera” in the 6th Symphony showing the maestro from the perspective of the musician. The recordings feature interpretations that are the fruit of decades of Claudio Abbado’s involvement with Beethoven. Listening to the music, one hears how the Berlin Philharmonic transforms Abbado’s musical intentions into sound – there is a sense of unity that can only be achieved through many years of shared artistic experience and attention to detail. Claudio Abbado was the orchestra’s fifth Artistic Director, a post he held from 1989 to 2002. He has remained close to the orchestra. This series of live performances at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome was an overwhelming success: the concerts ended in standing ovations, and the critics spoke of seminal moments in the history of music. Abbado's Beethoven cycle will certainly become a milestone for contemporary interpretation and this DVD and the coming releases pay tribute to Abbado’s achievement.
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op.21
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op.68 "Pastoral"
Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op.93