Wiener Symphoniker – Beethoven Symphonies 9

Artist: Wiener Symphoniker

Title: Beethoven Symphonies 9

Catalogue No.: WS 017

Release: 13.09.2019

Description

The four releases in the Wiener Symphoniker’s first full recorded Beethoven’s symphony cycle met with universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Now the fifth part, in the form of the Symphony No. 9, is being released. The CD is part of the Wiener Symphoniker’s Road to Beethoven, a project to prepare for the year 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composer, a towering father-figure for classical music.

With this new release, the Wiener Symphoniker are hoping to follow up on the great success of their four CDs in the cycle. Both the first CD with Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 and the second with Nos. 4 and 5 have been picked as “CD of the month” by various international music magazines.  The latest release Nos. 6 and 8 was awarded in France for Trophées Classique Radio. Based on these releases, the British Gramophone magazine nominated the orchestra for “Orchestra of the Year 2018”. In particular, the magazine praised Jordan’s approach of combining the classic Viennese sound with a more modern, leaner interpretation, original tempos and insights from historically informed performance. For Jordan, the content of the music was paramount. His goal was not to revere Beethoven as a monument but rather to present him in a more “natural, direct and personal” way.

Backcover & Playlist

Wiener Symphoniker – Beethoven: Symphonies 6 & 8

Artist: Wiener Symphoniker

Title: Beethoven: Symphonies 6 & 8

Catalogue No.: WS 016

Release: 15.02.2019

Description

In February 2019, the penultimate part of the Wiener Symphoniker’s first recorded Beethoven cycle will appear with Symphonies No. 6 and 8.

This CD is the continuation of the orchestra’s Road to Beethoven project, an undertaking in preparation of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Viennese by choice and patriarch of classical music in 2020. Following the huge success of the respective releases of the cycle so far, the expectations are high indeed. The third part featuring Symphonies No. 2 and 7 received numerous accolades and ranked high in the annual best lists of international critics. The German classical music magazine Concerti, for instance, praised: “There, Philippe Jordan with the Wiener Symphoniker succeeded in creating something amazing: The symbiosis of the fine Viennese sound and the directness and transparency of historical performance practice, dynamically flexible and driven by emphasis.” The Wiener Symphoniker wrote music history with the premieres of works by Bruckner, Ravel and Schönberg. Under the direction of such illustrious conductors as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini or Georges Prêtre, it gained worldwide fame for its Viennese sound style. In light of this more than hundred-year magnificent history, it is all the more astonishing that the Orchestra has never so far recorded Beethoven’s nine symphonies, which are often described as the peak of the symphonic repertoire.

This gap in the Orchestra’s discography has been in the process of being closed since autumn 2017: The Orchestra is releasing all nine symphonies of the great Viennese by choice at half-yearly intervals on a total of five CDs. The whole cycle will then be available on the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in 2020. They were recorded live under the direction of Music Director Philippe Jordan in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein.

Backcover & Playlist

Wiener Symphoniker – Beethoven Symphonies 2/7

Artists: Wiener Symphoniker

Title: Beethoven Symphonien 2/7

Catalogue No.: WS 015

Release: 21.09.2018

Description

With this publication, the Wiener Symphoniker want to build on the great success of the first two CDs of the cycle. Both the first CD with Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 and the second with Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 were awarded CD’s of the month by various international specialist magazines. The British Gramophone Magazine nominated the orchestra on the basis of the publication of the Orchestra of the Year 2018. Particularly praised were Jordan’s approach to mute Viennese sound culture with a contemporary, leaner interpretation, original tempos and insights from historical performance practice. For Jordan, the focus was on content: Beethoven should not be honored as a monument, but be presented “more naturally, more directly and more humane”.

Backcover & Playlist

Wiener Symphoniker – Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 5

Title: Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 5

Catalogue No.: WS 014

Release: 23.02.2018

Description

In February 2018, the Wiener Symphoniker and their Music Director Philippe Jordan present the second CD in their first complete recording of the Beethoven symphonies. With his Fifth Symphony, Beethoven created a true symphonic icon. It is as universally known above all thanks to its powerful opening bars. Its parallels with its predecessor, the Fourth, are less prominent than those with, for example, its successor the Sixth. Nevertheless, the Fourth features many ideas that would only be fully elaborated in the Fifth. “The connection”, Jordan emphasises, “is more a matter of the spirit of the works, but is no less important for all that.”

As with the first, enthusiastically received first CD, this recording was made live in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein as part of an acclaimed cycle during 2017. International critics were especially pleased with Jordan’s approach, which combines Wiener Klang, the distinctive Viennese instrumental style, with a contemporary and pared-back interpretation while incorporating insights from historically informed performance and original tempi. But for Jordan, the content is the main focus: instead of venerating Beethoven the monument, he wants to show him in a “more natural, direct and human” way.

Tracklist

Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major op.60 
1 Adagio – Allegro vivace 11:03
2 Adagio 8:41
3 Allegro vivace 5:44
4 Allegro ma non troppo 6:45
Symphony No. 5 in c minor op. 67
5 Allegro con brio 6:59
6 Andante con moto 8:47
7 Allegro 7:46
8 Allegro 10:41
Total Running Time 66:25

Wiener Symphoniker – Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 3

Title: Beethoven: Symphonies 1 & 3

Catalogue No.: WS013

Release: 29.09.2017

Description

The Road to Beethoven
For the first time in their history, the Wiener Symphoniker will release a complete Beethoven symphonies cycle on CD

The Wiener Symphoniker wrote music history with the first performances of works by Bruckner, Ravel and Schoenberg. And under the baton of such illustrious music directors
as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulinior Georges Prêtrethey acquired worldwide fame for their unique Viennese sound. Considering itsrich, more than a century long history, it comes as a surprise that the orchestra has never before recorded a full cycle of the nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven which are widely considered toconstitute the apex of the symphonic repertoire.

This shortcoming is about to be remedied: Starting in autumn 2017, the Wiener Symphoniker will release the full cycle on 5 CDs. With a new CDof the series to be released every 6 months, the full cycle will be completed just in time for the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven in 2020. The symphonies were recorded live during a critically acclaimed concert cycle in Spring/Summer 2017 in the Great Hall of the Musikverein Wien.

At these concerts, the international press specifically praised Jordan’s approach to combininga traditional Viennese sound with a more contemporary, slimmed down interpretation of the material, original tempi and insights from the historically informed performance practice. Through a close reading of the score and by focusing  on the content of the works,Jordan aimed to create – in his words – a “more natural, direct, humanised“ image of the famous composer.

A key work for this approach constitutes, in Jordan’s mind, the Third Symphony E-flat major op.55 „Eroica“ – which will be included on the firstCD of the series alongside the First Symphony C Major op. 21. According to Jordan, both works are unified in their portrayal of Beethoven‘s immense, innovative, revolutionary creative will.  In its perusal of thePrometheus-myth the “Eroica” has additional meaning for Jordan’s depiction of Beethoven as an essentially modern and human composer: “In the way Beethoven uses the Prometheus theme, the composer reveals his fascination for the eventual failing of mankind not his heroic deeds.”

The first CD of the Wiener Symphoniker’sBeethoven cycle will be released on 13 October in the UK and on 20 October in the US. For further info, video and interviews visit www.symphoniker.at.

Tracklist

Track Individual Titel Duration
Symphony No. 1 in C major op. 21
1 Adagio molto – Allegro con brio 8:45
2 Andante cantabile con moto 6:57
3 Menuetto.Allegro molto e vivace 4:05
4 Adagio – Allegro molto e vivace 5:27
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major op. 55 “Eroica”
5 Allegro con brio 16:39
6 Marcia funebre (Adagio assai) 12:58
7 Scherzo (Allegro) 5:46
8 Finale (Allegro molto-Poco Andante-Presto) 11:23
Total Running Time 72:01