This is the start of a Beethoven Symphonies cycle (Nos. 1-9) with Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Beethoven cycle of the 21st century!
3 Documentaries - In a one-hour-long film for each symphony Maestro Thielemann and Joachim Kaiser (Germany´s most famous music critic) discuss and analyze in an entertaining conversational exchange Thielemann’s interpretation, complemented by excerpts from rehearsals as well as comparisons of Beethoven cycles with Karajan, Bernstein etc. – no aspect of Beethoven’s symphonic œuvre will remain unaffected!
The final volume of pianist Paavali Jumppanen’s acclaimed cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas. This volume combines the early Op. 7 and the famous Pathétique sonata together with the Last Sonatas Opp. 109-111 written by Beethoven in the 1820s. Jumppanen has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers and premiering many solo and chamber works for the piano.
Albanian-born, Geneva-based violinist Tedi Papavrami has not only fashioned a major international career on the concert stage, but has had success as an actor, notably in France. That said, his focus remains on music, both as a performer and teacher. Papavrami has concertized across Europe, Israel, Turkey, and Japan, and appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Orchestre de Paris, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Bamberger Symphony.
Bernstein delivered a powerful and now legendary live performance of Beethovens String Quartet Op. 135 transcribed for String Orchestra and performed by the Vienna Philharmonic. For the first time ever this performance is now being released on DVD and Blu-ray. Another definitive Bernstein performance debuting now on both mediums is the enigmatic maestros reading of Haydns Missa in tempore belli, filmed live in concert at Ottobeuren in 1984, using to maximum effect the deeply impressive setting of the monasterys magnificent Baroque basilica.
This really was quite a fine recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, one of the best in years and easily the best of the early music recordings. The Choeur de la Chapelle Royale et du Collegium Vocale sing with strength and stamina, but also with grace and beauty of tone. The Champs Elysees Orchestra plays with power and precision, but also with unity of ensemble and beauty of tone, a very rare quality in an early music orchestra. And Herreweghe himself is actually an apt interpreter of the work. Not only does he have a knack for bringing out better than the best in his performers, but he actually seems to believe in the spiritual and sublime essence of the work, a very, very rare quality in any conductor these days. The result is a performance which, while it doesn't rival the 1940 Toscanini, the 1965 Klemperer, or the 1974 Böhm, does express the overwhelming sense that the numinous is imminent. Harmonia Mundi's sound is rich and vibrant.- James Leonard