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Symphonies nos. 7 & 8 (Complete symphonies vol. 3)
Ludwig van Beethoven

Jan Willem de Vriend / The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

Symphonies nos. 7 & 8 (Complete symphonies vol. 3)

Price: € 12.95
Format: SACD hybrid
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917250022
Catnr: CC 72500
Release date: 14 June 2011
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917250022
Catalogue number
CC 72500
Release date
14 June 2011
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

In Beethoven's life and career 1812 was an end, a turning point and a beginning. It was the end of a glorious period in which he put the finishing touches on Symphony No. 7 and wrote No. 8 – a culmination of ten years of composing at the highest level. Beethoven had come all the way. The eventful year of 1812 was also a turning point: emotional and relational crises (difficulties in love, loss of friends, problems in his family), physical and financial crises, brought him to an impasse and this affected his work. It seemed as if he had lost his unbridled energy. His deafness caused him to focus outside of himself, but at the same time he took counsel with himself as to how to go on in his work. This was a breeding ground, a beginning, for his late period, in which many of his works were even more complex, surpassing the comprehension of contemporaries. Pianist Hélène Grimaud puts it quite beautifully: “His music is strongly rooted in all that is human, with all our vulnerabilities and shortcomings, but at the same time there is an element of a Promethean struggle to overcome it, not to give up. To surmount the difficulties.”

Beethoven did not need to be modest about his Seventh symphony. In a letter to Johann Peter Salomon in London, to whom he wrote in 1815 asking him to help find a British publisher, he called it “... a grand symphony in A major (one of my most excellent works)”. In each movement of this symphony he used groups of rhythmic figures, with a leading element to set them off. Clearly, the use of rhythm was already important earlier in his career, with the first movement of No. 5 as the best known example. But in No. 7 the rhythmic action has come to the foreground; it is an underlying principle. One of Beethoven’s most famous works is the Allegretto, the slow movement of this symphony. The audience was won over, and even today it has not lost any of its popularity. It is indeed of incredible beauty. The most important rhythmic theme of the introduction comes back again and again, increasing in intensity and growing more palpable. The range, from low registers to high, and the movement from piano to fortissimo contribute to the enormous musical drama.

Things grow even more intense in the finale as the dynamic range alternates between pianissisimo and fortississimo. Ostinato patterns, variations on rhythmic figures, everything is ten times bigger. That torrential energy! It almost seems as if he has broken loose, arms lashing out in all directions. Seems, because in fact he is in control of the seeming chaos. A control that was absent in his daily life, but that he had in his music.

After the unbridled exuberance of No. 7, the audience proved not to understand No. 8 so well. About this, Beethoven is said to have told Czerny, “That’s because it is so much better.” Beethoven chose to revert to the classical symphonic style: in retrospective. But it is definitely not a step back. For example, humour, an aspect that someone like Haydn often used in his music, is an important element here as well. But Beethoven’s humour is more acerbic. In the finale, a single tone, the C sharp (and the enharmonic D flat) is the key. The C sharp bites and stabs in a movement written in F major, and what it is ultimately about is to integrate that C sharp. This is humour of a different calibre than that of Haydn. It is so typically Beethoven and is what makes him unique. (Parts of the linernotes of this cd written by Valentine Laoût- van Leeuwenstein)
Het derde deel in een succesvolle serie van symfonieën van Beethoven
Het derde volume van de serie van Jan Willem de Vriend met alle symfonieën van Beethoven bevat de Zevende en Achtste Symfonie. Het tweede deel uit deze serie heeft de hoogste prijs ontvangen van het klassieke muziektijdschrift Pizzacato: een Supersonic. Volgens Pizzicato bevat dat deel een van de beste opnames ooit op het gebied van Beethovens symfonieën!

In het derde deel, met opnames van uitstekende geluidskwaliteit, duiken De Vriend en het Nederlands Symfonieorkest nog dieper in de muziek, met kleurrijke, diepgaande en intens energieke muziek als resultaat!

Beethoven was niet bescheiden over zijn Zevende Symfonie. Hij noemde het een grandioze symfonie, en een van zijn beste werken. De grote verschillen in de gebruikte registers en de dynamiek maken het werk dramatisch. Het langzame deel (Allegretto) werd meteen geliefd bij het publiek, en is tegenwoordig nog steeds populair.

De Achtste Symfonie werd niet zo goed begrepen door het publiek in Beethovens tijd. Beethoven koos voor een terugblik op de klassieke symfonieën. Daarmee deed hij echter geen stap terug. Beethoven maakte gebruik van humor in dit werk, net als Haydn, maar dan op zijn eigen unieke manier.

Dirigent Jan Willem de Vriend is inmiddels wereldberoemd. Hij wordt steeds bekender als dirigent van symfonische werken, een rol die uitstekend bij hem past. Jan Willem de Vriend was tot 2014 artistiek leider van Combattimento Consort. Vanaf 2006 is hij chef-dirigent en artistiek leider van het Nederlands Symfonie Orkest. Hij is daarnaast actief als gastdirigent bij onder andere, het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, het Nederlands Filharmonisch Orkest en het Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.

Artist(s)

Jan Willem de Vriend

Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”. An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest...
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Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”.
An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Belgian National Orchestra, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bergen Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Netherlands Radio and Hessischer Rundfunk (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), Melbourne Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He is Principal Conductor Designate of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille, and former Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and the Brabant Orchestra.
For the Challenge Classics label, de Vriend and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra have recorded the complete Mendelssohn symphonies and all Beethoven’s symphonies and concertos with, among others, pianist Hannes Minnaar and violinist Liza Ferschtman. De Vriend’s interpretation of the Symphony No 7 prompted Classic FM to admire “a bounding flair that does real justice to the composer’s capacity for joy”. A further landmark of his recorded catalogue is his complete recording of the Schubert symphonies with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag.
De Vriend’s collaborative spirit is equally evident in his work for the stage, notably with opera director Eva Buchmann and Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. In addition to works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel and Telemann, their productions in Europe and the USA have included staged versions of Bach’s ‘Hunting’ and ‘Coffee’ Cantatas at the Bachfest Leipzig, and operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Cherubini, among them Mozart’s Don Giovanni und Rossini’s La gazzetta, both toured in Switzerland. De Vriend has also conducted operatic productions in Amsterdam (with the Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Schwetzingen and Bergen.

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The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra

The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is based in Enschede, in the province of Overijssel. Performing at an international level, as evidenced by its highly acclaimed CDs and invitations for international tours, the orchestra is firmly rooted in society. Jan Willem de Vriend has been its artistic director and chief conductor since 2006. He will be succeeded by Ed Spanjaard in 2017. Under De Vriend’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded its repertoire to cover music from four centuries. Its use of period instruments in the Classical repertoire gives the orchestra a distinctive and highly individual character. The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs amongst others in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer. In addition, it has made successful tours of the United States, Spain and...
more
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is based in Enschede, in the province of Overijssel. Performing at an international level, as evidenced by its highly acclaimed CDs and invitations for international tours, the orchestra is firmly rooted in society.
Jan Willem de Vriend has been its artistic director and chief conductor since 2006. He will be succeeded by Ed Spanjaard in 2017. Under De Vriend’s leadership, the orchestra has expanded its repertoire to cover music from four centuries. Its use of period instruments in the Classical repertoire gives the orchestra a distinctive and highly individual character.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra performs amongst others in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Enschede, Zwolle and Deventer. In addition, it has made successful tours of the United States, Spain and England and it often works with the Dutch National Touring Opera Company. In its home town Enschede, the orchestra builds on a symphonic tradition of more than 80 years, and it is known as one of the most modern and entrepreneurial orchestras in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra created a number of ensembles, such as a chamber orchestra, the Baroque Academy of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra (BANSO) and various chamber music ensembles. The orchestra’s commitment to expanding its social relevance is also reflected in the large number of projects in which education is a key element.
The orchestra has worked with distinguished conductors, such as its former chief conductor Jaap van Zweden, Vasily Petrenko, Edo de Waart, Claus Peter Flor and Tan Dun. It also has accompanied many celebrated soloists, including Gidon Kremer, Ronald Brautigam, Natalia Gutman, Charlotte Margiono, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Thomas Zehetmair.

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Composer(s)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School.    Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob...
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Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, one violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass the Missa solemnis, and one opera, Fidelio. Together with Mozart and Haydn, he was part of the First Viennese School. Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of the Holy Roman Empire, Beethoven displayed his musical talents at an early age and was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, where he began studying composition with Joseph Haydn, and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life.

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