Own two of the works that helped cement Beethoven’s reputation as a creative genius like none other. Internationally acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax joins Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony in a dynamic performance of Beethoven’s robust Piano Concerto No. 3. Then, MTT leads the Grammy-winning SF Symphony Chorus and musicians in a rarely performed work: Beethoven’s Mass in C major.
Hollow pathos is not his thing. From an artist like Mariss Jansons Friedrich Schiller’s Ode: “An die Freude” must receive a far deeper significance, which also fully encompasses the doubt and profound hope embodied in this text. And thus, in Jansons’s recording of the Ninth Symphony, the choral finale does not degenerate to mere superficial orgy of jubilation, but rather becomes a delicately balanced, wisely developed drama. On October 27, 2007, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks played Beethoven’s Ninth in the presence of the Pope in the Vatican. The recording of this memorable concert is now being released in the highest audiophile recording quality as a multi-channel SACD.
This is Dudamel’s first CD with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, recorded live at LA’s famed Disney Concert Hall as part of their epic 2012 Mahler Project, celebrating one of the most energetic and exciting musical partnerships of our times - The coming together of the very finest American orchestra, led with passion and vision by the unique force of nature that is Gustavo Dudamel.
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. On Christmas Day 1989, only six weeks later, due to the organizational skills of Leonard Bernstein (and others) an historic concert of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was given in the Schauspielhaus in the former East Berlin with instrumentalists and singers from a number of different countries. These included orchestra members from the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestra of the Kirov Theater of Leningrad, the London Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris. The choruses were those of Bavarian and Berlin Radio as well as, unusually, the Children's Choir of the Philharmonie Dresden. Soloists were June Anderson (soprano, American), Sarah Walker (mezzo, British), Klaus König (tenor, German) and Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass, Dutch). The concert was broadcast all over the world and the crowd in the plaza outside the Schauspielhaus could be also seen watching the event on television. I remember seeing the event but strangely remember it as having been an outdoors concert; obviously, I was mostly remembering that joyous crowd of Berliners outside the hall. One could see them and the audience inside the hall hugging in celebration of the event and of the new-found ability of citizens of the two Germanys to mix with each other again.