Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1-3 - Barry: Beethoven

Album cover art for upc 635212061626
Label: SIG
Catalog: SIGCD616

Adès, Thomas; Britten Sinfonia; Stone, Mark; Hodges, Nicolas

“Adès makes you hear things with which you thought you were familiar as if they were completely new” (Tom Service, The Guardian) This is the first release marking the culmination of the Britten Sinfonia's three-year Beethoven Symphony Cycle, with Thomas Adès as director and conductor. Adès interleaves Beethoven’s masterworks with the audacious and sometimes explosive music of the wonderfully idiosyncratic Irish composer, Gerald Barry, exploring these monuments of the orchestral repertoire. This release combines Beethoven's first 3 symphonies with two works by Barry: His 'Piano Concerto' was composed for pianist Nicolas Hodges, and blends his characteristic musical zeal and unconventionality (featuring a percussion section of wind machines and bass drum). Gerald Barry’s setting of Beethoven's famous "Immortal Beloved" text is among several of his works surrounding the life of Beethoven, whom he deeply admires. Despite the desperate tone of the letter, the music is buoyant and cheerful, with references to Beethoven’s own Music. The composer writers: "The letter to the so-called “Immortal Beloved” is the only real love letter to survive from Ludwig van Beethoven. It’s one of the strangest ever written. It more or less says I love and long for you but it’s not possible. The letter is a confusion of longing and desperation, a cry for forgiveness, that she not abandon him, whatever his inability.’ (Gerald Barry)

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