Nelsons Conducts Beethoven’s 9th

Thursday 23 August 2012 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0603

 City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
CBSO Chorus
Lucy Crowe soprano
Mihoko Fujimura mezzo-soprano
Toby Spence tenor
Georg Zeppenfeld bass

Brahms: Nänie 15′
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Choral) 67′ Listen on Spotify

From tragic opening to climactic, world-embracing “Ode to Joy”, Beethoven’s Ninth has never been just another symphony – it’s an emotional experience with the power to change lives. Every performance is a special occasion, but Andris Nelsons’ first Birmingham performance of the Ninth promises to be in a class of its own, and a landmark in his artistic partnership with the CBSO. This isn’t only an extraordinary upbeat to our new season, it should be one of Birmingham’s musical events of the year. Be sure to book early.

Review by Diane Parkes, BehindtheArras:

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…     “Also known as the Choral Symphony, the Ninth is powerfully life affirming, with its music echoing and enriching the message of Schiller’s Ode to Joy which is the climax of the work.

And there was no doubt this was a joyous performance. CBSO music director Andris Nelsons, conducting the Ninth in Birmingham for the first time, seemed to love every minute, egging the orchestra on to rise to the challenge of the piece.”     …

Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:

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…     “When the long arching string melody was interrupted by fierce timpani and brass the shock was palpable, as if we were being peremptorily summoned back from delightful dream to mundane reality.

This performance was filled with many such memorable moments, in the opening movement of immense power and a scherzo both sinister and bucolic.

 The finale surged and thundered, helped by four excellent soloists – Lucy Crowe (soprano), Mihoko Fujimura (mezzo-soprano), Toby Spence (tenor) and Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) – and the hundred-strong CBSO Chorus. Hearing this chorus in full cry is a tonic for the soul – they really did deliver a “kiss for the whole world” as Schiller’s text requests.”     …     ***** 
Blog post by Alex Jones:
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…     ” Nelsons is a brilliant conductor, I couldn’t take my eyes off him; he conducted the orchestra with his whole body: his face was bright with emotion, expressions changing with each bar, sometimes stern, sometimes pleading, sometimes joyous, often he would clench his baton in his fist and literally jump up and down like a mad general, the next moment he would be leaning over his score reaching into the string section as if he was pulling the music out of the instruments himself; energetic and personal summed him up – he was living the score, feeling the nuances, experiencing them and translating them into sublime sounds – amazing.”     …