The Birmingham Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 1 and 2

Wednesday 19 September 2012 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons conductor
Baiba Skride violin

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 25′ Listen on Spotify
Beethoven: Violin Concerto 42′ Listen on Spotify
Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 34′ Listen on Spotify

The symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven are the greatest journey any conductor and orchestra can take together. All of human experience is contained in these nine life-changing masterpieces. Here, Andris Nelsons and the CBSO begin that journey with the joyous First and Second Symphonies: the sound of a bold young genius stretching his wings, and ruffling a few feathers. Birmingham favourite Baiba Skride is the soloist in the glowing serenity of Beethoven’s ravishing Violin Concerto.

To see the full Birmingham Beethoven Cycle, go to

Sponsored by BarclaysThe Birmingham Beethoven Cycle is being supported by Barclays and through the generosity of Miss Brant, a lifelong supporter of the CBSO who died recently.

Baiba Skride with the CBSO video clip here



Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

Click here for full review

…     “The Second Symphony ended the concert, and the performance had the authentic Nelsons hallmarks from the start – the tightly coiled energy powering every phrase, the carefully delineated detail, the effortless sense of an organic whole – enough to suggest that he will be more than ready to meet the bigger challenges to come later in the series. Between the two symphonies there was more Beethoven, with Nelsons’ fellow Latvian Baiba Skride as soloist in the Violin Concerto. If the performance lacked the excitement that Skride has brought to 20th-century works, its bittersweet mixture of exuberance and lyrical reflection seemed entirely right.”     …


Review by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:

Click here for full review

…     “At the end of the first movement of Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony, he made a chopping gesture for each emphatic chord, just as a child would if asked to imitate a conductor. He crouched down for the hushed passages, reached an imperious, trembling hand on high to fix a triumphant moment, and made great scooping gestures to mould a melody, as if he were sculpting it in clay.

It was riveting to behold, so much so it was actually hard to distinguish the sight of Nelsons from the sound of the music.”     …


Review by Anthony Arblaster, Independent:

Click here for full review

…     “If you vaguely supposed that the Beethovenian revolution only took off with the third symphony, the “Eroica”, this concert would have made you think again. It took in the first two symphonies, framing the later Violin Concerto. True, the First Symphony shows the powerful influence of Haydn, but there is plenty of the younger composer’s individuality in it, including his unique use of a drum roll in the slow movement, and a so-called minuet that is unmistakably a fully fledged, upward-rushing scherzo.”     …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s