The Birminghan Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 6 and 7

Wednesday 20 March 2013 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor

Laurence Jackson  violin

Beethoven: Romance No. 1 7′ Listen on Spotify

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) 40′ Listen on Spotify

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7  36′ Listen on Spotify

From spring-fresh opening to serene finish, there’s no experience in music more life-affirming than Beethoven’s lovely Pastoral Symphony. And there’s none more gloriously, exuberantly, physical than his unstoppable Seventh. Andris Nelsons’ journey through Beethoven’s symphonies reaches two of the most enduringly popular masterpieces in all music; an evening of happiness and deep feeling, with – at its heart – a gentle showcase for one of Birmingham’s bestloved artists, the CBSO’s very own Laurence Jackson.

This concert is sold out. The CBSO and Andris Nelsons perform Beethoven’s Symphonies  Nos 8 & 9 (Choral) on 27 & 29 June, or enjoy an Italian-inspired programme including Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony with Andris Nelsons on 8 & 9 May.

A fresh look at Beethoven’s Symphonies – Andris Nelsons & the CBSO Part of The Birmingham Beethoven Cycle, click here to see the full Cycle guide.

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.


Review by Rohan Shotton, BachTrack:

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…     “Andris Nelsons continued his Beethoven cycle with deeply personal and thrilling accounts of the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies to a sold-out Symphony Hall. […]

[…]      The third and fourth movements gave hints of the aggression which would later be found in the Seventh. The rural dance of the third was brisk and vigorous. Doubled up for the evening, the horns in particular skipped along boisterously, though principal Elspeth Dutch’s solos showed a beautifully legato tone. This gave way to a brutal storm, high drama which was vividly reminiscent of the same orchestra’s Flying Dutchman performance four days ago. Nelsons handled the transition to the finale with consummate care, easing into it with sublime gentleness. His micro-pauses and subtleties of phrasing were carried off with full commitment from all and with smiles passing around the string section. It was still forward-looking and full-bodied for the most part, and came to a close with glowing warmth.”



Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

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…     “This was a reading where rhythmic propulsion was coloured by  brilliantly-shaded dynamics, where phrases were given a sweep which gave the  music a life of its own, where individual contributions were never listen-to-me  obtrusive but slotted into the life-enhancing texture of music where words are  inadequate.

Joyous, yes, but with a slow movement which caught the breath.

And Nelsons, sometimes not even hectoring with a beat, probed so naturally  and instinctively to the heart of this wondrous work.”



Review by Fiona Maddocks, Observer:

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“Another Beethoven cycle? Not for Andris Nelsons. This is his first. He and his City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra reached the Sixth and Seventh symphonies this week, with one concert left to go. After the breathless, bacchanalian frenzy which brought No 7 to a close and many in the capacity audience to their feet, it was clear something remarkable had taken place. I had to remind myself that “wow” is not yet acceptable in the critical lexicon except on Twitter.

Time and again the Latvian maestro urged the orchestra to their feet. Repeatedly they refused to budge, banging on their stands, stamping on the floor. You might think that he, not they, had made the phenomenal sounds we had just heard. In the end Nelsons wiped his brow and looked bemused, as if to acknowledge that, yes, perhaps after all he played some part in the alchemy. He took his bow, waving his hands like wings as if trying to embrace his entire orchestra.”     …