Saturday 20th September 2014 at 7.00pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
Andris Nelsons conductor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral) 40′
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 36′
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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 – the piece that made even Richard Wagner get up and dance! Andris Nelsons’ journey through Beethoven’s symphonies reaches two of the most enduringly popular masterpieces in all music.
Beethoven Week: The Ghost 5.45pm – FREE pre-concert performance by Trio Severn. Beethoven: Piano Trio in D Op. 70 No. 1 (The Ghost)
If you like this concert, you might also like:
Panufnik Centenary, Wednesday 24th September
War and Peace, Thursday 6th November
Brahms and Beethoven, Wednesday 25th March 2015 & Saturday 28th March 2015
Review by Katherine Dixson, BachTrack:
Click here for full review
… “Against the backdrop of strings, lovely woodwind birdsong punctuated the fresh clean air. There followed a stark change in meteorological conditions with the drama of a thunderstorm, prefaced by ominous bass rumblings and pattering raindrops in the violins. The general rumpus of the full-blown storm featured the excitement of excellent brass and – a stroke of Beethoven’s genius – upward figures on lower strings at variable speeds, producing a blurred, somewhat disorientating effect. Nelsons, clearly in control of this apparent mayhem, virtually threw the thunder, javelin-fashion, at charismatic timpanist Matthew Perry.
The colours of sunshine returned to draw the symphony to a close, via repetitions of familiar themes and emotional dynamics. The “happy, thankful feelings” of this movement’s title summed it up perfectly. There’s something life-affirming about the Pastoral, and I would gladly have listened to it all again.
Symphony No. 7 was written when Beethoven had been suffering from ill health and depression. Recommended to spend the summer of 1811 in the spa town of Teplitz, a peaceful spot in troubled times, he certainly demonstrated no loss of creativity, his stay proving the catalyst for not only the 7th Symphony but also the 8th and 9th. Luckily the intensity of this and recent weeks’ music-making apparently hadn’t adversely affected the CBSO’s energy levels, as the 7th Symphony is laden with muscular dance rhythms, manic fury and grand themes requiring dynamism in every sense. Nelsons’ conducting style tended towards the minimalist at times, often hinging on facial expressions and his relative proximity to the players, yet he drew out every nuance of emotionally-charged strings, navigating their way through the madcap momentum of the long-short-short rhythmic pattern. The central Presto section stole the show, if the swaying of my neighbours was any indication, but just when you thought it couldn’t get any more dramatic the full orchestra went full-tilt at the finale’s dual, unprecedented fff climaxes.” …