Sofia Gubaidulina, composer

Sofia Gubaidulina, composer
Sofia Gubaidulina

Friday, June 09, 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.4 in B flat major – Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann (HD 1080p)

Christian Thielemann, one of the most recognized conductors of our time, joins forces with the prestigious Wiener Philharmoniker and Unitel Classica, the world's leading audiovisual production company for classical music, in a monumental project: BEETHOVEN 9, the recording of all nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven for TV, DVD and New Media: the "Beethoven cycle of the 21st century"!

Using the newest technology of our century, Unitel Classica and Austrian Television (ORF) produce this "super-cycle" in the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein in HD and 5.0 Surround Sound. BEETHOVEN 9 kicked off in December 2008 with the recording of the First and Second Symphonies.

BEETHOVEN 9 brings to a new climax the longstanding collaboration between Thielemann, who enjoys a sterling reputation as an interpreter of Beethoven and the German Romantics, and the Wiener Philharmoniker, which has been cultivating the music of Beethoven since its founding nearly 170 years ago and is one of the few great orchestras to have preserved its unique sound. Unitel Classica can look back on more than 40 years of collaboration with the Wiener Philharmoniker and on its pioneering cycles of Beethoven's symphonic works with Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein.

Ο Κρίστιαν Τίλεμαν, ένας μαέστρος που δεν φοβάται να χαρακτηριστεί παραδοσιακός ή και ρομαντικός, καταθέτει το προσωπικό του όραμα για τον Μπετόβεν, σεβόμενος παράλληλα την ερμηνευτική παράδοση που καλλιεργείται στη Βιένη τα τελευταία 160 χρόνια και την οποία η γενιά της λεγόμενης «ιστορικής ερμηνείας» έχει θέσει υπό αμφισβήτηση.

Η Τέταρτη Συμφωνία του Λούντβιχ βαν Μπετόβεν, παρότι δεν υστερεί καθόλου σε έμπνευση και δυναμισμό, υπήρξε κατά κάποιον τρόπο θύμα της προκατάληψης που δημιούργησε η τεράστια αποδοχή της «Ηρωικής» Τρίτης Συμφωνίας ως κορυφαίου σταθμού στην εξέλιξη του δημιουργού της. Το ερώτημα «μετά από αυτό τί θα μπορούσε να γραφτεί;» ήταν εύλογο. Ειδικά η Συμφωνία αρ. 4 έπρεπε να περιμένει τον 20ό αιώνα προκειμένου να αποκατασταθεί δια του περίφημου αρχιμουσικού Γιόζεφ Κριπς ο οποίος σχολίασε: «Θεωρώ την Τέταρτη Συμφωνία ως τον τρόπο του Μπετόβεν να πει το ‘Ναι’ στη ζωή».


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

♪ Symphony No.4 in B flat major, Op.60 (1806)

i. Adagio – Allegro vivace
ii. Adagio
iii. Allegro vivace
iv. Allegro ma non troppo

Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor: Christian Thielemann

Wiener Musikverein, March 2009

(HD 1080p)

Uploaded on Youtube for the Blog "Faces of Classical Music"

Robert Schumann described this Symphony as "a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants", and started the long-standing tradition which holds that somehow Beethoven's even-numbered symphonies are less profound than the odd-numbered ones. This may seem true at first glance, but there is much that Schumann's analysis leaves unsaid. While the lambent beauty of the Adagio might suggest the kind of Classicism that the Eroica transcended, one should remember that, in many senses, the Fourth, emerging from an intensely foreboding, and even tragic, introduction, is no less heroic than either the Eroica or the Fifth. Dark-hued and intensely chromatic strivings pull the music from B flat minor toward the unison F which heralds the beginning of the sunny Allegro vivace exposition. While Weber criticized the deliberately sparse-sounding introduction, Tovey sensed its immense stature, writing of the "sky-dome vastness" of its harmonic progression.

The Adagio, a sonata structure minus development, begins with an insistent rhythm which recurs several times. At the start, the violins sing out the sublimely reflective principal motif, a tenderly lyrical utterance which stands in direct contrast to the opening figure. These two contrasting elements are always at the hub of the movement, the expressive violin theme later becoming the subject of variations. The reprise of the second group then leads to the highly atmospheric coda.

What follows is the Scherzo; a bucolic main theme suggests the rustic folk-dance idioms that Beethoven knew well; nevertheless, the movement surpasses the Eroica's Scherzo in power and dynamism. It should be noted that this is the first of Beethoven's symphonic scherzos to feature a repeat of the trio section, which is significant, given the massive nature of the surrounding material. The scherzo is heard one last time, now abridged, before the shattering final coda with its three-bar horn solo. Expanded scherzos also figure in several of Beethoven's later symphonies (the exception is the Eighth), and sketches suggest the technique was originally envisaged for the Fifth.

Opening with a series of mercurial sixteenth note fragments from which the first subject group is derived, the final movement is "perpetuum mobile". As the movement unfolds, the oboe's second theme provides contrast with the initial statement, the relentless development section posing serious technical challenges to the lower instruments: bassoon, cellos, and basses. In the coda, surely one of Beethoven's most humorous inventions, the theme is passed around at half speed after a "false" ending has been reached, and finally brushed aside dramatically as cellos and basses plummet down the scale before the striking final bars for full orchestra.

Source: Michael Jameson (

See also

Ludwig van Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies, Coriolan & Egmont Overtures – Wiener Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann (HD 1080p)

Staatskapelle Dresden. New Year's Eve Concert 2015 – Lang Lang, Rinat Shaham, Lucas Meachem, Christian Thielemann (HD 1080p)

Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs & Alpine Symphony – Anja Harteros, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann

Wagner Birthday Gala – Jonas Kaufmann, Staatskapelle Dresden, Christian Thielemann (HD 1080p)

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