EuroArts has released a special edition of all nine Beethoven Symphonies played by the Berlin Philharmonic under former chief conductor Claudio Abbado. This DVD ends the series with symphonies Nos. 4 and 7, recorded live at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome in February 2001. As a special feature, it offers the multi-angle “Conductor Camera” in the latter symphony which shows the maestro from the perspective of the musicians. And as a further bonus it also comprises the half-hour interview film “Abbado on Beethoven”. Each of the symphonies is a masterpiece in itself – they are all quite different, each representing the composer’s musical idiom at a particular stage in his development. The Symphony No. 4 was written in 1806 and – although musically strong – counts among the lesser played of Beethoven's symphonies. The Symphony No. 7 was premiered 1813 and is regarded to identify a new stage in Beethoven’s composing as classical elements intertwine with romantic ones. The recordings feature interpretations that are the fruit of decades of Claudio Abbado’s involvement with Beethoven. Listening to the music, one hears how the Berlin Philharmonic transforms Abbado’s musical intentions into sound – there is a sense of unity that can only be achieved through many years of shared artistic experience. Claudio Abbado was Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1989-2002 and has remained close to the orchestra ever since. This series of live performances was an overwhelming success: the concerts ended in standing ovations, and the critics spoke of seminal moments in the history of music. Abbado's Beethoven cycle will certainly become a milestone for contemporary interpretation and this DVD series pays tribute to Abbado’s achievement.
Available as separate symphonies on iTunes:
L.v. Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Op.60; Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op.92