Deutsche Grammophon has unveiled its plans for its Beethoven 250th anniversary celebrations. Following DG and Decca’s Mozart 225 and Bach 333 projects – both beautifully packaged, not to mention comprehensive, surveys of their subjects – we will shortly have ‘Beethoven – The New Complete Edition’.
Containing 123 discs, offering 175 hours of music – including two hours of newly recorded music of recent discoveries and fragments, by artists including Daniel Hope, Lang Lang and Daniel Müller-Schott – the set has been created in cooperation with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, and will be released on November 8 priced at around £225, alongside the release of 16 digital albums.
Drawn from the Deutsche Gramophone catalogue – a label which, appropriately enough, is believed to have made the first completed recording of Beethoven’s Fifth, in 1913 – as well as from Decca and some other labels, the box will reflect the spread of performing traditions – with works presented in both period and modern instrument performances – and gather together some of the most significant recordings of Beethoven’s music in the catalogue, from artists including Karl Böhm, Alfred Brendel, Claudio Arrau, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, John Eliot Gardiner, Herbert von Karajan, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Murray Perahia.
Newly commissioned essays and commentaries from leading Beethoven scholars will also feature. Daniel Hope, spokesperson for the set and the new President of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn from 2020, calls the project ‘a much needed focus on the creative output of a titan’.