Riccardo Chailly’s view of the Beethoven symphonies has been a well-kept secret, but now in a single well-coordinated gesture all is revealed. At concerts in Vienna’s Musikverein, Paris’s Salle Pleyel and London’s Barbican, Chailly and his Leipzig Gewandhausorchester will present all nine symphonies alongside five specially commissioned works that reflect their individual composer’s attitude to Beethoven’s symphonies. The composers – drawn from different European countries – are Carlo Boccadero, Friedrich Cerha, Bruno Mantovani, Colin Matthews and Steffan Schleiermacher, and each concert will feature one of their works.
To coincide with this major Beethoven immersion by Chailly and his Leipzig orchestra, Decca has released a set of the nine symphonies and a generous number of overtures. The set has received Gramophone’s coveted Recording of the Month accolade in the Awards issue of the magazine (read the review here). And to celebrate Chailly’s Beethoven project, Gramophone’s editor-in-chief James Jolly spoke to Chailly about the symphonies. See below for the film focusing on Symphonies Nos 1-3 (for the other two films log onto the Gramophone Player and click the Features tab).
The London concerts take place on October 25 (Nos 2 & 5/Boccadoro), 26 (Nos 1 & 7/Schleiermacher), November 1 (Nos 8 & 3/Matthews), 2 (Nos 6 & 4/Mantovani) and 3 (No 9/Cerha) at the Barbican. There are also a series of masterclasses being given by players from the Gewandhausorchester.