Maestro Marek Janowski and the WDR Symphony Orchestra present a new recording of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, the ultimate symphonic oeuvre in all thinkable respects. Bold as they still sound to modern ears, one easily imagines how Beethoven’s contemporaries were completely swept away by the scope, sheer force and adventurous nature of his symphonies. With this integral recording, Janowski and the orchestra finish a project that started with an acclaimed rendition of the 5th and 6th symphonies, released in 2019. The boxset design is inspired by the idea of organic form, an ideal that Beethoven’s contemporaries frequently associated with his symphonies, and which presupposes a resemblance between the structure of his symphonies and theRead more growth of plants and trees. This idea has been visually translated by using close-up photographs from Karl Blossfeldt’s Art Forms in the Plant World (1928). These early twentieth-century images emphasize the timeless modernity of Beethoven’s symphonies, celebrating an extraordinary oeuvre that prospers until this very day. Marek Janowski is one of the most celebrated conductors of our times, and enjoys a vast PENTATONE discography, including complete recordings of Bruckner’s symphonies and Wagner’s mature operas. This is his third PENTATONE collaboration with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, one of the most established radio orchestras of Germany.
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 / Janowski:
Janowski plays them instead for creamy tonal beauty and perfection of balance, for refined textures and limpid transparency, where instruments subtly peek in and out of the texture, and where everyone is dancing. Nothing ever blares, not even the trumpets. The WDR musicians play with first-rate concentration and lovely sonority.
In a crowded field this must be among the most literal-minded readings on record – a compliment, so far as I’m concerned, to the musicians of the Cologne orchestra and their ability to play what’s in front of them without a ghost of what Mahler meant when he dismissed tradition as laziness.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Period: Classical Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria
Symphony no 8 in F major, Op. 93by Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor:
Period: Classical Written: 1812; Vienna, Austria
Symphony no 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral"by Ludwig van Beethoven Performer:
Regine Hangler (Soprano),
Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Mezzo Soprano),
Christian Eisner (Tenor),
Andreas Bauer Kanabas (Bass)
Period: Classical Written: 1822-1824; Vienna, Austria