Notes and Editorial Reviews
It was some years after founding the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century in 1981 that Frans Brüggen first turned his attention to the music of Beethoven's Nine Symphonies and endeavored to perceive that special orchestral landscape, in order to transform it into musical sound, with the use of period instruments rediscovering historical tonal colours. Now, his quest undimmed, Brüggen has submerged himself once more into the glories of Beethoven's orchestral music for a new cycle being issued in a sumptuous new hybrid SACD box set by Glossa. Likewise undimmed is the rapport he shares with his orchestra for one of classical music's greatest challenges of realizing the intimate and the familiar in these symphonies, a challenge achieved here on record by way of concert performances (Brüggen has long distanced himself from studio recordings). As well as being a witness to Brüggen's communing with the spirit of Beethoven, this Glossa edition comes with a series of powerful and elegant photographs of conductor and orchestra by Annelies van der Vegt (also one of the orchestra's first violinists), taken during the tour which led up to the "Beethoven Experience" in the Rotterdam concert hall of de Doelen last year, where the symphonies were recorded.