In the words of Philippe Herreweghe, who leads the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in this new complete recording of the symphonic cycle of Beethoven, ‘For a certain part of the orchestral repertoire, so-called “authentic” or “historical” instruments might seem essential in order to achieve a truly convincing performance. This is not the case for Beethoven. Though orchestrated with a genius sense of economy, the power that emanates from these symphonies is not chiefly linked with sonority. Of course, every driven and conscientious musician only stands to benefit from experimenting with the “right” instruments. Using a natural horn can only enrich the inner hearing capacities of a “modern” horn player. It is precisely our experience with historical instruments that allows us to also work with a “modern” orchestra such as this on vibrato control, articulation and even rhythmicity in a stylistically well-considered context. We consider it important to work idiomatically with natural trumpets (Egger) and Baroque kettle drums with a modern tuning system (Kolberg).’
A modern and stylistically flexible symphony orchestra, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic demonstrates an artistic flair which allows for a variety of styles – from classical to contemporary – in a historically authentic manner. Principal Conductor Philippe Herreweghe makes use of his specific background in hisreadings of (pre)Romantic music to lead the group in this new discographic undertaking of Beethoven’s complete symphonies.
- Recorded November 2004, De Roma, Antwerp, Belgium; June 2007, Concertgebouw, Brugge, Belgium; June 2007, Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; February & October 2009, deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
- Booklet in English contains a mission statement from the conductor, 15 pages of liner notes by Tom Janssens (artistic coordinator of Ghent’s Music Centre De Bijloke), the sung text to Symphony No.9, and profiles of the conductor and orchestra
- Philippe Herreweghe's performance of Beethoven's (1770-1827) complete symphonies is nothing short of a musical revelation. Herreweghe, renowned for his mastery of historically informed performance practices, brings a fresh and invigorating perspective to these iconic works. His interpretation captures the essence of Beethoven's genius while offering a nuanced and historically grounded approach.
- This recording features the “modern” Royal Flemish Philharmonic, yet Herreweghe’s approach grants a level of clarity and transparency to the music that is often lost in more conventional interpretations, revealing the intricate details and textures that make Beethoven's symphonies so extraordinary. Herreweghe's conducting style is marked by its precision and subtlety. He navigates the dynamic shifts and emotional depths of Beethoven's compositions with a keen sensitivity, creating a profound emotional connection between the music and the audience. His tempos are thoughtfully chosen, ensuring that each movement unfolds organically, with a sense of inevitability.
- Previously issued on the Pentatone label, now available again on Brilliant Classics.