The 12th and final volume of Beethoven’s Complete Orchestral Works is ready! Concluding the Complete Orchestral Works of Beethoven, this vol. 12 finds Thomas Dausgaard, Boris Berezovsky and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra on top form.
The Fifth Piano Concerto known (almost exclusively within the English-speaking world, incidentally) by the nickname of the ‘Emperor’ – was Beethoven’s last completed work in the genre. It is a standard piano concerto, or so it seems to us, because it was uniquely influential in defining the form for the next 100 years. To its first audiences it must have seemed highly individual, and even idiosyncratic. The Choral Fantasy, on the other hand, appears to us an unorthodox, even unique conception, much freer in form, as befits the title ‘fantasy’ which Beethoven chose for it. Yet both are entirely characteristic of the composer in their deployment of a structure that served the purposes of the content of the work itself to its greatest advantage.
The series has received outstanding reviews throughout:
– If you’re in the mood, it’s like driving a Beethoven Porsche: strap yourself in, start the engine, and let her rip. [Laurence Vittes / Audiophile Audition]
– the recording is gorgeous: beautifully balanced, wide in dynamic range and utterly natural in timbre, with an arresting presence that illustrates how effective a small (38-piece) orchestra can be in this repetory. [International Record Review, Mortimer H. Frank]
– a recorded performance of compelling truthfulness […] A recording which will stand the test of time […] A life-affirming recording. [The recommended recording of the Triple Concerto, Building a Library, Hilary Finch / CD Review BBC3]