Here is volume 4 in this critically acclaimed series of Beethoven’s orchestral music, containing two works from the period 1809–12.
The Seventh is certainly one of the most joyous and unclouded of Beethoven’s symphonies, and a reminder that his genius was not always a tortured or even an introverted one. Beethoven’s American biographer Maynard Solomon states that: ‘To those Viennese who heard the first performances of the Seventh … it was patently connected with the victory over Napoleon and the joyous inauguration of a long-awaited peace’.
No doubt the Egmont Overture is most familiar to us from Beethoven’s music to Goethe’s “Egmont”, but there is in fact music to the whole play: Four Entr’actes, a melodrama in which Egmont is imprisoned and awaiting his execution, a Victory Symphony, and two songs for Egmont’s mistress; Clara. In this recording Clara is beautifully interpreted by the Danish soprano Henriette Bonde-Hansen.
Thomas Dausgaard, with his stern and relentless interpretations, is an ascending star on the international firmamentum. In August 2001 he is invited to the BBC Proms in London, and the English have obviously taken a liking to both him and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.