Episode #103

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique Plays Beethoven

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Eliot Gardiner conducts the ORR at Carnegie Hall John Eliot Gardiner conducts the ORR at Carnegie Hall (NPR)

On Wednesday night, John Eliot Gardiner conducted the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in three works by Beethoven: the Fifth and Seventh Symphonies and the Egmont Overture.

It was a generation ago that this period-instrument orchestra from London first took up Beethoven, seeking to re-establish the lost performance practices of the composer's time. Their lean and mean sound shocked some of the classical establishment as they went head to head with the great symphony orchestras. Yet today their approach been gradually integrated into the mainstream and many modern orchestras practice a more historically minded approach.

This concert is a chance to hear the ORR as they bring out the unique drama in three Beethoven classics.

Program Details

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Artistic Director and Conductor



Our broadcast started at 8 pm and a live Web chat took place starting at 7:30 pm.

Some Highlights From Our Twitter Conversation (#CHLive):

No less than the greatest performance of the Beethoven's FIFTH I have ever ever ever ever heard.  After knowing this piece for over 40 years, I have finally heard it for the FIRST TIME.  It was played JUST as Beethoven wrote it.  Halfway thru the last movement I started to cry, no I was weeping with joy, a feeling of arrival, of renewal, of rebirth.  It's as if the soul of Beethoven was flowing through me and he was hearing it the way he wrote it - at last - at long last....  I cannot overemphasize how meaningful this was for me.
by Enrique Sanchez   

Shout out to the principal players of the ORR who taught Philadelphians about Beethoven and their instruments! #CHlive
by atonalnyc via twitter

Practically came out of my chair for the last movement of Beethoven 5! #CHLive
by danielgilliam via twitter

These performances were a revelation -so beautiful, so clear, so pure. The reference to the oath sworn by the Frenchmen to defend their country reminds me that in World War II, the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th were used by the resistance to signify defiance -- the first four notes repeat the Morse code ...-, which stands for V and thus V for Victory. Thanks for a wonderful evening.
by Ruth Ryer   

"@WQXRClassical: Wowzers. #chlive" Bravo. Applause. Amazing. Fifth Symph fresh and new reborn.
by abbyfarber via twitter

Here's the archive:


Comments [15]

richard szeto from wqxr#CHLive

I listened to Beethoven # 5 the last 20 minutes and could not believe it was the same symphony I listened too over, and over, all these years! Bravo!!

Dec. 12 2011 12:24 AM
Ingo Wolff

A wonderful concert with the Orchestre Rev. et Romantique with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in very good quality. Thank You very much.

Ingo Wolff from Wolfsburg (Germany).

Nov. 23 2011 10:04 AM
reed from deerfield beach, florida

i have listened to so many versions of the 5th i have lost track. this one was absolutely beautiful and the playing was amazing!!! if only beethoven could have been here to conduct it maybe....

Nov. 19 2011 06:36 PM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, NJ

That Fifth is breathtaking to tears!

Nov. 19 2011 05:47 PM
Abby Mayer from Cornwall, NY

I can't get my computer to play any music!!!!!!!!!

Why not?????

Thank you!!!!!!!!


PS Does anyone know the whereabouts of James Gunsch (AKA James G.G.)?????????

Nov. 18 2011 05:19 PM
Abby Mayer from Cornwall, NY

I can't get my computer to play any music!!!!!!!!!

Why not?????

Thank you!!!!!!!!


PS Does anyone know the whereabouts of James Gunsch (AKA James G.G.)?????????

Nov. 18 2011 05:18 PM

My neighbors were probably upset (assuming they did not listen) as I had the radio quite loud. The folks on the 2nd floor with whom I discuss opera quite a bit probably did not mind :)

This was a fantastic rendition of an often played piece.

Nov. 18 2011 12:50 PM
yichihara from NJ

I was listeing to the radio on my way home on the bus then in my car then at home. The performance was extraordinary! I also enjoyed Fred and Jeff's chat between performances a lot ,,, quite inforamtive as to the instruments used, the conductor's approach, and 'Beethoven was an African???' theory,etc. etc. Thank you!

Nov. 18 2011 12:34 AM
Susan Graham

What a treat to hear the performance last night. I was stuck in my car, and what would have been an unpleasant drive in traffic and rain turned into a wonderful listening experience for me. John Eliot Gardiner is a rock star! I wish I could have been there in person, but your broadcast was wonderful. Thank you!

Nov. 17 2011 07:05 AM
Ruth Helen Ryer from New York

These performances were a revelation. I loved the clarity and purity of the sound. The reference to the oath sworn by the Frenchman reminded me of the use of the first four notes of the 5th as a code of the resistance: in Morse code, the series ...- stands for V. Thus, V for Victory.

Nov. 16 2011 10:27 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

WOW!!! What an amazing performance!

Nov. 16 2011 09:57 PM
Michael Meltzer

I missed the beginning, but am listening to Symphony #5 right now.
I think Toscanini would have loved it.

Nov. 16 2011 09:37 PM
afarber from Little Neck, NY

I just LOVE the 3 pieces they are going to play. The Egmont Overture was the first Beethoven piece I played in a junior orchestra in NJ. I can still hum the 2nd violin part. I don't play anymore but I still love Ludwig. The "Magnificent Seven" is my husband's favorite, and I have a CD of Bernstein's last performance conducting it at Tanglewood. I know a lot of people don't like that version, but I love it so much. I also introduced my son to classical music during a long car ride by listening to this recording and discussing what Beethoven was trying to convey. Now my son and my morning ritual is that I drive him to school and we listen to WQXR - we try to guess the composer and the period of the piece. WQXR is truly part of my life - I grew up listening to it.

Nov. 16 2011 06:04 PM
pjmurgia from NYC

Being a digital revolutionary I applaud the virtual concert set up online... so IF I can't get a ticket outside Carnegie tonight THEN I'll log on! BUT wish me luck... I hope to be there in person given my Beethoven awareness meter is in the red zone :-)

Nov. 16 2011 04:23 PM
joan mckniff from Sarasota, FL

Happy to be here w first live concert with you. Thanks.

Nov. 14 2011 08:23 PM

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