Rattle Begins Beethoven Cycle with Symphonies No. 1 and 3

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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler. Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler. (Wikipedia Commons/Wikipedia Commons)

Tune in Tuesday at 9 pm as the Berlin Philharmonic presents the first two installments in a cycle of Beethoven's nine symphonies. You'll hear exclusive performances of Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," recorded last fall at the Berliner Philharmonie, led by outgoing music director, Simon Rattle, whose tenure with the orchestra ends in 2018. 

At an earlier point in its history, the Berlin Philharmonic frequently presented Beethoven's nine symphonies in complete cycles. From 1914 to 1941, the orchestra regularly performed them in consecutive evenings. However, the complete cycle became more of a rarity in the following years, more often scheduled for tours of foreign cities than in Berlin.

WQXR's Terrance McKnight hosts the episode.

Program Playlist:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica"

Also heard in this episode:

Mendelssohn: excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Claudio Abbado, conductor

The Beethoven Symphonies 1-9 Boxset is now available for pre-sale order at Arkiv Music, and other Berlin Philharmonic recordings are available for sale on iTunes.

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