From 6th to 12th October, Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations will carry out the last “Beethoven 250 Academy”, consisting of a research and performance project according to historical principles on Beethoven’s Symphonies 8 and 9.
The CIMA Foundation (Centre Internacional de Música Antiga) is pleased to announce that, despite all the enormous international difficulties caused by the norms and restrictions arising from the pandemic, on 6th October our orchestra, Le Concert des Nations, is travelling to Poland to complete the last Beethoven 250 Academy, during which Beethoven’s 8th and 9th Symphonies will be studied, recorded and performed at Wroclaw (9th October) and Krakow (13th October). This will mark the culmination of our complete Beethoven 9 Symphonies project, which began in 2019.
They will be on tour until 23rd October, performing a concert on 14th at the Philharmonie de Paris (Symphonies 6 & 7), four concerts on 17th and 18th at Hamburg (Symphonies 1, 2 and 4, and 6 and 7), and finally at Linz, where they will also perform the 5th and the 6th. Due to the present circumstances, the performances of the 9th, which were due to be performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, Paris and Rimini, have been postponed until next year.
The Beethoven 250 project has brought together 65 musicians, including 14 participating musicians under the age of 33 of different nationalities (from Spain, Italy, France, USA, Hungary, Germany, Argentina, Poland, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Taiwan, Portugal, Mexico and Chile). In 2019, 4 major academies were held (2 for preparation and 2 for professional development) to work on Symphonies 1-5, the results taking the form of various concerts and recordings, which have recently been released in the form of a triple CD: BEETHOVEN – Révolution · Symphonies 1 – 5 (Alia Vox, 2020).
Despite the current pandemic, our work has continued during 2020, with the first two academies being held in July (Symphonies 6 and 7) at Cardona, the third academy (Symphonies 8 and 9) from 16 to 21 August at Arc-et-Senans, France, and now we are culminating the project with the last and final professional development academy at Wroclaw (Poland). Moreover, Symphony No. 9 brings together the choir of the Narodowe Forum Muzyki and the soloists Sara Gouzy (soprano), Laila Salome Fischer (soprano), Minje Lei (tenor) and Manuel Walser (baritone).
This project is supported by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia), the French Ministry of Culture, the Diputació de Barcelona (Regional Government of Barcelona), the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation and the Banc de Sabadell Foundation, and the Institut Ramon Llull, among others.
Beethoven Concerts 2nd semester, 2020:
22 August 2020 La Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans, France (6th and 7th)
9 October 2020 Wroclaw, Poland (9th)
13 October 2020 Krakow, Poland (9th)
14 October 2020 La Philharmonie de Paris, France (6th and 7th)
17 October 2020 Hamburg, Germany (1st, 2nd and 4th)
18 October 2020 Hamburg, Germany (6th and 7th)
21 October 2020 Linz, Austria (5th and 6th)
Returning to Barcelona, on 25th October Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations will perform the concert Els Elements i les Fúries (1737-1761) at the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, in a program including Rebel’s Les Élements, Handel’s Water Music and Gluck’s Don Giovanni.
It should also be said that the first album -which was released and went on sale in July- with BEETHOVEN’s first 5 symphonies – Révolution, Symphonies 1 – 5 (Alia Vox 2020) has received the extraordinary acclaim of all the international press, which considers it “the best Beethoven recording of the year”.
“With these first five Beethoven symphonies, Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations take their place among the finest Beethoven interpreters of all time […]
One can only compare them with classic landmark recordings such as Herbert von Karajan’s legendary Beethoven symphonic cycles, and Savall’s results stand up to the comparison.”
Thomas Michelsen, POLITIKEN (Dan), 3 September 2020
“Le concert des Nations’ sound is more heterogeneous than what we hear in other period instruments cycles by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (Gardiner/Archiv) or La Chambre Philharmonique (Krivine/Naïve). […]
Savall and the orchestra carefully honor the dynamic and articulation markings within each score (Savall writes in the program notes that they consulted the original manuscripts as well as the newest urtext editions). They also provide transparency to Beethoven’s polyphony, allowing us to hear Beethoven’s marvelous inner lines […]
This is an impressive recording, with intensely communicative playing. Accompanying materials and packaging are up to Alia Vox’s usual excellence, and Jordi Savall’s program note is engaging and impassioned. For those who cannot have enough Beethoven symphony recordings, this is an absolute must. And for those questioning the worthiness of yet another symphony cycle, these vital and thoughtful performances have much to offer – bring on Volume 2!”
David A. McConnell, THE CLASSIC REVIEW, 23 August 2020
“Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations make Beethoven’s symphonies sound completely new. This is symphonic music filtered through the spirit of chamber music. Even if the formulation seems time-worn, in this case it means really hearing it ‘as if for the first time’.”
Frank Armbruster, CONCERTI (CH), 20 August 2020
“The Beethoven recording of the year is Jordi Savall’s rendition of Symphonies 1 – 5. The fact that Savall takes the Beethoven crown is due to his fundamental approach. Savall’s Beethoven is fantastic because compositional means are revealed without being used. Everything works smoothly as a whole. Four months before the close of the Beethoven Year, we can confidently say that this album is the Beethoven recording of the year.”
Markus Thiel, MERKUR.DE, 20 August 2020