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Video on demand: Beethoven's Symphony no. 1 in C major

GSOplayRecorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall: Stora Salen, Gothenburg, Sweden

This is where it all began – the introduction to the world’s most famous series of symphonies. It is as if Beethoven wants to show in his first symphony that he knows the craft as well as his predecessors Haydn and Mozart, with the balance and elegance of rococo, but within him there was something original that just wanted to get out. We can sense it in the first symphony’s puzzling introduction, a seed that would grow quickly.

Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali enters uncharted territory with the Gothenburg Symphony.  

When it was performed for the first time, the critics in Vienna thought that this Beethoven symphony was generally good, and that it offered many new things and ‘a whole world of ideas’. ‘But too many wind instruments came to use, so it sounded more like a brass band than an orchestra.’

Two hundreds years later, we find this symphony both distinct and clear, conventional and strongly related to Mozart’s and Haydn’s symphonies. But we also notice that here is something more – a strong personal move. The advancing spirit is not lent, it is Beethoven’s own signum.

Recorded in October 2018.

© Kaapo Kamu
© Kaapo Kamu
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