Ideals of the French Revolution - Beethoven / Kent Nagano, Maximilian Schell, et al

Album Summary

>Griffiths, Paul : The General, for orchestra with soprano, choir & narrator (after Beethoven)
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Egmont, incidental music, Op. 84
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Opferlied ("Die Flamme lodert"), for soprano, chorus & orchestra, Op. 121b
Performer Conductors Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

For their first recording together, internationally acclaimed conductor Kent Nagano and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal turn to the music of Beethoven and give it a new twist. The double CD entitled 'Beethoven: Ideals of the French Revolution include the Fifth Symphony and The General. The General for orchestra, soprano, chorus and narrator, premiered by the OSM in January 2007, combines excerpts from Beethoven works interspersed with readings of an original text by author, critic and musicologist Paul Griffiths, who pays tribute to the Canadian humanist Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire and recounts the events that took place in Rwanda in 1994.

BBC Music Magazine
The Beethoven pair is in the first place an oddity. We have the Fifth Symphony... It is a brisk, almost violent performance... On the same disc there are excerpts from Egmont, of which the one that matters is the magnificent Overture, in an account that would have one storming the local Bastille if there were one. The other disc in this pair is a concoction by the music critic Paul Griffiths, which has the purpose of producing a harrowing account of what happened in Rwanda and how this was studiously ignored by the Western powers, animated by the same music from Egmont and the fragments that Beethoven used for the melodrama... The actor Maximilian plays the part of The General, telling us of the horrors and of how his task of helping was...

The Independent
Fragments of Egmont, K÷nig Stephan and Leonore Prohaska accompany a new libretto by Paul Griffiths telling of the UN peacekeeper Romeo Dallaire's attempts to prevent the civil war in Rwanda. I'm not sure what this has to do with the French Revolution, but it's gripping stuff, largely thanks to Maximilian Schell's world-wearied narration of Dallaire's predicament.



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Works Details

>Griffiths, Paul : The General, for orchestra with soprano, choir & narrator (after Beethoven)
  • Performer: Adrianne Pieczonka (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67
  • Conductor: Jean-Francois Rivest
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 33 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1808

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Egmont, incidental music, Op. 84 :: Overture
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1809-1810

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Egmont, incidental music, Op. 84 :: no 1. Lied Die Trommel gerühret
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1809-1810

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Egmont, incidental music, Op. 84 :: no 4. Lied Freudfoll und leidvoll
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 1 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1809-1810

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Opferlied ("Die Flamme lodert"), for soprano, chorus & orchestra, Op. 121b
  • Conductor: Kent Nagano
  • Ensemble: Montreal Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 5 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1824