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Beethoven: Der glorreiche Augenblick, Op. 136; Fantasia in C "Choral", Op. 80 / Rutter, Wallevik, Hoare, Gadd

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Der glorreiche Augenblick, cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 136
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy"
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Beethoven's unusual cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment) is filled with patriotic praise for Vienna and tributes to the kings and princes of Europe after the defeat of Napoleon. It was performed alongside his symphonic Wellington's Victory at its première in 1814. The Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra opens with a virtuosic, improvisatory Adagio for the piano. The work's main theme anticipates the famous Ode to Joy setting Beethoven later devised for his Choral Symphony. Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Choir since 1989, Hilary Davan Wetton was founder/conductor of the Holst Singers and is Conductor Emeritus of the Guildford Choral Society and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, for which he presented the popular series Masterclass. Acknowledged as one of Britain's most prestigious orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys an international reputation for bringing audiences worldwide first-class performances and the highest possible standards of music-making across a diverse range of musical repertoire.

"Davan Wetton rouses his forces to hymn the praises of Vienna and Emperor Franz of Austria, drawing from the City of London Choir the full-bodied outpouring that one expects at celebratory occasions. The Westminster Boys Choir adds pristine treble tones to the concluding chorus. The Royal Philharmonic plays with relish in both the cantata and the Fantasia" -International Record Review

The Guardian
Thrill-a-minute stuff that draws you in and sweeps away any scruples you may have. The filler is the Choral Fantasia with Leon McCawley as piano soloist, done in a very grand manner, though also with great panache.

BBC Music Magazine
With the aid of a strong team of soloists, Hilary Davan Wetton makes as strong a case as possible for [Der glorreiche Augenblick]...The performance [of the Choral Fantasy] here benefits greatly from the contribution of Leon McCawley, whose account of the long opening piano solo has just the right degree of dramatic intensity and improvisatory freedom. With first-rate recorded sound, the disc is strongly recommended.

Sunday Herald
An entertaining piece, so bouncy and jolly, that it's irresistible in this brilliant performance.

American Record Guide, September / October 2012
The Choral Fantasy is an earlier work, first performed in an 1808 concert that also included the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and the Fourth Piano Concerto. It is an odd piece, neither fish nor fowl. First it's a piano solo, then a concerto, and finally a choral piece. Pianist Julian Davies plays well, but I was more taken with Howard Shelley's performance (J/A). Nonetheless, this is a persuasive performance, nicely shaped and controlled by the conductor. The choral work is again fine.

A good recording, then, of two of Beethoven's second-tier pieces. Special thanks to Wetton, a strong advocate of these seldom-heard works.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Cadogan Hall, London, England (02/05/2011-02/06/2011).


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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Der glorreiche Augenblick, cantata for soloists, chorus & orchestra, Op. 136
  • Conductor: Hilary Wetton
  • Ensemble: City of London Choir
  • Notes: Cadogan Hall, London, England (02/05/2011-02/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 37 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1814

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Fantasia in C minor, Op. 80 "Choral Fantasy"
  • Performers: Julian Davies; Marta Fontanals-Simmons; Stephen Gadd (Bass); Peter Hoare (Tenor); Leon McCawley (Piano); Claire Rutter (Soprano); Matilde Wallevik
  • Conductor: Hilary Wetton
  • Notes: Cadogan Hall, London, England (02/05/2011-02/06/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1808