Notes & Reviews:
During a series of live concerts in the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein (May 2002), a journey unique in the Wiener Philharmoniker's long and distinguished history reached its conclusion. This thrilling 5-CD set of Beethoven's complete symphonies is the fruit of that journey. The recordings of Beethoven's complete symphonies were made 'live' after numerous performances of the individual symphonies and complete cycles in Tokyo, Berlin and Vienna.
Sir Simon Rattle believes that a live performance has its own rhythm. The ability of Rattle to "channel Beethoven's unrelenting energy" was something audiences and the critics took note of concerts at Musikverein. "Rattle left all landmark conductor behind him, as he unleashed then tamed, shaped, and painted the musical forces to be heard here... [Beethoven] certainly has his best advocate in Simon Rattle", claimed Austria's Standard.
"The well-known, often played, and much-loved Beethoven classics are not just reeled off in expert routine," observe the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 2001, "but are thought through and spontaneously rendered at the highest levels. The musicians react directly to the smallest gestures from their conductor. It's not often that one experiences such perfection."
With more than 32 years - and 250 works - Sir Simon Rattle is an exclusive EMI artist and many of his recordings, principally with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Philharmoniker, have been ground-breaking and award-winning. Rattle has received three Grammy Awards in the United States. Three Classical Brit and Gramophone Awards in the UK and two Echo Klassik wards in Germany to date.