Torn, radical: again and again, Beethoven

OrchesterWienerAkademie(c)LBeckMartin Haselböck fires on Napolean with both barrels: Beethoven Tableaux […] with Wiener Akademie.
– by Walter Weidringer (Die Presse)

“Could it really be that a spirit haunts my dear old teacher?”, Ferdinand Ries once reflected, referring to the state of Beethoven’s mind.  Facets of the composer’s genial eccentricity  were on display this weekend with concerts in the centre of Vienna – at times with astounding results .

[…] The complete Seventh Symphony was heard on Friday in the Festival Hall of the Academy of Sciences – an evening that could have taken place under the slogan ‘Der Wilde mit seiner Maschin”.  ‘The Machine’ was a replica of Mälzel’s historic Mechanical Trumpeter, which played two marches with orchestral accompaniment – and of course ‘der Wilde’, Martin Haselböck, who with his Wiener Akademie radically showcased what an excessively boisterous, stomping piece – at the very least – this Seventh Symphony is, too.  His project, to interpret anew Beethoven’s symphonies on original instruments in the venues of their first performances, also allows us to learn more about the pieces themselves.  For example, that what today is often used as a test for Hi-Fi systems, the once musically-derided battle symphony, ‘Wellington’s Victory’, which celebrates the decisive victory of the British over Napoleon, with its noises of war, feels downright nightmarish in the historic venue: an enormous, violent, spacial composition.

Review in “Die Presse” ›