Claudio Abbado conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 1

Berliner Philharmoniker

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Program notes

The exquisite sketch or the First Symphony

Symphony No. 1 in C Major Op. 21 was premiered in Vienna in 1800 under the direction of Beethoven, then aged thirty-one. To the orchestra of Mozart of Haydn, whose influence was never far, (the piece was composed five years after the last one of that type composed by Haydn and twelve years after Mozart's Jupiter), Beethoven added clarinets. The public warmly acclaimed the symphony, but indignant critics reproached the composer for having written "military music" (the clarinets). To our ears today, it sounds like an "exquisite sketch" (in the words of the French singer and songwriter Gainsbourg, "exquise esquisse") of what his future works would be.

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Directed by:
Bob Coles
Venue: Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy)
Production date: 2001
Recording date: 2001
Duration: 30 min
Production: © EuroArts Music International
Resolution: Full HD