Beethoven’s radiant and entertaining septet combines structural elegance with supreme catchiness, offering up a spirited musical conversation for which the soloists of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra—renowned proponents of friendship and camaraderie in music-making—are the ideal interpreters.
How did Beethoven become such a great symphonist? His 1799 septet shows us an important milestone in his creative evolution toward the highest echelon of composers in history. On the threshold of a new century, this large-scale chamber work, with its mixed instrumentation of winds and strings, already brought together an orchestra en miniature. Beethoven thus founded a new genre of ensemble music, an example that would be followed by composers ranging from Franz Schubert to Johannes Brahms and Jean Françaix with their beloved nonets, octets, sextets, and quintets.
The stupendous Lucerne soloists further prove the unimpeachability of their esprit de corps in the Nannerl Septet, which Mozart likely created in 1776 for the name day of his sister Maria Anna—this is artfully playful music, a festive champagne toast in musical form.
Lucerne Festival 2013
Lucerne Festival 2005