Toronto, June 16, 2016 … Tafelmusik is thrilled to announce the release date of a live recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony — the final work in the orchestra’s complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies. With the September 30, 2016 release, Tafelmusik makes history as the first North American orchestra to have recorded all nine Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Beethoven’s 9th will be released on the Tafelmusik Media label with worldwide distribution by Naxos.
The recording took place February 4 through 7, 2016, during a series of sold-out, critically acclaimed public performances in Toronto’s Koerner Hall, with conductor Bruno Weil leading the combined forces of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and guest soloists Sigrid Plundrich, soprano; Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Colin Balzer, tenor; and Simon Tischler, bass-baritone.
"Every so often, you come across a performance that renders you powerless to resist, that sweeps you away with it, that reminds you of why you fell in love with music in the first place" declared The Globe and Mail in its review of the performance.
“We approach the Beethoven concerts and recording as if they were the very first performance, as though the music had been composed yesterday. This is the real thing — there’s no sense of routine with Tafelmusik musicians and everybody’s playing with a full heart and a full soul and spirit. That is the secret to a great performance,” stated Maestro Weil, who marks the 25th anniversary of his first collaboration with Tafelmusik this year.
Tafelmusik is no stranger to the music of Beethoven and has performed all nine symphonies in Toronto under the direction of Maestro Weil. In 1999, for the first time, Toronto audiences heard Tafelmusik perform these works on the instruments for which they were written. Those ground-breaking concerts garnered acclaim from critics who noted that the “pungent natural horns, soft-edged woodwinds, and the fragile earthiness that comes from gut strings tuned to a lower-than-modern pitch made Tafelmusik’s spirited readings feel like a tour of so many secret gardens.” (The Globe and Mail)
Tafelmusik’s Music Director Emerita Jeanne Lamon said, “We are delighted to be celebrating a major milestone 18 years in the making, becoming the first North American period orchestra on the continent to have recorded all nine Beethoven symphonies! The outstanding support of our donors and contributors to our Fund the 9th campaign has helped ensure this project is the best it can possibly be.”
More than 120 individual backers contributed to Tafelmusik’s first-ever crowdfunding campaign, Fund the 9th. A total of $16,607 was raised over the course of the 54-day campaign, surpassing the initial goal of $15,000.
Tafelmusik has recorded Beethoven’s symphonies on the Tafelmusik Media, Analekta, and Sony Classical labels, including a two-CD set featuring Symphonies 1 to 4, the JUNO Award-winning Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6, and the JUNO Award-nominated Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8 CD and DVD. Each recording has received accolades: “vigour with bitingly crisp tone and dynamic playing … Lyrical phrases are smooth and graceful. Bold, concentrated tone color enriches the middle movements, and clean, swift counterpoint enhances the finale.” (New Jersey Star-Ledger)
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