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Antonello Manacorda & Kammerakademie Potsdam

Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies

Antonello Manacorda & Kammerakademie Potsdam

The Kammerakademie Potsdam (Chamber Academy Potsdam) and its principal conductor Antonello Manacorda will complete their new Beethoven cycle with the release of all nine Symphonies in a special boxset out on Sony Classical on May 3. As the third and final installment in the series, the release will include their new recording of Beethoven’s Third, Fourth and Eighth Symphonies as well as the composer’s legendary Ninth Symphony. The release coincides with the 200-year anniversary celebrations of the premiere performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in early May. The first single is out - the “Scherzo. Allegro vivace” from Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica."

Antonello Manacorda explains his approach to the cycle “What matters to me personally is that Beethoven is not just a composer but basically also a philosopher. He tells us not just about music but also about ourselves: who we are, where we are coming from and where we are going; why we are here in this world and what we hope to achieve here. A traversal of these symphonies is far more of a philosophical journey than a musical one.”

Of the composer’s seminal Ninth Symphony Manacorda believes “it was and remains a hugely provocative piece. Every instrument in the orchestra is taken to its limits. Then comes a theme that is so simple and yet so memorable but which he repeats with dangerous frequency. What he does with the four vocal soloists borders on the ridiculous. The bass is a kind of Evangelist of Joy, the tenor a hero for the whole of humankind and the poor women are two angels. To me it’s like a Mass but with secular words, a philosophical credo. Beethoven spent his whole life asking himself why humankind has been placed on this earth and what our mission may be. Here he gives his answer: it revolves around the ideal of brotherly love, the great fraternization of humankind in a spirit of life-affirming joy.” 

Sony Classical will release Beethoven – The Complete Symphonies on May 3 as boxset and on all digital formats. The artwork has been created by renowned German artist Jorinde Voigt: .