View Full Version : Mackerras conducts Beethoven on Radio 3

Tam Pollard
11-09-06, 09:47 AM
Starting at 7:30 this evening, Radio 3 will be Broadcasting the Beethoven symphony cycle that Charles Mackerras did with the SCO (and the Philharmonia for the 9th) at this summer's Edinburgh festival.

These really were special performances and I urge forum members to tune in. I've said several times here that the Mackerras/RLPO cycle on cd is my favourite (and given it can be had for just 8 including postage on HMV's website at the moment, there's no excuse for not owning the set), however, these performances seemed to eclipse them in just about every regard. I've not heard the first sound so witty, nor the 8th so dangerous, nor the thunderstorm in the pastoral sound quite so like a storm, nor the finale of the 7th taken so briskly and with such excitement (no mean feat from a man approaching his 81st birthday). I could go on, but the best advice is to listen for yourselves.

It was part of an interesting experiment in programming with 3 concerts on 3 evenings in each of the 3 weeks of the festival: a Beethoven symphony at 5:30, a Bruckner at 9:30 and some filler in the middle. The Beethovens are being broadcast in tandem with the Bruckners (which were done with a range of conductors and orchestras).

Tonight we get the firsts (Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra are on duty for an absolutely stunning Bruckner reading), with 2 and 3 following on Wednesday and Friday respectively. I can also recommend Thursday's programme which comes from the Belcea quarted (sans Mrs Belcea who was heavily pregnant) and I'm told by those where were there that Saturday's Meistersinger was quite something too.