Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2, No. 3 (Eroica) & No. 7 Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Karl Böhm

Album info



Label: audite Musikproduktion

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Orchestral

Artist: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Karl Böhm

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

Album including Album cover


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  • 1Allegro con Brio15:23
  • 2Marcia funebre: Adagio Assai15:20
  • 3Scherzo: Allegro Vivace05:53
  • 4Finale. Allegro molto - Poco Andante - Presto12:33
  • 5Adagio molto - Allegro con Brio10:36
  • 6Larghetto12:41
  • 7Scherzo. Allegro Vivace03:54
  • 8Allegro Molto07:04
  • 9Poco sostenuto - Vivace12:35
  • 10Allegretto09:43
  • 11Presto - Assai meno Presto08:15
  • 12Allegro con Brio07:22
  • Total Runtime02:01:19

Info for Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 2, No. 3 (Eroica) & No. 7

Karl Böhm is recognised as an authority on the interpretation of Mozart and Strauss. It is easy to lose sight of how important the music of Beethoven was for his life and professional career. Fidelio in particular marked crucial stages in his life: Fidelio was the first opera he experienced as a child, he enjoyed his first resounding success when he performed it in Graz in 1920, he chose it for the festival celebrating the re-opening of the Vienna State Opera in 1954, and it was the last work he conducted as director of that opera company before he resigned after being booed by an audience angry at his perceived neglect of his duties. Böhm himself described Fidelio as “this most beautiful of operas, which broadens out at the end into an oratorio for all humanity”, thus “creating an uplifting, otherworldly effect”.

The humanist tone that finally removes all dramatic tension at the end of Fidelio is also a characteristic of the recordings of Symphonies Nos. 2, 3 and 7 made in 1973 and 1978 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Produced after the complete set of symphonies published to mark the Beethoven bicentenary year, 1970, these are Böhm’s last recordings of Beethoven symphonies. His interpretations convince by their relaxed, fresh atmosphere and by the way in which Böhm carefully models the total sound through all the instruments. The effects of contrast so typical of Beethoven, far from being underplayed, come across powerfully. At the same time we sense Böhm’s grasp of the dramatic structure of the whole work; schooled as he was in the opera house, this guarantees the vitality and verve of his interpretation. Here Beethoven’s revolutionary quality is transmuted into classicism.

The first Böhm-release at audite in April 2007 provoked a discussion about Böhm’s role during the Nazi-dictatorship. You can find more information about the different views and a discussion forum on the platform Follow this link and find the audite discussion forum with the title 'Diskussion über die Rolle Karl Böhms in der Nazi-Diktatur' with acrticles from Rémy Louis (in english) and Friedrich Sprondel (german).

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Karl Böhm, conductor

Karl Böhm
The Austrian conductor, Karl Böhm, the son of a lawyer, studied law before he entered the Graz Conservatory and then the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied under Eusebius Mandyczewski, the friend of Johannes Brahms.

In 1917 Karl Böhm became a rehearsal assistant in his home town, in 1919 the assistant director of music and in 1920 the senior director of music. In 1921, Bruno Walter called him to Munich. In 1927 he was appointed as chief musical director in Darmstadt. From 1931 to 1934 he fulfilled the same function at the Hamburg Opera and was appointed professor. In 1933, he conducted in Vienna for the first time in Tristan and Isolde by Wagner. He succeeded Fritz Busch, who had gone into exile, as the head of the Dresden Opera from 1934 to 1942. This was an important period for him in which he conducted first performances of works by Richard Strauss Die schweigsame Frau (1938), and Daphne (1938), which is dedicated to him. He also conducted the first performances of Romeo and Juliet (1940) and Die Zauberinsel (1942) by Sutermeister, and the Concert No. 2 for cornet (1943) by R. Strauss. In 1938 he took part in the Salzburg Festival for the first time, conducting Don Giovanni by Mozart, and thereafter he became a permanent guest. From 1943 to 1944 he directed the Vienna Opera. On the occasion of the 80th birthday of Richard Strauss, he conducted the festival performance of Ariadne on Naxos. In 1948 he conducted Don Giovanni at the Scala, in 1949 he gave a guest performance in Paris with the Vienna Opera. From 1950 to 1953, Böhm directed the German season at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and conducted the first Spanish performance of the opera Wozzeck by Alban Berg, which had been translated into Spanish for this occasion. In 1953 he was responsible for the first performance of Gottfried von Einem's work Der Prozess. From 1954 to 1956 he directed the reconstructed Vienna Opera. In 1957 he conducted Don Giovanni at the Met. In 1962, he gave his debut in Bayreuth with Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde, which he conducted until 1970. 1964: The Mastersingers of Nüremberg by Wagner in Bayreuth; 1965 Fidelio by L.v. Beethoven in Tokyo; 1965-1967: Der Ring des Nibelungen by Wagner in Bayreuth - the last production by Wieland Wagner; 1971: visit to Moscow and The Flying Dutchman by Wagner in Bayreuth.

Karl Böhm's unyielding harshness and youthful spirit, his sensitivity, authority and total commitment to the music characterised this conductor, who always receded behind the works he conducted. He owed his world-wide success to his diligent life style. He appreciated Richard Strauss, L.v. Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner and Alban Berg, but his special devotion was reserved for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose symphonies he recorded in 1974. He received numerous many honors, among which 1964 first Austrian ‘Generalmusikdirektor.

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Soon after it was founded by Eugen Jochum in 1949, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks developed into an internationally renowned orchestra, its fame continuously expanded and fortified by its intensive touring activities. The orchestra owes its extraordinarily wide ranging repertoire and sound spectrum to the program preferences of its previous chief conductors as well as to the great flexibility and solid stylistic security of each individual musician.

The Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has a long tradition of fostering new music. Since its inception the orchestra has presented contemporary oeuvres with the musica viva series, established in 1945 by composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann. At these concerts, audiences have witnessed legendary performances of new works, some of which the composers themselves have conducted, including Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith, Pierre Boulez, as well as, more recently, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Mauricio Kagel, Luciano Berio, Peter Eötvös, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm, George Benjamin and Jörg Widmann.

Many renowned guest conductors, such as Clemens Krauss, Erich and Carlos Kleiber, Charles Munch, Ferenc Fricsay, Otto Klemperer, Karl Böhm, Günter Wand, Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Kurt Sanderling and Wolfgang Sawallisch have left indelible imprints on the Symphonieorchester in the past. Today Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Simon Rattle, Franz Welser-Möst,Daniel Harding, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons and Yannick Nézet-Séguin are amongt the significant partners who frequently mount the podium in Munich.

In addition, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has, in recent years, pursued new approaches to early music and now regularly collaborates with such experts in historical performance practice as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Giovanni Antonini and Thomas Hengelbrock.

Besides the many performances in Munich and surrounding cities within the station’s broadcast range, the BRSO is heard worldwide as part of its numerous and extensive concert tours. The BRSO has toured virtually every European country, Asia as well as North and South America. It makes regular appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and in the renowned concert Halls in Japan’s music capitals. It has also served as orchestra in residence at the Easter Festival in Lucerne since 2004.

A further special feature is the encouragement of up-and-coming young musicians. Within the scope of the ARD International Music Competition, the Symphonieorchester accompanies young musicians both in the final rounds as well as in the symphonic closing concert featuring the prize winners. Since October of 2001 the Academy of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has been doing valuable work by preparing young musicians for their later careers and thus building a solid bridge between formation and professional activity. Beyond this, the Symphonieorchester maintains an encouragement programme for young people with many activities designed toward the worthy goal of bringing the younger generation closer together with classical music.

The history of the Symphonieorchester is closely intertwined with the names of its previous chief conductors, who were always concurrently Chief Conductors of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks. The founder, Eugen Jochum, led the orchestra for eleven years (1949–1960.) He built up the orchestra completely with top-grade musicians and established its world-wide reputation on its initial foreign tours. His incomparable interpretation of Anton Bruckner’s symphonies set musical milestones. Besides Bruckner Eugen Jochum devoted special attention to the performance of sacred music, but made regular appearances on the podium of musica viva as well.

Rafael Kubelík, who headed the orchestra for eighteen years (1961–1979), remained closely associated with the orchestra as a guest conductor beyond that period. He expanded the repertoire with works by Slavic composers like Smetana, Janáček and Dvořák. He highly supported composers of the 20th century such as Karl Amadeus Hartmann and conducted the first Mahler cycle with a German orchestra which was released on gramophone record.

When his already designated successor Kyrill Kondrashin unexpectedly died in Amsterdam, the orchestra turned to Sir Colin Davis, thus gaining a recognized Berlioz specialist as chief conductor (1983–1992), who likewise proved an excellent advocate for the Viennese Classical Era as well as the works of English composers, especially Edward Elgar, Michael Tippett and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

From 1993 to 2002 Lorin Maazel took over Chief Conductor’s baton. His demands upon highest technique and ultimate precision raised the orchestra again to a new level of musical perfection. Lorin Maazel set new styles by performing cycles of symphonic works by Beethoven (1995 and 2000), Brahms (1998), Bruckner (1999) and Schubert (2001). He took his leave of his orchestra with a Mahler cycle in 2002.

A new and mutually pleasurable chapter in the history of the Symphonieorchester began in October of 2003 when the acknowledged favourite candidate of all the musicians, Mariss Jansons, assumed his post as the new Chief Conductor of the Chor and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. In no time, he succeeded in creating an atmosphere of the highest artistic standards and a close emotional tie with the orchestra. He regularly receives enthusiastic reviews both for his concerts in Munich and the many guest appearances in the leading musical capitals of Europe, America and Japan. Mariss Jansons conducts a wide repertoire, covering the classical and romantic eras and continuing on to 20th century music and works by contemporary composers.

With a high number of CD releases, among others a series of live recordings of the Munich concerts, Mariss Jansons continues to expand the orchestra’s vast discography. The recording of Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony won the Grammy for the Best Orchestral Performance in 2006. Since September of 2009, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has been releasing CD’s and DVD’s on Bavarian Broadcasting’s own label, BR-KLASSIK.

In a number of different surveys of music critics, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks has numbered among the top ten orchestras in the world, most recently in the 2008 orchestra ranking by the British music magazine “Gramophone”, (6th place) and in the Japanese music magazine “Mostly Classic” in 2010 (4th place).

In August 2013 the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks got awarded the ECHO Klassik for the recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 with Bernard Haitink as well as the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Award of German Record’s Review) for Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Andris Nelsons.

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