- Release Date: 29th Nov 2019
- Catalogue No: 9029539882
Doing full justice to Beethoven’s awe-inspiring, but profoundly humane genius, this is Warner Classics’ first-ever complete edition of his works. It draws discerningly on the riches of the label’s catalogue, assuring integrity by assigning entire cycles to the same artist, ensemble or team of performers. Classics from the age of the LP are complemented by the best of the CD era and by a wealth of new recordings of rarely heard works that are ripe for discovery. This is a comprehensive and most satisfying tribute to Beethoven, a transformative force who has enhanced the lives of music-lovers for more than two centuries.
2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth.
Beethoven was born in Bonn in December 1770 – probably on 16th December, since his baptism took place on 17th December. He died in Vienna on 26th March 1827.
The all-round recommendation for a complete Beethoven edition
This complete Beethoven edition follows the major success of Warner Classics’ complete Debussy and Berlioz editions, acknowledged as the best of their kind. The 80CD set offers recordings of exceptional artistic and technical quality at a price that represents outstanding value for money.
Carefully selected from the Warner Classics and Erato catalogues, and complemented by items licensed in from external catalogues, the recordings do full justice to the extraordinary breadth, diversity and depth of Beethoven’s oeuvre. The edition includes classic recordings from the LP era, but the majority of the collection, above all the complete cycles (symphonies, piano concertos, piano sonatas, string quartets etc.), comprise recordings that represent the best of the CD era.
Celebrated and authoritative Beethoven interpreters from the past and the present Such artists as (in alphabetical order): Artemis Quartet, Daniel Barenboim, Rudolf Buchbinder, Renaud Capuçon, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Otto Klemperer, Stephen Kovacevich, Yo-Yo Ma, Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, Jacqueline du Pré, András Schiff, János Starker.
One of the greatest composers of all time
Beethoven (with Bach) is often judged the greatest of all composers. Not only does he stand as a revolutionary and influential figure in the development of music, he produced a large and diverse body of works which have thrilled audiences consistently over two centuries. Among his most widely loved masterpieces are his: symphonies Nos. 3 (‘Eroica’), 5, 6 (‘Pastoral’), 7 and 9 (‘Choral’, which concludes with the ‘Ode to Joy’); piano concerto No. 5 (‘Emperor’); violin concerto; piano sonatas such as the ‘Moonlight’, ‘Pathétique’ and ‘Hammerklavier’; the ‘Spring’ and ‘Kreutzer’ sonatas for violin and piano; the ‘Razumovsky’ string quartets; the opera Fidelio.
A man who overcame personal tragedy with life-enhancing masterpieces
Beethoven, born in the German city of Bonn moved to Vienna – then the musical capital of Europe – at the age 22 and lived there for the rest of his life. He began making a successful career as a pianist-composer, but around 1800 he realised that he was going deaf. Despite this tragedy, and many other difficulties and complications in his life, his genius and determination produced a stream of great works that broke new musical ground and which, on a philosophical level, assert the dignity, potential and aspirations of humanity. A composer who changed the history of music
Beethoven adopted musical forms that had been developed by composers such as Haydn and Mozart – notably the symphony, the piano sonata, the piano concerto, the violin concerto and the string quartet – and took them into new structural, technical and expressive realms. He embodies the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era, exercised a decisive influence on his contemporaries and successors (e.g. Brahms, Wagner), and even presaged the 20th century in works such as the harmonically adventurous Grosse Fuge for string quartet and his Piano Sonata No. 32, with its suggestions of boogie-woogie.
An emphasis on complete cycles by a specific artist, ensemble or team of musicians
A particular feature of the box is continuity of the interpreter(s) throughout an entire cycle of works in the same musical genre/related genres:
Symphonies Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Piano Concertos András Schiff, Bernard Haitink, Staatskapelle Dresden
Violin Concerto & Romances Itzhak Perlman
Piano sonatas Stephen Kovacevich
String quartets Artemis Quartet
Violin sonatas Renaud Capuçon, Frank Braley
Fidelio & Missa Solemnis Otto Klemperer
Other artists who feature in the collection include: Daniel Barenboim, Rudolf Buchbinder, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Carlo Maria Giulini, Otto Klemperer, Yo-Yo Ma, Yehudi Menuhin, Jacqueline du Pré, János Starker.
Some 300 tracks specially recorded for the box
These specially recorded tracks mostly comprise rarely heard works that are waiting to be discovered by a broader body of listeners. In the main these are piano works, choral works and songs.
Booklet note by David Wyn Jones
David Wyn Jones is Professor of Music at Cardiff University in Wales, UK. He is an authority on music of the Classical Period, in particular Haydn, Beethoven and Vienna.
A luxury boxset in the same vein as the Debussy and Berlioz boxes
The CD covers will carry evocative paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, Josef Anton Koch and other German and Austrian artists of Beethoven’s time.
The booklet is richly illustrated and includes a timeline and the Index of all Beethoven’s works.