All Beethoven 9 symphonies in period instruments. Orchester der Wiener Akademie under the baton of Maestro Martin Haselböck.
All of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies, as well as his most important orchestra and chamber music works, were performed for the first time under the composer’s direction in Vienna. A large number of the locations where these were first performed, be they theaters or magnificent halls in numerous Viennese palaces, have survived to the present day. They make it possible to investigate and re-create the atmosphere and sound of these first performances after around 200 years.
Concert halls are more than the outer shell of a music culture. Their architecture and acoustic properties have an immediate impact on the musical sound as well as how the listener perceives the music. This can be seen in how specifically the sound qualities of Beethoven’s symphonies were defined by the original performance spaces. His concert halls were usually smaller but, all the same, much more reverberant than modern halls. This made the music resound with much greater intensity, striking listeners with more force and loudness.
Martin Haselböck and the Orchester Wiener Akademie play Beethoven on the instruments of his time, with the same number and proportions of musicians, and in the same spaces that the composer himself performed his music. Even the seating of the musicians – including restoring the choir to its original position in front of the orchestra (in the 9th symphony) as well the position of the audience – will give listeners a very different experience to the modern ‘conventional’ musical performing practices with which they are familiar.
Stimulated by the research of Dr. Stefan Weinzierl (Technical University of Berlin) and supported by Professor Birgit Lodes (University of Vienna) and other musicologists, the conductor and musicians were able to gain a wealth of experience that thoroughly changed their interpretation of Beethoven. The performances were accompanied by a cycle of scholarly lectures by internationally renowned specialists from various disciplines, seeking to sensitize the ears and perceptions to an aura of sound that today has become once again unusual, even novel.
The goal of RESOUND Beethoven is to impart performances of this music, which seemed so familiar, with a unique experience in sound and space, full of freshness and authenticity.
The concerts of the period-instrument Orchester Wiener Akademie have become a fixture in Vienna’s musical life, through its popular subscription series of concerts at the Musikverein, given since 1991, and has achieved international renown through its recordings and concert tours worldwide, as well as its music-theatre pieces, such as the innovative productions The Infernal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations in collaboration with John Malkovich.