Beethoven: Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II; Symphony No 2 San Francisco Symphony Chorus, San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas SFS Media SFS 0058

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 10:32

   
 

Album:
Beethoven Caatata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II; Symphony No 2

Artist:
Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Sally Matthews, Tamara Mumford, Barry Banks, Andrew Foster-Williams, Ludwig van Beethoven

Label:
SFS Media

Genre:
Classical

Beethoven was 19 in 1790, when he was commissioned to write a cantata on the death of the enlightened Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. He delivered it late, the musicians found it too difficult to play, and it had to wait nearly 100 years – 1884 – for a first performance. It’s a powerful work, earnest and long (nearly 40 minutes), which Beethoven would later fruitfully mine for parts to recycle in his sole opera. Michael Tilson Thomas’s San Francisco performance with soloists Sally Matthews, Tamara Mumford, Barry Banks and Andrew Foster-
Williams captures the cantata’s full gravity. The Second Symphony makes a nice foil, though the conductor doesn’t quite do justice to its buoyancy. url.ie/ks41 MICHAEL DERVAN