MUSIC: The Shock of the Old

Conducting an orchestra playing original instruments, John Eliot Gardiner finds the revolutionary in Beethoven

What did Beethoven's symphonies sound like to Beethoven? The composer was deaf for most of his creative life, so he heard his music in his head, but what sounds was he imagining as he wrote a score? And what did the music sound like to his listeners, before whose astonished ears Beethoven shattered the boundaries of the classical style and thus created the foundation of the modern orchestral repertoire?

In their splendid new recording of Beethoven's nine symphonies on the Archiv label, English conductor John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Revolutionnaire & et Romantique aim to recreate the music of Beethoven...

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