About the album
A refreshing new recording of the Beethoven symphonies (volume 1), through the eyes of conductor Jan Willem de Vriend and his orchestra. De Vriend's name as a symphonic conductor is emerging fast now in the music world, and this first volume of the Beethoven series is a fine musical signature, with which he and his musicians perpetuate themselves.
In the linernotes with this CD we can read: If you want to perform his symphonies and surely if you want to record them, you must make a thorough study of Beethoven’s personal situation and that of the world around him. Here we can only set down a few short brushstrokes on an enormous empty metaphoric canvas. A canvas that must be filled completely, preferably painted true to life right down to the smallest details, using a fantastic palette of colours. When it is finished, we will see Beethoven, situated in his time. The painting will tell a story.
With this new Beethoven cycle conductor Jan Willem de Vriend, together with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, ventures to tell a new story. His story. With enormous passion and enthusiasm, he has immersed himself in the life and work of Beethoven. To gain the best possible understanding of Beethoven, he says, you must know something about the people around him: for example, his teachers Albrechtsberger and Neefe, who watched his career. You need to know what it was like in Bonn when he grew up there. You need to know that his grandfather enjoyed trading wine and that Beethoven therefore took pleasure in allowing himself to be paid in wine, for example by his publisher. You need to know where his roots are. You need to know the music of his pupils, such as Ries and Moscheles. Jan Willem de Vriend has conducted the music of Beethoven, of people who composed for him, of his contemporaries. He has been working on this intensively for the past twenty years.
This recording of the Fourth and Sixth symphonies is an interpretation of Jan Willem de Vriend and his orchestra, belonging to a certain moment in time and recounted entirely in sounds. It is a story understood in detail and given shape in masterly fashion. (Valentine Laout - linernotes)
De Vriend duikt met een enorme passie en gedrevenheid in werk en leven van Beethoven. Hij is een ware verhalenverteller, die tijd en tijdgenoten bestudeert en de muziek van voorgangers kent. Daarom is de opname van de Vierde en Zesde symfonie in deze interpretatie van Jan Willem de Vriend en zijn orkest diepgaand en geheel en al in klank ‘verteld’.
Dit verhaal is op meesterlijke wijze vormgegeven. Een sterke performance van dé opkomende all-round dirigent van Nederland!
Met deze en komende cd’s van alle symfonieën van Beethoven, zullen er uiterst interessante, nieuwe en belangwekkende interpretaties van deze meesterwerken vereeuwigd worden.
Mit diesem neuen Beethoven-Zyklus wagt Jan Willem de Vriend, zusammen mit dem Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, eine neue Sicht auf diese wohlbekannten Werke. Mit enormer Leidenschaft und großem Engagement taucht er ein in Leben und Werk von Ludwig van Beethoven. Auch bei seiner Arbeit mit dem Combattimento Consort Amsterdam kam er sehr oft mit der Musik von Beethoven und dessen Vorgängern in Berührung. Dabei hat er das Bild jener Zeit gründlich kennengelernt, und mit diesen Kenntnissen kann er jetzt seine Geschichte in der Tat konstruieren.
Jan Willem de Vriend is the artistic director of Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and since 2006 the chief conductor and artistic director of the NetherlandsSymphony Orchestra.
Combattimento Consort Amsterdam devotes itself to the music of about 1600 to 1830. Since its founding in 1982, it has performed virtually throughout the world as well as on many CDs, DVDs and television productions.
Since De Vriend was named chief conductor in 2006, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra has become a notable phenomenon on the Netherlands’ musical scene. It has presented semi-scenic performances of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss and Mendelssohn. There were premieres of works by Offenbach, Say and Mahler. And by substituting historical instruments in the brass section, it has developed its own distinctive sound in the 18th- and 19th-century repertoire. Recently, the orchestra performed music by Schumann at festivals in Spain. The release of Beethoven’s complete symphonies, conducted by De Vriend, is a big project which starts with the release of this current CD. Also the orchestra's long Mahler tradition is being continued in recordings and tours.
De Vriend has been a guest conductor with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hague Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Germany, Sweden and Australia. He is often invited to conduct both in the Netherlands and abroad. He has engagements pending, for example, with The Hague Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as orchestras in China, Germany, Austria and Italy.
The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra with passion, commitment and virtuosity. The orchestra serves the province of Overijssel with concert series in Enschede, Hengelo, Zwolle and Deventer. Another important role for the orchestra is accompanying De Nationale Reisopera andprovincial choral societies. Working with top musicians from all over the world has contributed towards the orchestra achieving its aim of bringing concerts of the highest quality to a broad public. Important conductors for the orchestra were Ed Spanjaard, Rudolf Barshai, Martin Panteleev, Mark Shanahan, Vasili Petrenko and Otto Tausk. Jaap Van Zweden made an indelible impression during his period as chief conductor and set the orchestra well and truly on the map. He will return frequently as guest conductor. Many great international soloists have worked with the orchestra – Gidon Kremer, Natalia Gutman, Heinrich Schiff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Charlotte Margiono to name a few.