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Symphony No. 7: Dithyrambic abandon

Fri 26 Jun, 5.00pm

Symphony No. 7: Dithyrambic abandon, Beethoven Symphony films, Worldwide

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For this instalment of our Beethoven Symphonies Series, we were unable to complete filming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent lock-down imposed in March. However, as we were committed to continuing this series, John Eliot Gardiner recorded his reflections on Beethoven’s Seventh from his home in Dorset, using an iPhone, and shares his insights on this magnificent, dance-inspired symphony. This film is accompanied by excerpts from our 2011 live recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at Carnegie Hall, which is available to purchase here.

Directed and edited by Richard Wilson. Produced by Bill Lloyd & Richard Wilson. Concert images from Carnegie Hall, February 2020, by Chris Lee and Richard Termine.

About the series
In May, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and John Eliot Gardiner should have been performing Beethoven’s complete symphonies at the Barbican Hall in London. This cycle was part of an international tour celebrating both Beethoven’s 250th anniversary and the 30th birthday of the ORR. We were lucky enough to be able to complete three cycles – in Barcelona, New York and Chicago – before the pandemic put a stop to all concerts. To give you a flavour of this monumental project, we will be releasing a nine-part series of films where John Eliot Gardiner will give his thoughts on Beethoven’s musical mind, and the orchestra will be seen rehearsing the symphonies.

Beethoven’s process of composition meant wrestling not just with beauty and emotion but also with political and humanitarian themes. During these uncertain times, perhaps more than any other composer, he gives us a feeling of triumph over adversity. The symphonies express Beethoven’s own bravery in the face of personal problems and these documentaries capture John Eliot Gardiner and the ORR tackling the music with a mixture of scholarship, energy, imagination and a complete devotion to Beethoven’s miraculous vision.