Built on rock hard evidence

'I can say no more to protect sources, but those of you who read my weekly column should know I never speculate. What you read is built on rock-hard evidence' ~ Norman Lebrecht in Slipped Disc April 10 2007.

'... while the BBC is mending fences with the music industry which howled blue murder over Beethoven and acted as if Radio 3 was destroying its business when, in fact, no label had issued a (Beethoven) symphonic cycle in three years, and none was likely to do so again' ~ Lebrecht Weekly April 5 2006.

'The third disc in Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Beethoven symphonies cycle features one of the greatest of all symphonies: Beethoven’s Ninth ... the new album is part of a five-year, five-disc plan designed to record the complete Beethoven symphonies. In January 2007 Vänskä and the Orchestra recorded the First and Sixth Symphonies for a fourth album' ~ Minnesota Orchestra website

'The Complete Orchestral Works of Ludwig van Beethoven - This series follows the recently published Bärenreiter Urtext Edition of Beethoven's Symphonies, supervised by Jonathan del Mar, the first new edition of this music for more than 130 years ... This CD-series (by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra) also include the complete stage music, overtures and concertos' ~ Simax website

Now read how a lot of other music critics also looked foolish
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Cursed Tea said…
wow I would've thought he'd of heard the Minnesota recordings (#4 & 5 are incredible - the speed of #9 movement 4 kinda scares me....).

Also made me think of "pride comes before a ...

Pliable said…
Kirsty, as soon as Norman published that article in April 2006 I emailed him to point out that the Minnesota Orchestra were recording a Beethoven Symphony cycle.

Here is Norman's reply which I received on April 6 2006. In these circumstances I make no apologies for quoting it:

Bob, Minnesota have issued one pair of symphonies. From what I hear they have no funding in place for more. The people concerned have a reputation for jumping the gun. Not for quotation.

best Norman
Anonymous said…
That e-mail exchange with Norman is amusing, seeing as there was never a point when funding for the cycle was in question. Like many American orchestras, we are paid for recordings by our own organization, and under our contract, we receive a certain amount of guaranteed media pay regardless of whether CDs and broadcasts occur or not, so it's always in our management's best interest to record and broadcast. BIS picks up the cost of production and engineering, and everybody's happy.

Sorry to disappoint Norman, but as usual, he's talking nonsense with no real knowledge of the situation. As far as I know, I'm the only member of the Minnesota Orchestra that he's met, and I suspect that his animosity came from an old grudge against our CEO at the time, who once penned a highly unfavorable review of a Lebrecht book...

Sam Bergman, viola
Minnesota Orchestra

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