Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven * Dussek * Pleyel: 'Resound, Vol 2'

Magazine article Gramophone

Beethoven * Dussek * Pleyel: 'Resound, Vol 2'

Article excerpt

Beethoven * Dussek * Pleyel

Resound, Vol 2'

Beethoven Symphony No 7, Op 92.

Wellingtons Sieg, Op 91 Dussek The Brunswick March Pleyel Jubel March

Vienna Academy Orchestra / Martin Haselbock

Alpha [F] ALPHA473 (63' * DDD)

Here is a fascinating journey back in time: as close a recreation as we can probably get, two centuries later, of the concert which took place in this same venue--the Austrian Academy of Sciences--on December 8, 1813. On the programme was Beethoven's recently completed Seventh Symphony, a pair of marches written to show off Johann Malzel's 'Mechanical Military Trumpet', and the evening's piece d'occasion, Malzel's Die Schlacht bei Vitoria in Beethoven's orchestral realisation. The work had been devised by Malzel as a showcase for his mechanical orchestra, the Malzel Panharmonicon, after the defeat of the French by Arthur Wellesley's forces at the Battle of Vitoria in northern Spain the previous June. The story of how Beethoven became involved is told with admirable succinctness in Alpha's elegantly written (and elegantly translated) programme book --essential reading for anyone who still believes that Beethoven had much to do with the project conceptually.

The Redoutensaal, the grand ballroom of Vienna's Hofburg Palace, had been hired for the occasion to accommodate an unusually large orchestra and to make use of the adjacent corridors up which the opposing British and French forces could march. …

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