Following the success of our Schubert Symphonies box-set with Nikolaus Harnoncourt last year, we released another set of archive recordings with Nikolaus Harnoncourt with ICA Classics on 22 October this year. The repertoire features live concerts performed between 1989 and 2007 with works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. The box-set has been extensively reviewed on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review programme by Sarah Devonald and the programme can be listened to again (from the UK) on BBC Sounds here. Austrian radio ORF1 also showcased the box-set and featured excerpts from our latest podcast episode, dedicated to the box-set. The ORF programme can be listened to again here. If you would like to listen to our dedicated podcast episode featuring an interview with COE Principal Bassoon Matthew Wilkie talking about the making of the set, please click here. On 1st December 2021, we were thrilled to find out that the box-set had won the Japanese Record Academy Award 2021 in the Symphony category! For more information (in Japanese!), please click here.
This set is a testament to a remarkable collaboration between the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016) and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and its release this year marks the Orchestra’s 40th anniversary. The COE became Harnoncourt’s orchestra of choice for the classics played on modern instruments. He explored how musicians with modern instruments could respond in the classics by adapting to the style without having to change the instruments they were playing. Harnoncourt wanted the players to take risks and perhaps fall rather than play safe. In rehearsal, he often told the performers that great music was always on the edge of catastrophe!
As the COE’s Principal double-bass Enno Senft remarked: “The name Nikolaus Harnoncourt is synonymous with bringing music of any era to life as if it was written today, and giving it lasting relevance to all listeners. The COE’s musical belief embodies this philosophy entirely, and we worked with Nikolaus over decades to make this a reality… we are proud to have made this musical lamguage part of our unique style.”
The set features:
Haydn – Symphony No. 100 in G major “Military” (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 2004)
Haydn – Symphony No. 101 in D major “The Clock” (Styriarte, Graz, 2004)
Mozart – Symphony No. 29 in A major K201 (Styriarte, Graz, 1989)
Mozart – March in D major K335 and Serenade No. 9 “Posthorn” K320 (Berlin Festwochen, Berliner Philharmonie, 1996)
Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C minor (Styriarte, Graz, 2007)
Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 in A major (Styroarte, Graz, 2002)
Brahms – Tragic Overture in D minor (Styriarte, Graz, 1999)
Brahms – Symphony No. 4 in E minor (Styriarte, Graz, 1997)