The third CD and bonus DVD in Dirk Joeres’ Beethoven Today-Series present the Fifth and the Seventh Symphonies. It appears in February 2021 on the British Label Musical Concepts (MC 3106).
“ What is it that still fascinates us about Beethoven’s Symphonies, two hundred years after they were written? What is it that makes them still so special today? This video takes the viewer on a journey into Beethoven’s musical world and thereby uncovers a little about his compositional techniques. I am convinced that the more one knows, the more one hears and enjoys. And so this series entitled “Beethoven Today” is intended not only for the experienced listener but also for people who want to explore Beethoven’s music for the first time. “
“ Dirk Joeres has received critical acclaim for many of his recordings, These include a highly regarded version of the Brahms Serenades which was selected
by BBC Music Magazine as one of their 100 Top CDs. Heritage has now embarked on a complete Beethoven cycle featuring the Westdeutsche Sinfonia and each release will include a bonus DVD in
which Joeres illustrates Beethoven’s compositional genius, performing excerpts on the piano and commenting on snippets from the new recordings. The DVD accompanying this first release
concentrates on Symphonies 1 and 2.
The Westdeutsche Sinfonia is a superb orchestra made up of players from 8 major German symphony orchestras and they deserve to be heard. This is a tightly drilled group that plays with real passion.
The First Symphony is presented with clear articulation and rhythmic drive. There is an ongoing feeling of forward propulsion and Joeres places quite a lot of emphasis on clear accentuations, without ever becoming aggressive or hectoring. The symphony dances in his hands, as can be heard in his unfolding of the main theme of the first movement at 1’30” and the third movement Menuetto. The andante cantabile is paced just right and move ahead unfussily. The string playing is cleanly pointed (for example the runs in the Meneuetto’s trio section) and sounds as fresh as new paint. The Finale goes at a fair old pace but the Westdeutsche Sinfonia, being one of chamber orchestra proportions, makes sure that every note is heard under the keen direction of Joeres. This is a bustling, bright and breezy interpretation.
The Second Symphony offers more scope for drama and romanticism and Joeres doesn’t disappoint. .…. As in the first symphony, rhythmic thrust and detail are to be heard in abundance. The Larghetto is quite sublime. …There is much to enjoy in these recordings, with marvellous orchestral playing and a carefree feeling to the music making. ..… the sound quality is vivid, forward and clear .…. The DVD is a fine bonus pitched just about right to engage experienced listeners and also those coming to the music anew. “ John Whitmore
„ ..... on the attached bonus DVD Dirk Joeres leads one with examples played on the piano into both the works. Experts who already know about Beethoven’s style and compositional technique, will win something from Joeres’ performances, which make clear how Beethoven’s compositions differ from similar works by Mozart or Haydn. …. Beethoven’s early symphonic works experience here an interpretation at the top of the present understanding of Beethoven. The orchestral sound ..… is transparent, yes ….. absolutely chamber-music-like lively.” Gerhard Dietel
“ ….. Dirk Joeres has obviously a fine sense of proportion, and thus, the music sounds fresh, relaxed and most naturally balanced.” Remy Franck
„ .... This production offers more than yet another recording of Beethoven’s Third Symphony. …. what makes
this release so special is a bonus DVD on which Dirk Joeres gives an introduction to the Symphony with examples at the piano or with the orchestra. …. It is to be welcomed that this series
is being continued.”
„ ..... On the DVD we see Dirk Joeres at the piano, as he analyses the ‚Eroica’ by all rules of the art. One hears sketches, one experiences the work in progress, interconnections are made clear. Dirk Joeres is the ideal person to get music across, equipped with a remarkable pedagogical eros and extraordinary communicative talent. He does this in such a way that both experienced listeners profit from it and also newcomers. Not many people achieve this. “ Daniel Finkernagel
„ This is an attractively differentiated interpretation of the „Eroica“ Symphony. ….. Joeres’ Beethoven is a Beethoven for our times, vivacious and exciting. ..... The Eroica-Variations
I find very stimulating: Joeres indulges in contrasting their special musical rhetoric. He shows himself not only technically sovereign but also with the necessary imagination to enliven the expressive potential of this work. Attached is, as bonus material, a 45 minute long DVD, in which Joeres talks about the Eroica and the special compositional make-up of each of the movements. …. Joeres does this in a charming way and is neither didactic nor over-technical ….. so that it comes over in an entertaining and instructive way. “ Remy Frank
Interviews with Dirk Joeres about his Series “Beethoven Today” appeared in Classical Music Magazine, Stadt-Anzeiger Cologne, Rheinische Post and
The Magazine Musical Opinion published an article written by Dirk Joeres about the reception of Beethoven’s music.