“...the Beethoven symphonies are still today one of the most important and greatest achievements in the history of music. To be able to perform in a short span of time and record them live is important.”
- Gianandrea Noseda

Monumental. That word often surfaces when discussing the cycle of Beethoven's symphonies. It’s a word Maestro Gianandrea Noseda used in an interview with Nicole Lacroix when describing the nine symphonies that he and the National Symphony Orchestra have recorded. And it’s a word we suggest will characterize Thursday's NSO-Beethoven Marathon on WETA Classical.

We often celebrate Beethoven on-air: on his birthday in December, during the annual Classical Countdown, and for an entire month during the Beethoven 250 anniversary in 2020. But it's a rarity to present all nine symphonies on one day, as we shall on Thursday. Perhaps monumental overstates it a bit, but it’ll be memorable for sure. And it seems a fitting way to celebrate the release of the NSO’s recording of the Beethoven cycle and wish them well on the eve of their European tour with Maestro Noseda. 

“As much as you take out the dust on the surface of the Beethoven symphonies...the original sign that is written in the score gives a sense of new discovering.”
- Gianandrea Noseda

If you’ve followed the activities of the NSO, you know that they’ve been issuing their Beethoven recordings digitally over the past few years, culminating in last week’s release of the Ninth Symphony. For those of us who prefer something more tangible than downloads, a box set of all nine symphonies will be released on February 23, bringing the project to a conclusion on the day the orchestra performs the Eroica Symphony in Germany.


For our send-off celebration on Thursday, we’ll broadcast the symphonies in their entirety between 7 am and 9 pm, each accompanied by commentary and reflections from Maestro Noseda. We’ll give away four of these beautiful box sets to lucky listeners, so listen carefully throughout the day for an opportunity to win.

And listen for the intensity and the subtleties of these performances. Noseda conducts with great energy (is it the Italian espresso?), but he also has a knack for nuance. The musicians of the NSO have responded well to this combination, and it’s all on display in these recordings.

We hope you will join us on Thursday as we celebrate Beethoven’s monumental cycle at the hands of Noseda and the NSO. And starting on Friday, listen for “postcards” from the road as the NSO travels through Spain, Italy, and Germany. We’ll share their impressions each morning during their European Tour (February 16-28). And watch this space for impressions of Noseda’s other project of monumental proportions, culminating in May: Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Zurich Opera.

“I don’t think that I can change the world through music, but through music I and the orchestra together can change the heart and the mind of people, and we can touch them.”
- Gianandrea Noseda

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