Beethoven: vigorously vocal

The original Beethoven project planned for Bruges, Dijon, La Chaisse Dieu and Coesfeld was intended as a monumental programme: the Fifth Symphony, the Choral Fantasy with Hammerflügel and the seldom performed but lovely Mass in C major, with five soloists and the Dresdner Kammerchor. Corona had other ideas. After postponements and required cancellations, there was only one concert remaining: Coesfeld on 6 September, and we were still anxiously waiting to hear if it actually could take place until just a few days before. It was going to be fine, even with the Corona constraints: a smaller orchestra, the players spaced further apart, and a small audience at a distance. This would at least make the Seventh Symphony possible, but we needed to change the programme. However, the organisers stuck to their plans (fortunately, in the end): it had to be Beethoven and it couldn’t be done without the Dresdner Kammerchor, even though the Choral Fantasy and Mass required larger forces, so we couldn’t play them. Thus the Mass was replaced by an a cappella programme by the Dresdner Kammerchor, and the Choral fantasy with Hammerflügel by the Piano Concerto no. 3 (also in C minor) with Ayako Ito as soloist and in the original version from 1803. Whew! All’s well that ends well

Jos van Immerseel

Translation by Anne Hudgkinson