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Sir Simon Rattle|Beethoven: Christ on the Mount of Olives (Christus Am Ölberge)

Beethoven: Christ on the Mount of Olives (Christus Am Ölberge)

London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Sir Simon Rattle

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Few recordings exist of Beethoven’s unique oratorio which drew influence from Händel’s work Haydn’s The Creation and the Seasons. A revelation came in 1966 Philadelphia when Eugene Ormandy made a beautiful recording of the oratorio. Ormandy’s lead was then followed by several more recordings. But, the composition remains a rarity within repertoires, even the monumental Beethoven edition published by Deutsche Grammophone for the 200th anniversary of the composers birth omitted this deserving oratorio.
Christ on the Mount of Olives’ writing and theatricality varies in an experimental fashion that would give birth to Leonore the following year and then Fidelio ten years later. Beethoven seems to oscillate between several genres with a writing style that mixes academia, operatic vocal virtuosity and innovation (stemming from his own language). The bad reception of his 1803 work seems to shadow this oratorio like a malediction.
This new recording by Sir Simon Rattle, captured during a concert performed at the Barbican Centre in London in February 2020, turns a salutary spotlight onto an all too often neglected work. Elsa Dreisig plays the seraph with great virtuosity and Pavol Breslik as a determined Christ.
It was the first time that a composer had had Christ sang by a tenor and not by a bass singer, as was tradition. David Soar accurately plays the role of Peter, who is somewhat treated as secondary on the score. The choirs are omnipresent in their representation of the crowds (the “turba”) and their cries and murmurs. The one hundred and twenty-five singers in the London Symphony Choir are the true heroes of this vigorous interpretation which is brought to life with energy and dramatism by a particularly inspired and elated Sir Simon. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Beethoven: Christ on the Mount of Olives (Christus Am Ölberge)

Sir Simon Rattle

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Christus am Ölberge, Op. 85 (Christ on the Mount of Olives) (Ludwig van Beethoven)

1
Part I - No. 1a. Introduzione. Grave - Adagio
00:04:57

London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

2
Part I - No. 1b. Recitativo. "Jehova, du mein Vater !"
00:03:10

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

3
Part I - No. 1c. Aria. "Meine Seele ist erschüttert"
00:04:22

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

4
Part I - No. 2a. Recitativo. "Erzittre, Erde !"
00:01:29

Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

5
Part I - No. 2b. Aria. "Preist des Erlösers Güte"
00:00:55

Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

6
Part I - No. 2c. Chor der Engel. "O Heil euch ihr Erlösten"
00:06:24

Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

7
Part I - No. 3a. Recitativo. "Verkündet, Seraph, mir dein Mund"
00:01:03

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

8
Part I - No. 3b. Duetto. "So ruhe dann mit ganzer Schwere"
00:04:19

Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

9
Part II - No. 4a. Recitativo. "Willkommen, Tod !"
00:01:08

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

10
Part II - No. 4b. Chor der Krieger. "Wir haben ihn gesehen"
00:01:57

London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

11
Part II - No. 5a. Recitativo. "Die mich zu fangen ausgezogen sind"
00:01:24

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

12
Part II - No. 5b. Chor der Krieger, Chor der Jünger. "Hier ist er, der Verbannte"
00:02:09

London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

13
Part II - No. 6a. Recitativo. "Nicht ungestraft soll der Verwegnen Schar"
00:01:16

David Soar, Bass-Baritone (Petrus) - Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

14
No. 6b. Terzetto. "In meinen Adern wühlen unbändig Zorn und Wut"
00:04:17

David Soar, Bass-Baritone (Petrus) - Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (Seraph) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

15
No. 6c. Chor der Krieger, Chor der Jünger. "Auf, auf ! Ergreifet den Verräter"
00:02:39

Pavol Breslik, Tenor (Christus) - London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

16
No. 6d. Chor der Engel. "Welten singen Lob und Ehre"
00:01:03

London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

17
No. 6e. Chor der Engel. "Preiset ihn, ihr Engelschöre"
00:02:42

London Symphony Chorus (Simon Halsey, Chorus Director) - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, Conductor - Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer - Franz Xaver Huber, Lyricist

2020 London Symphony Orchestra 2020 London Symphony Orchestra

Album Description

Few recordings exist of Beethoven’s unique oratorio which drew influence from Händel’s work Haydn’s The Creation and the Seasons. A revelation came in 1966 Philadelphia when Eugene Ormandy made a beautiful recording of the oratorio. Ormandy’s lead was then followed by several more recordings. But, the composition remains a rarity within repertoires, even the monumental Beethoven edition published by Deutsche Grammophone for the 200th anniversary of the composers birth omitted this deserving oratorio.
Christ on the Mount of Olives’ writing and theatricality varies in an experimental fashion that would give birth to Leonore the following year and then Fidelio ten years later. Beethoven seems to oscillate between several genres with a writing style that mixes academia, operatic vocal virtuosity and innovation (stemming from his own language). The bad reception of his 1803 work seems to shadow this oratorio like a malediction.
This new recording by Sir Simon Rattle, captured during a concert performed at the Barbican Centre in London in February 2020, turns a salutary spotlight onto an all too often neglected work. Elsa Dreisig plays the seraph with great virtuosity and Pavol Breslik as a determined Christ.
It was the first time that a composer had had Christ sang by a tenor and not by a bass singer, as was tradition. David Soar accurately plays the role of Peter, who is somewhat treated as secondary on the score. The choirs are omnipresent in their representation of the crowds (the “turba”) and their cries and murmurs. The one hundred and twenty-five singers in the London Symphony Choir are the true heroes of this vigorous interpretation which is brought to life with energy and dramatism by a particularly inspired and elated Sir Simon. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Details of original recording : Recorded live on 19 January & 13 February 2020 at the Barbican, London (England)

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