classical music

Beethoven: 1808 Reconstructed

Part of Beethoven 250

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra in a recreation of one of the most famous concerts in the history of classical music.

The orchestra performs the programme of Beethoven’s epic Vienna concert of December 1808.

Reaching towards heaven but constrained by reality: Beethoven’s ‘Akademie’ concert at Vienna’s Teater an der Wien, three days before Christmas 1808, was both a crowning triumph and plagued by mishaps.

Remarkably, three of Beethoven's masterpieces – the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, and the Fourth Piano Concerto – received their public premiere in this unique and extravagantly lengthy concert conducted by Beethoven himself.

Other recent music considered important enough to be included were two movements from the Mass in C and the first performance of the Choral Fantasy in which the composer himself, as in the Concerto, was also the soloist.

It was the great composer displaying to the Viennese public the full panoply of his genius – as composer, conductor, virtuoso pianist and improviser.

Yet, the event was at times farcical: the audience shivered in a cold auditorium; amateurs had to fill in gaps within the orchestra, and the Choral Fantasy was barely finished in time for the concert.

In a new production, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia brings this piece of music history to life on the stage of Royal Festival Hall.

Stephen Fry, renowned actor, writer and presenter, adds hilarious, vivid descriptions of the original concert, taken from the letters, reviews and diaries of those who were there.

Performers

Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor
Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano *
Golda Schultz soprano
Aoife Miskelly soprano, +
Clare Presland mezzo-soprano
Stuart Jackson tenor
David Shaw tenor, +
Ashley Riches baritone
Stephen Fry speaker
Philharmonia Voices
Rodolfus Choir
Gerard McBurney creative director

Repertoire

Beethoven: Symphony No.6 (Pastoral); Ah! perfido, Op.65; Gloria from Mass in C; Piano Concerto No.4
Interval
Beethoven: Symphony No.5; Sanctus from Mass in C; Benedictus from Mass in C; Fantasia in G minor for piano, Op.77; Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus & orchestra, Op.80 +

Dates & times

This event has passed.

where

Royal Festival Hall

Pricing

£17 - £72
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£17, £26, £35, £46, £55, £72

Multi-buy discount
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2019/20 season. This discount is not available on Premium seats or on the Philharmonia’s Christmas concerts on 12 and 15 December 2019.

Concessions

25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Event information
* Please note change of artist from originally advertised.

This concert has one 30 minute interval, and finishes at approx. 6.15pm.

Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 10am (with pre-event film screening from 9.30am):
Insights: Beethoven – Fiction and Reality

Ticketing

Multi-buy discount
Book multiple Philharmonia Orchestra events in the same transaction and receive a discount: 3 – 5 events (10% discount); 6 – 8 events (15% discount); 9 – 11 events (20% discount); 12 – 14 events (25% discount); 15 or more events (30% discount). Events must be in the 2019/20 season. Please note these savings exclude Christmas concerts (12 & 15 December 2019) and The English Patient (5 June 2020). Not available on Premium seats.