You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Bowl ’95

The results have often proved startling; Norrington's EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven's score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance.

The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance.

Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of his major scores, and most of them are far faster than the typical orchestral performances one hears today. More important than mere fidelity to the letter and number of Beethoven’s intent, Norrington makes the music work at these “authentic” breakneck speeds, particularly in the hair-raising momentum of the first movement and the demonic onrush of the scherzo.

At the Bowl, as at his indoor concerts, he seated the orchestra in the classic formation, first and second violins down front and cellos behind them on the conductor’s left. Even through the Bowl’s iffy amplification, there was a palpable gain in clarity, the give-and-take across and through the string textures, from this restored arrangement.

It was a concert, therefore, of surprise and revelation, and this also extended to the program’s opener, Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, in which Emanuel Ax’s customary eloquence was not at all ruffled by Norrington’s (and Beethoven’s) unusually speedy tempo in the slow movement. In the finale of the Ninth, three full-size choruses took part, creating a resonant blur more in line with more modern performance practice.

A rather wobbly initial entrance by bass Gregg Baker set the tone for merely so-so work by the vocal quartet.

As usual, there was applause between movements of the symphony. Not at all annoyed, however, Norrington acknowledged the reaction, sending out the message that such relaxed audience behavior is also part of the “authenticity” of Beethoven’s time and place.

Hollywood Bowl '95

(Hollywood Bowl; 17,953 seats; $ 72 top) The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the opening concert of the 1995 Hollywood Bowl season. Conductor, Roger Norrington; soloists, Emanuel Ax, piano; Christine Brewer, soprano; Paula Rasmussen, mezzo-soprano; John

Production: Conductor Roger Norrington is one of several London-based interpreters intent on restoring the symphonic repertory in general, and Beethoven's nine symphonies in particular, to something resembling the sound and shape the composer might have envisioned.

More Legit

  • School Girls, or the African Mean

    Off Broadway Review: 'School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play'

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • Escape to Margaritaville review

    Pre-Broadway Review: Jimmy Buffett Musical 'Escape to Margaritaville'

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault

    Old Vic Theater Logs 20 Complaints About Kevin Spacey, Pledges to Improve Accountability

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • The Drama League Expands DirectorFest to

    The Drama League Expands DirectorFest

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • The Play That Goes Wrong

    'Come From Away,' 'Falsettos,' 'The Play That Goes Wrong' Join Ahmanson's Upcoming Season

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • Broadway sales Hello Dolly Anastasia Come

    'Come From Away,' Hit Broadway Musical, Being Made Into Feature Film

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

  • Stagecraft podcast Ayad Akhtar

    Stagecraft Podcast: Ayad Akhtar Talks 'Junk,' Pulitzers and Faith (Listen)

    The results have often proved startling; Norrington’s EMI recording of the Ninth, which observes all the second-movement repeats specified in Beethoven’s score, runs nine minutes faster than the more traditional Bruno Walter performance. Yet Norrington has history on his side; availing himself of the newly invented Metronome, Beethoven left specific tempo indications for most of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content