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Exclusive Frühbeck de Burgos tribute on DVD and Blu-ray

New, exclusive box set release presents the greatest moments of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra with its late Principal Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

After just two years as Principal Conductor of the Danish National Sym­phony Orchestra, Spanish Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos sadly passed away in 2014, leaving his orchestra in great grief.

Now, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra is releasing a collection of concert recordings of Beethoven's nine Symphonies conducted by Frühbeck de Bur­gos in the new DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen. The exclusive box set – available on both DVD and Blu-ray – is being released on the orchestra's own label, DRS, distributed by Dacapo. In addition to the Beethoven Symphonies, the collection also presents three other orchestral works: Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie and Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

Dramatic interpretation

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was an acclaimed Beethoven interpreter, and throughout his career, he conducted the nine Symphonies with some of the world’s leading orchestras. In 2012, The New York Times wrote in a concert review: “Mr. Frühbeck de Burgos makes Beethoven’s titanic gestures unfold like an epic drama (…) A reading rich in drama and grandeur.

Frühbeck de Burgos himself had a strong wish to record the nine Symphonies with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Now that wish comes true with the release of a whole nine hours of live recordings, produced post­hu­mously for release on DVD and Blu-ray. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Dacapo have also chosen a par­ti­cularly exclusive packaging for the box set, elegantly designed and printed in Italy.

Swan song

The concert recordings clearly show Frühbeck de Burgos’ wan­ing powers in his final years. But above all, the nine Beethoven Symphonies, which were recorded through the 2012–13 season, bear witness to a conductor at the artistic peak of his career.

One performance that really stands out in the memory of those involved in the new release is Frühbeck de Burgos’ very last concert with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

Kim Bohr, Artistic Director of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, says:

Before the concert with Strauss’s Alpensinfonie, which was his personal favourite work, Frühbeck asked to have his conductor’s chair removed. None of us could understand why. It turned out later that just before the concert de Burgos had been told he only had a few weeks left to live. He knew this concert would be his last – so of course he wanted to stand up! It is especially moving to see the live recording, where, after the last bars of the music, which in fact describe the last breath of a dying man, Frühbeck looks around at his orchestra and then closes his eyes.

The box set includes a 100-page booklet with an extensive essay by Danish composer and writer Karl Aage Rasmussen, who authoritatively takes the reader through Beethoven's nine Symphonies. The book is presented in four languages – English and Danish as well as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos's own languages German and Spanish.

Buy the DVD box set here or the Blu-ray box set here.
Price: 66.50 €. Free delivery included.

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