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24/11/2016

Spanish praise for Beethoven box set

El País, the largest newspaper in Spain, says Frühbeck de Burgos' Beethoven interpretation "will always live on in the memory".

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos was a beloved conductor, both internationally and in Spain, his home country. Now, the largest Spanish newspaper, El País, has written a lovely review of The Symphonies, the 6-disc DVD (or 3-disc Blue-ray) box set recorded by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Frühbeck de Burgos – released by DRS and distributed by Dacapo.

El País' classical music reviewer Pablo L. Rodríguez writes:

"The conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (Burgos, 1933-Pamplona, 2014) enjoyed an Indian summer as the principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra from 2012 to 2014. This was the final touch to a stunning career. His career began in Spain in 1958, spanned international appointments from 1966 and was driven by his tireless work as guest conductor all over the world.

However, Frühbeck’s discography does not do him justice. Some of his recordings for EMI/Warner Classics are still remembered, such as Carmina Burana by Orff (1965), Elijah by Mendelssohn (1968) and Carmen by Bizet (1970). But he never recorded a full symphonic cycle. Neither by Beethoven for Collins with the London Symphony Orchestra, nor by Brahms with the Dresden Philharmonic for the GENUIN label.

The Danish record label Dacapo Records has come to the rescue. It has released a luxury box of six DVDs or three Blu-ray discs that includes a full Beethoven cycle (for the first time by a Spanish conductor), along with film of Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz, An Alpine Symphony by Strauss, and Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, with Pepe Romero as the soloist. These are lovingly presented high-quality live audiovisual recordings from Copenhagen that bring Frühbeck back to life and reinforce his memory.

"It’s music that gives you strength", as the maestro used to say. He lived his motto to the very end. The usual physical decline caused by cancer has a reverse effect here, not only in an exuberant Rodrigo or a fiery Berlioz, but especially in a cathartic Strauss, which Frühbeck conducted just four months before his death. However, it is Beethoven who carries his legacy. Frühbeck conducts all his symphonies with austere and precise guidance. His conducting is full of moderate tempi with great constructive force. His performances combine internal strength, a richness of tone and a mysterious flow. They have a traditional focus, but with that certain rhetorical air that will always live on in the memory. Highlights: The Fifth and The Pastoral."

Translation: TextMinded A/S





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