Believing Beethoven

“In working with Beethoven’s tempi over the course of many years I have found that they have come to seem absolutely right, and in fact liberating rather than constricting for they open up a wealth of interpretative possibilities that would not work at slower tempi and that seem true to the essence of Beethoven’s musical spirit. Now let the listener to these recordings judge for himself.”

–Benjamin Zander, from a personal statement enclosed in the liner notes for the 5th and 7th symphonies with the Philharmonia Orchestra

Beethoven is, arguably, the most important and best-recognized composer of classical music. Yet many who play or conduct his music fail to fully understand one of the essential elements of his music: Tempo. Benjamin Zander is known globally for his ceaseless mission to understand and interpret Beethoven’s truest intentions, particularly with regards to the oft-debated metronome markings left in the composer’s original scores.

From the Maestro’s Desk – Believing Beethoven
An essay on determination to carry out Beethoven's stated tempo markings. Published in the liner notes for the Beethoven 5th & 7th release with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 (Discussion Disc)
An in-depth movement-by-movement account of Zander’s take on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony complete with musical examples.
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 11, Op. 95 “Serioso” Mvt. 1 (Interpretation Class)
The Armory Quartet: Janny Joo, Emile Campanelli, violins; Sam Kelder, viola; Tim Paek, cello
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Conversation)
A broadcast conversation with Brian Bell on Beethoven's 3rd Symphony.
Reviews – Beethoven: A Legacy Of Dedication
Reviews from 1983 of Zander conducting the Boston Philharmonic in a performance of Beethoven's Ninth in Symphony Hall.
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Mvt. 1 (Conducting Masterclass)
A lesson with a young conductor on how to tackle the four most famous notes ever written.
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