Stories » In his first prom, Teodor Currentzis pushes MusicAeterna in Beethoven. A sound as radical as when new / The Guardian

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In his first prom, Teodor Currentzis pushes MusicAeterna in Beethoven. A sound as radical as when new / The Guardian

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Teodor Currentzis stalks on to the Albert Hall stage during Prom 18, kisses MusicAeterna's leader, raises his arms, and … what do we hear? Beethoven. If you believed everything you read about Currentzis, the fact that we can instantly recognise the composer may come as a surprise. So much is made of his maverick nature, not to mention his fondness for making grand, mysterious statements ("I am a poet," he declared in a recent interview), that it is almost a surprise to find him, in his first Prom, conducting something that comes out sounding familiar.

Yet it is not the comfortable familiarity that breeds contempt. Throughout this all-Beethoven Prom – the Second and Fifth Symphonies, with the finale of the Seventh as encore – we get playing of an intensity that makes the music seem somehow Beethoven-plus; more Beethoven than ever before.   Photo: Chris Christodoulou

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