Recording features soloists Erin Wall, soprano; Kendall Gladen, mezzo-soprano; William Burden, tenor; and Nathan Berg, bass
Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT), the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus will release a hybrid SACD recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on SFS Media, the Orchestra’s in-house label, next Tuesday, April 9. The recording is part of MTT & the SFS’ multi-season multi-year focus on performing and recording the music of Beethoven. It features soloists Erin Wall, soprano; Kendall Gladen, mezzo-soprano; William Burden, tenor; and Nathan Berg, bass. The performance was recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall June 27-30, 2012 at the conclusion of the Orchestra’s centennial season. From May 2-11, Michael Tilson Thomas will lead the San Francisco Symphony in a two-week festival exploring Beethoven’s early inspirations and how they influenced his and other composers’ later music. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 can be pre-ordered from iTunes at itunes.com/sfsymphony and on SACD from the San Francisco Symphony Store at sfsymphony.org/store. The album will be available for purchase at music retailers everywhere on Tuesday, April 9. A short 5-minute video about the recording featuring concert footage and interviews with Michael Tilson Thomas, Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin, soprano Erin Wall and SFS musician Cathy Payne can be viewed at http://youtu.be/krCiR04u8Ig.
The San Francisco Symphony’s recordings on SFS Media reflect the artistic identity of the orchestra’s programming, highlighting a commitment to performing works by maverick composers alongside the core classical masterworks. In fall 2012 SFS Media released American Mavericks featuring music by Lou Harrison, Henry Cowell and Edgard Varèse, and in February of this year MTT and the SFS garnered a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Recording for John Adams’ Harmoneliehre and Short Ride in a Fast Machine. In the 2013-14 season SFS Media will record performances of three works by composer Mason Bates: Liquid Interface, Alternative Energy, and the SFS-commissioned The B-Sides. The recording of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 joins previous SFS Media releases of MTT and the SFS performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 paired with his Piano Concerto No. 4 featuring Emanuel Ax in 2011 and in 2012, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Leonore Overture No. 3. During MTT and the Orchestra’s May 2013 Beethoven Festival, SFS Media will record composer John Adams’ Absolute Jest with the St. Lawrence String Quartet for future release. Absolute Jest was inspired by and based on fragments of Beethoven’s scherzos for string quartets and was co-commissioned by the SFS and premiered as part of its American Mavericks Festival last season. Release dates for all future recordings will be announced at a later date.
Prior to performing Symphony No. 9 with MTT and the Orchestra soprano Erin Wall was featured on SFS Media’s triple Grammy-winning recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. Mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen also performed in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the SFS in 2009. Tenor William Burden made his SFS debut in these Beethoven 9 performances, and bass Nathan Berg returned to the SFS for Beethoven Symphony No. 9 after performing with the SFS in Mozart’s Requiem in February 2011.
All SFS Media recordings are available from the Symphony Store in Davies Symphony Hall and online at sfsymphony.org/store as well as other major retailers. The recordings can also be purchased as downloads from iTunes, Amazon and other digital outlets. SFS Media recordings are distributed by harmonia mundi in North America, Avie Records internationally, and by The Orchard to digital outlets.