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Music

Listen: Kurt Masur conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 4

DW presents exclusive concert recordings with the recently-deceased maestro Kurt Masur and the Dresden Philharmonic, as download or on-demand audio stream.

Listen to audio 36:05

Beethoven-Sinfoniezyklus mit Kurt Masur - 04 - MP3-Stereo

Over four days in December 2012, the audience in Munich's Gasteig Philharmonic Hall was served a differentiated, sensitive, mellow and world-wise rendition of Beethoven by conductor Kurt Masur.

Each performance was rewarded by standing ovations. Many in attendance were deeply moved to have seen the maestro once again. Taking his bows, Masur gave credit to the orchestra he'd already led half a century before.

For him, these performances with the Dresden Philharmonic signified a homecoming. The maestro adored the legendary sound quality particular to Dresden - embodied by these musicians and by the city's other famous orchestra, the Staatskapelle.

"A slender Greek maiden between two Nordic giants" is how composer Robert Schumann described Ludwig van Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, indicating the lighter character of the work poised between the gigantic Third, the "Eroica," and the dramatic Fifth, nicknamed "Fate."

The Austrian conductor and composer Ignaz von Seyfried characterized Beethoven at this phase in his creative life as "cheerful, ready for any kind of joke, lively, lusty, witty and often satirical." Those moods and elements are also clearly audible in this symphony.

Kurt Masur with the Dresden Philharmonic. Photo: Marco Kubitz

'An orchestra for the poeple' is how Masur described the Dresden Philharmonic

This edition:

Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, op. 60

Dresden Philharmonic

Conductor: Kurt Masur

Recorded by DW in the Gasteig Philharmonic Hall in Munich on December 9, 2012.

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