Britten Sinfonia - Reviews - Beethoven Symphony Cycle (Nos 4 & 5)

Beethoven Symphony Cycle (Nos 4 & 5) reviews

Reviews from performances of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos 4 and 5, part of year two of our Beethoven Symphony Cycle:


"Adès’s control and flexibility were exemplary, and the players of the Britten Sinfonia conveyed all the work’s energy, subtlety and, in the final movement, triumphant joy."

Classical Source

"The Fifth has been saying “Beat that” since its premiere, and so did this performance."

Evening Standard

"This was Beethoven light on his feet and with a mischievous swagger."

Financial Times

"Britten Sinfonia is middling in size, with some high-profile wind soloists in its ranks, which means playing that is quick on its feet, bristling with clarity and energy. The Symphony No.4 was all those things and highly dramatised in Adès’s hands."

The Guardian

"His reading of No 5, however, was a winner – impatient yet disciplined, histrionic yet lyrical, it stressed the elements Beethoven and Barry share, and found resolution for all of them, ending the concert in triumphant exuberance."

The Observer

"Together with the lithe and airborne No 4 in B flat, he conducted the Fifth with febrile grandeur, as if surprised himself at Beethoven’s unpredictable, rule-breaking brilliance."

Eastern Daily Press

"The performance was conducted by Thomas Adès. Setting exhilarating speeds, he shaped every detail and demanded great climaxes with compelling gestures."

The Times

"The miracle of Barry’s music, featured in all these Beethoven concerts, is that no matter how loud the battering, the composer’s blunt energy still brings pleasure."