Beethoven Symphony Cycle (Nos 7 & 8) reviews - Britten Sinfonia

Beethoven Symphony Cycle (Nos 7 & 8) reviews

Reviews from performances of Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos 7 and 8, alongside the premiere of Gerald Barry’s Viola Concerto, performed by Lawrence Power, as part of Year Three of our Beethoven Symphony Cycle:

The Guardian

"The Beethoven symphonies around the premiere were more of what we have come to expect from Adès and this orchestra – vivid, modern performances and bursting with rhythmic life. If the Seventh had an irresistible momentum, the Eighth was much more singular, with its quirks almost exaggerated: the second movement Allegretto sometimes conjured up comparisons with Stravinsky."

The Times

"This was not a top-down performance but a collaboration between Adès and the ensemble. The leader, Jacqueline Shave, channelled so much energy in her playing that it was hard to look away."


"Beethoven symphony cycles may be as regular as resignations from the government, but the three-year project by Thomas Adès and Britten Sinfonia has really stood out for the visceral and energetic approach that has been consistently taken to these Classical warhorses."

Classical Source

"This interpretation was full of character. From the outset, drive and drama were favoured above grandeur."

Classical Voice America

"Adès effectively contrasted the disparate elements of the Beethoven symphonies. In the fourth movement of the Seventh, for instance, Adès propelled the orchestra to a fever pitch with resounding calls in the horns followed by a biting, anxious crescendo that suddenly dropped to a hush."

Journal of Music

"While the two middle movements were exceptional there was still plenty of gas left in the tank for the finale that was taken at a faster tempo than usual leaving the audience in the Barbican gasping for breath. Britten Sinfonia seemed to relish the challenge and delivered everything Adès asked of them."