NEWS: National Symphony Orchestra to Release New Beethoven Album

The NSO rehearses for its Beethoven symphonic recordings at the Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of the National Symphony Orchestra.

The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and Music Director Gianandrea Noseda will digitally release the first installment of their complete Beethoven symphony cycle, a recording of Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3. The album will be will be available to pre-order from Friday, August 19, 2022, for a digital release on Friday, September 16, 2022. Additional digital releases will eventually be collected into a box set, which will be available in 2024 on SACD with stereo and HD 5.0 surround sound.

The album originates in the NSO’s 2021–2022 season, during which Music Director Gianandrea Noseda led the National Symphony Orchestra in performances of Beethoven’s symphonies 1, 3, 4, and 5. In the 2022-2023 season, the NSO will complete its Beethoven cycle with performances of the remainder of Beethoven’s nine symphonies in May and June 2023.

This initial release of the NSO’s performances of Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 was recorded live in January 2022 at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall.

Cover art for the NSO's latest album, created by the inaugural Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence, Mo Willems.
Cover art for the NSO’s latest album, created by the inaugural Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence, Mo Willems.

“Anytime I approach a new cycle of Beethoven Symphonies,”, Gianandrea Noseda said. “It is a major challenge. Beethoven’s power can be a shadow or a light that embraces all of the centuries. His music has freshness and strength, and an openness that never stops to shock, attract, and overwhelm me. Listeners will experience the bold statement of Symphony No. 1 and the bolder statement that is Symphony No. 3. Both are immense works and herald the beginning of our journey to climb this musical Everest.”

The NSO’s rich recording history began in the 1970s. More recently, the orchestra has released two recordings on its new label, starting in 2020 with a pairing of Copland’s Suite from Billy the Kid and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World. The second album, George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 4, was the first of the NSO’s complete collection of George Walker’s Sinfonias and was released in June 2022.