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Leif Segerstam, the Turku Philharmonic and the Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis continue their sterling contribution to the Naxos celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth with this recording of The Ruins of Athens. The work provided an epilogue to August von Kotzebue’s celebration of the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812, with parts being adapted some ten years later as The Consecration of the House, which in turn marked the opening of the Josephstadt Theatre in Vienna.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Die Ruinen von Athen
(‘The Ruins of Athens’)

Roland Astor, Angela Eberlein, Claus Obalski,
Ernst Oder and Leah Sinka, Speakers
Reetta Haavisto, Soprano • Juha Kotilainen, Bass
Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Leif Segerstam

WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING OF VERSION WITH NARRATION

Die Ruinen von Athen (‘The Ruins of Athens’) was composed to celebrate the opening of the new German theatre in Pest in 1812. Designed to accompany the play of that name by August von Kotzebue, its incidental music is substantial enough to form a kind of one-act Singspiel and is full of attractive arias, duets and choruses and includes the famous Turkish March. Though the work’s theme was rooted in Greek mythology, in reality it was explicitly political in nature, celebrating Pest as ‘the new Athens’. This is the first ever recording of the work with full narration.

About the Artists
Leif Segerstam is currently chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and was one of the most important ambassadors for Sibelius’ 2015 anniversary year. His many recordings have been critically acclaimed and feature works by contemporary composers as well as the complete symphonies of Mahler, Sibelius and Nielsen.
Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis (CCA) has specialised in large-scale choral works since the choir’s inception in 1982. Virtually the entire canon of works for choir and orchestra are in the CCA’s repertoire. The CCA has also expanded its activities to include opera, performing in the world premiere of Müller-Berghaus’ Die Kalewainen in Pochjola in 2017, and in Wagner’s Parsifal for the Turku Music Festival in 2018.
The Turku Musical Society, which later formed the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, was founded in 1790. As the oldest orchestra in Finland, the ensemble continues to develop and flourish under the baton of renowned conductors. Several of the orchestra’s recordings have been awarded platinum discs and other prizes. In 2019 the orchestra won the International Classical Music Award for Best Collection with their recording of Jean Sibelius’ Incidental Music (Naxos 8.506032).
More Beethoven recordings by Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic
8.574077
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
Cantata on the Death
of Emperor Joseph II
Cantata on the Accession
of Leopold II

Soloists • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis • Key Ensemble
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Segerstam
MAR 2020
8.573852
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
Christus am Ölberge
Elegischer Gesang

Haapamäki • Myllys
Spångberg • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis • Turku Philharmonic Orchestra • Segerstam
★★★★★
★★★★★
‘Conductor Leif Segerstam secures first-rate performances from both the chorus and orchestra. The recording is excellent.’
Fanfare
8.573956
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
Egmont (Incidental Music)
Tarpeja Leonore Prohaska (Marches)

Salminen • Ranta
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Segerstam
‘Segerstam offers some substantial makeweights from works without opus numbers, including Beyer’s charming reconstruction of the Six Minuets.’
MusicWeb International
8.573853
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
The Creatures of Prometheus

Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Segerstam
‘Conductor Leif Segerstam captures the essence of this score effectively, conveying its colourful character, its wit and subtleties.’
MusicWeb International
8.574042
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
König Stephan
Leonore Prohaska (excerpts)
Opferlied • Germania

Soloists • Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis • Key Ensemble
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Segerstam
‘Very original and very special!’
Stretto
8.573882
BEETHOVEN, L. van:
Works for Voice and Orchestra
Ah! perfido • Ne’ giorni tuoi felici

Haavisto • Karlström • Greenlaw
Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Segerstam
‘Much of this is top drawer stuff; some of it is whimsical, and all of it is worth hearing. It is hard to find recordings of most of these pieces elsewhere, so here is a wonderful opportunity to hear a less familiar aspect of Beethoven performed at a high level. The recorded sound is first rate.’
American Record Guide


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