Behind the Scenes of Beethoven 9

Posted on January 26, 2011

Behind the Scenes of Camerata's Beethoven 9
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On 29 January 2011, Manchester Camerata conducted by Music Director Douglas Boyd and joined by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus (CBSO) plus a team of top flight soloists: Rebecca von Lipinski (soprano), Anna Grevelius (mezzo soprano), Peter Wedd (tenor) and Roderick Williams  (baritone) performed the magnificent Beethoven 9 in front of a capacity crowd at The Bridgewater Hall.

Below you can read and listen to comments from those taking part in the concert which not only was being recorded for later release, but was being filmed for showing on  Click the images to hear the interviews made on the day.


Conductor Douglas Boyd   Douglas Boyd – Conductor

“I think that just doing the Beethoven is one of the most emotional things you can do – whether it’s attached to the end of an era or whatever.  I suppose it’s added by the fact that I am doing it with my friends, people who have supported me over the years.  And we’ve all grown together.”


Richard Howarth – Former Leader of Manchester Camerata

It’s a challenge to keep the tension – about an hour and ten minutes, through the first 3 movements.  The you need to keep some in reserve. So it’s a stamina thing from our point of view.” 
  Richard Howarth

Richard Williamson  

Richard Williamson – Principal Viola

“It’s got absolutely everything in it – every single range of human emotion you could imagine.  It’s quite a frightening piece to play in some ways because there’s so much there.  It captures the heart in ways that so few pieces do.”

Hannah Roberts – Principal Cello

“People always feel that they want to pull out all the stops when Dougie’s at the helm.  He’s taught us all a tremendous amount about all of the repertoir we’ve done with him, particularly the Beethoven.  It’s been a tremendous privalege.”

  Hannah Roberts

Lawrence Perkins   Lawrence Perkins – Principal Bassoon

“The thing about Beethoven’s Choral Symphony is that it’s such a massive piece and so different from any of the other symphonies, and in fact most of the orchestra’s repertoir.  It’s an immensely difficult and challenging piece, but it’s also very exciting to play.  You can’t have passengers at all, everybody has to give 100%” 

Anna Grevelius – Mezzo-Soprano

“My mother always told me,  Anna – always wear a beautiful dress because nobody will hear you!!  It’s a real ensemble piece – in this size there’s the possibility to play with each other in a different way, it’s more intimate.”

  Mezzo Soprano Anna Grevelius
Roderick Williams   Roderick Williams – Bass

“The main job of all of us is to stop the orchestra – Not these Sounds, I say – he needs to express in words.  I can imagine the shock in 1824 when all of a sudden, someone stands up and says – No, no, no, don’t do it like that, do it like this!  It must have been cataclysmic.”
David Lawrence – Associate Conductor, CBSO Chorus

“It’s never the same each time they do it, it’s always different, and it is in those differences, different ideas and philosophies that the individual conductors want. that the choir find their interest. It’s a phenomenal piece.”

  CBSOChorus David Lawrence
Beethoven Specialist Barry Cooper   Professor Barry Cooper – Beethoven Expert from Manchester University

For Wagner it proved that you couldn’t have music on its own, you had to have voices.  Lots of other composers tried to immitate many of the ideas in the 9th. It’s such an amazing work in so many ways. Such depth, drama and such directness of appeal.”

Simon Norrington – Streaming TV Director

“We’ve got four cameras and we’re taking the music feed from the people recording for the CD so that’s worked out really well.  The sound quality is super.  We’re taking all that to a streaming company, and then around the world.  Whether they are in Brighouse or the Soloman Islands – they can see it weherever they are.”  
  Simon Norrington


Watch Video about Manchester Camerata   The Concert is now availble to watch for 60 days on
Listen to Manchester Camerata Podcasts   Listen to a podcast about the day.
Download   Download a FREE Manchester Camerata Beethoven track


This concert is being sponsored by Haden Freeman (HFL).