Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor
May 2004


Beethoven: The Complete Orchestral Works, Vol. 6
About the Album – SIMAX

Half ways in the series with Beethoven”s complete works for orchestra on CD, Dausgaard and his ardent Swedes are invited on quite an exquisite tour including Ravina, Mostly Mozart NY and BBC Proms this August. Vol. 6 in the series is ready now, with the Pastoral symphony and the three Leonore overtures.

Audience and reviewers alike are amazed at the sonic experience of hearing the clarity of Beethoven”s music when played by a 38-piece orchestra. The revised edition by Jonathan Del Mar is the basis of the interpretations, and under Dausgaard”s baton explosive movement and absolute stillness alternate in those lightning changes so characteristic of Beethoven”s music. This series is a model example of what studies of performance practice can do for musicians using modern instruments.

Symphony no. 6 and the three Leonore overtures

The “Pastoral” is a result of Beethoven”s affection for nature. As such it is a part of a long tradition going back to the renaissance where the composer seeks to represent nature and his experience of it in his music. It is well know that Beethoven wrote four different overtures for his one opera, all written over a short period of time as the libretto and the opera as a whole changed and found it”s final shape. The first three are known as the Leonore overtures, the final we know as the Fidelio overture. When Felix Mendelssohn performed all four overtures together in a concert in Leipzig in 1840, his friend and colleague Robert Schumann was impressed. His comments on the revision of Leonore No.2 as Leonore No.3 are particularly interesting: ‘Here the artist can be distinctly overheard in his workshop. How he changed, how he discarded, ideas and instrumentation, how in neither can he free himself from the Florestan aria, how the first three bars of this aria are drawn through the entire composition, how he cannot give up the trumpet signal behind the scene, introduces it even more beautifully in the third overture than in the second, how he does not rest so that his work may reach the perfection we admire in the third. To observe and compare this belongs to the most interesting and the most educative experiences in which disciples of the art can indulge and use to their advantage.’


Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphony no. 6 in F Major
1. I. Allegro ma non troppo 10:53
2. II. Andante molto mosso 11:31
3. III. Allegro 4:58
4. IV. Allegro 3:57
5. V. Allegretto 9:25

Leonore overtures 1-3
6. Overture Lenore No. 1, Op. 138 8:44
7. Overture Lenore No. 2, Op. 72 12:09
8. Oveture Lenore No. 3, Op. 72A 12:09


“This points irresistibly to a Beethoven of the future.” – Audiophile Audition

Listen on Spotify