“Himmelsbeben” (Heaven’s Quake) by Compagnia di Punto
“Heaven and earth shall tremble at its performance”
Ferdinand Ries in anticipation of Eroica
At the heart of Compagnia di Punto’s Beethoven project “Himmelsbeben” are Ludwig van Beethoven’s first three symphonies – in arrangements by his contemporaries for mixed chamber ensemble.
Nowadays, it is almost unimaginable that there were times when one had to make (or commission) music oneself in order to experience it. And if a large-scale piece was heard in concert, it could only be enjoyed once more when it appeared on the program again. Or when it was adapted by ingenious arrangers to smaller ensemble formations – quasi “boiled down” – and rehashed for personal use.
The arrangements of Symphonies 1 & 3 presented by the Compagnia di Punto are written by the composer and conductor Carl Friedrich Ebers; the arrangement of the second symphony stems from the hand of Beethoven’s friend and pupil Ferdinand Ries. The symphonies are flanked by other works from Beethoven’s respective creative periods.
Readings from original documents and letters, accompanied by free moderation, provide insights into historical contexts and the prevailing spirit in Vienna at the beginning of the 19th century, providing a tangible impression of Beethoven’s unique living and working conditions and his journey to becoming one of the most outstanding symphonic composers.
You can access the entire program by clicking on the Beethoven Project link. You can also listen to initial audio samples from the parallel production of the Sony | Deutsche Harmonia Mundi CD (available in stores starting February 2020).