Prom 59: Vintage wine: Blomstedt and the Leipzig Gewandhaus in splendid Beethoven

Beethoven: Leipzig Gewandhaus/Blomstedt ****

Royal Albert Hall, 29th August 2016

To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if 1927 was A Very Good Year, then July 1927 must have been an exceptionally good month. It saw the births of conductors Kurt Masur, Michael Gielen and Herbert Blomstedt within nine days of each other. Masur, like Blomstedt a former Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, died last December. Gielen announced his retirement in 2014, blaming failing eyesight. At 89, Blomstedt may now be in the autumn of his years, but his conducting is certainly the equivalent of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ “vintage wine from fine old kegs”, as evidenced in tonight’s splendid all-Beethoven Prom with the Gewandhaus.

Herbert Blomstedt and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra © BBC | Chris Christodoulou

Herbert Blomstedt and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
© BBC | Chris Christodoulou

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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