Beethoven and Dussek – with Stephen Fry
Beethoven and Dussek with Stephen Fry
AAM are joined by Stephen Fry, beginning the Barbican’s Beethoven 250 anniversary celebrations with his complete incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont alongside the modern premiere of the Mass by his scandalous Czech contemporary Dussek.
Recently rediscovered by the Academy of Ancient Music’s own music director Richard Egarr, and heard here for the first time since the 19th century, Dussek’s Mass throws fascinating new light on a musical pioneer whose expressive works anticipate the Romantic style of Chopin and Schumann. While the Overture to Egmont has become a concert hall staple, it is relatively rare to have the chance to hear a performance of the complete incidental music. Beethoven lover Stephen Fry narrates this music into which the composer channeled his fury at Napolean’s tyrannical progress through Europe. It is an impassioned, heroically defiant musical expression of the triumph of freedom over oppression.