Beethoven's unusual cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment) is filled with patriotic praise for Vienna and tributes to the kings and princes of Europe after the defeat of Napoleon. It was performed alongside his symphonic Wellington's Victory at its première in 1814.
The Fantasia in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra opens with a virtuosic, improvisatory Adagio for the piano. The work's main theme anticipates the famous Ode to Joy setting Beethoven later devised for his Choral Symphony.
Beethoven's cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick is rarely performed and very seldom recorded, usually only appearing amidst vast sets of Beethoven's complete works. This is in fact a remarkable and distinctive piece which deserves wider availability, and its appearance with the distinguished forces of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a very fine gathering of soloists will make it an easy and popular choice for seekers of fresh Beethoven material. The coupling with another occasional and relatively low-profile work, the Choral Fantasia, is entirely logical and eminently satisfying.
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Choir since 1989, Hilary Davan Wetton was founder/conductor of the Holst Singers and is Conductor Emeritus of the Guildford Choral Society and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, for which he presented the popular series Masterclass.
Acknowledged as one of Britain's most prestigious orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys an international reputation for bringing audiences worldwide first-class performances and the highest possible standards of music-making across a diverse range of musical repertoire.
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