Russia claims false Beethoven record

Sergei Stadler and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra have applied for recognition in the Guinness World Records for performing all of Beethoven’s symphonies in a single day. They are not the first.

I distinctly remember Lorin Maazel pulling off the same feat in London in December 1988 as a charity stunt. He switched shoes for trainers before hitting the Ninth.

And here’s another full set in a day by Martin Brabbins.

Nothing new under the sun.


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    • Good catch! The first orchestra to perform them all in one day, certainly; the first conductor, though, was Maazel.

      • And surely with some players switching out. I don’t think you’d want to hear the horn players by the time they got to the 9th

      • In the Netherlands it was already done in the early 1970’s. All symphonies performed in one day in the city of Haarlem.

    • Maestro Maazel also did all 9 Beethoven Symphonies with one orchestra in Japan on December 31st, 2010. It was the Hiroyuki Iwaki Memorial Orchestra and there is a DVD of it. December 5th, 1988 he lead the cycle in London with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestra for the Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children.

      • ….and as usual was his unpleasant self. Especially when he got to the 9th! Was an intellectual exercise for him! But the public loved it!

  • Maazel used three orchestras. Stadler used one. That is the distinction, and an important one. This is a shared endeavor, unlike Maazel’s “look at me” feat.

  • Zoltan Kocsis, Hungaria National Philharmonic Orchestra, 8th of Nov. 2009, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest

  • Leif Segerstam conducted all Beethoven symphonies in a single day (from 10 am to 9 pm) in February 1998. The orchestras were Helsinki Philharmonic and Tapiola Sinfonietta.

  • Martyn Brabbins conducted them all in one day with the same orchestra – the Salomon Orchestra – in July 2003, as part of the Cheltenham Festival.

  • Zoltán Kocsis too has conducted all 9 symphonies in one day, in November 2009.
    Orchestras were the Symphony orchestra of the Liszt Academy and the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • The Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra performed, before a live audience, all nine of the Beethoven symphonies in one day, on Sunday, July 8th, 1973, Walter Charles conducting.
    The event, which took place in Evergreen, Colorado, was billed as “A First in the History of Music.”

    Soloists: Marilyn Tillotson, Ruth Seeber, Gary Jordan, Stephen West
    Denver University Chorale, Evergreen Chorale

    Symphony No.1 – 2:00 P.M. Symphony No. 2 – 2:30 P.M. 10 minute Intermission
    Symphony No. 3 – 3:20 P.M. Symphony No. 4 – 4:20 P.M. Dinner – 5:00 – 6:15

    Symphony No. 5 – 6:30 P.M. Symphony No. 6 – 7:10 P.M. 10 minute Intermission
    Symphony No. 7 – 8:05 P.M. Symphony No. 8 – 8:40 P.M. 10 minute Intermission

    Symphony No. 9 – 9:15 P.M.

      • Start times were printed, but were only approximate and lagged as the day went on. I recall quite clearly that we ended the 9th at about 11:15 pm.

        Wish I could recall what the horns did. However, we had three oboes in the CPO:
        each played first on three symphonies, second on three symphonies, and had three

    • That would have been the Denver Symphony at that time. I studied at CSU in Ft Collins, I was a Walter Charles Scholarship recipient and was a student of Wil Schwartz.
      Both conductors were legends in that area.

      • No. The Colorado Philharmonic Orchestra was a repertory orchestra based in Evergreen,
        Colorado. (The CPO subsequently became the National Repertory Orchestra.) Quite
        certain of this as I was a CPO member during the summers of 1972 and 1973.

    • For the complete Haydn symphonies they would need more than 24 hours, unless they performed some of them simultaneously.
      While we are discussing absurd musical marathons, I realize that the Wagner Ring lasts less than 24 hours. To make it within that time frame, however, they would need to switch orchestras, some of the lead singers and audiences.

  • Hiroyuki Iwaki did the same with NHK symphony orchestra, Tokyo, on December 31, 2004. Recorded live and still commercially available.

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