Russia claims false Beethoven record

Russia claims false Beethoven record


norman lebrecht

December 29, 2017

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.



  • Has-been says:

    Didn’t Maazel use more than one orchestra ?

    • Steve P says:

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

      • Jim says:

        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

      • ben LEGEBEKE says:

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

    • Eric Silberger says:

      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.

    • Michael Smith says:

      Yes, Maazel conducted the Philharmonia, the RPO and the LSO.

      • Anon says:

        ….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!

  • Professor Jeffrey Van Detta says:

    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.

  • Just Then says:

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

  • Paavo says:

    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.

  • C Porumbescu says:

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

  • Peter says:

    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.

  • Kananpoika says:

    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.

    • Stuart L. says:

      Just 15 minutes for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony!!?

      Sounds like a swizz to me.

      • Kananpoika says:

        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

    • Richard says:

      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.

      • Kananpoika says:

        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.

  • Mr. Schwa says:

    I would like to see a conductor perform all of the Haydn symphonies in one day.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      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.

    • Carlos A Bas says:


  • Mr. Schwa says:

    Has Trump commented yet on this latest Russia scandal?……………..

  • Georg says:

    what about all Mahler -Symphonies in a night. Mentioned in the last TATORT in Germany by the Staatskapelle Weimar

  • Stephen Aechternacht says:

    Aaah, more fake news from Russia, much like the phony Russia/Trump collusion. Tee-hee!

  • Alex Davies says:

    Did anyone else notice that Norman quoted or cited the Book of Ecclesiastes twice in as many days?

  • Issei says:

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

  • Franz Liebkind says:

    Not impressed. 9 symphonies in 1 day. Can anyone paint an entire apartment in one afternoon in two coats? Not even Putin.