Orchestra plays Beethoven 7 as all around them falls apart

Orchestra plays Beethoven 7 as all around them falls apart


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2019

This is David Greilsamer and the Geneva Camerata.

Not sure what point they are trying to make.



  • anon says:

    It’s our visual culture, music is meant to accompany a movie, come with a choreographed video.

    It’s our short attention span youtube clip culture, our senses have to be constantly stimulated, otherwise we flip the channel.

    It’s our instant consumption culture, everything is pre-digested, pre-interpreted and spoon-fed, because the audience is incapable of internal reflection.

    And it’s all not very good, because classical music can’t afford real stage directors, or real special effects, or a real set, so it’s clunky, high school production value.

  • Jaime Herrera says:

    Men are violent, egotistic, immoral, and competitive creatures and civilization has continuously been in turmoil as a result – great music making, however, has always been present through hard and almost impossible times. A great irony this is. Politics and art do not mix. Politics can tarnish art, but art, unfortunately, can never tame politics.

  • viola fan says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

    I love it. They sound fantastic throughout.

  • Helen Dutton says:

    I think it is a perfect analogy of the world we live in today. Always the music remains, while everything is falling apart around. I would love to see this performance.

  • clarrieu says:

    Erbärmlich. Are classical musicians really so bored these days?

  • P says:

    Does there have to be a point?

  • Jamesay says:

    The “point” they are trying to make is spoken of in the video.. did you listen? Did you hear ? Or just watch ? I found even that short clip worth listening to and watching right to the end. I found the orchestra getting back up in their feet after all the incidents at that moment in the score very moving!
    Bravi to them! I’m not sure the big diva orchestras would even consider involving themselves in such a work of performance art as their ego and Neolithic ways of working would put a stop to it.

  • Patrick says:

    Beethoven phoned. He says, “WTF….I don’t need this sh#t”

  • Sixtus says:

    Eurotrash direction comes to the symphony! Nice use of historical brass, some period bows. But why the modern woodwinds and a most unhistorical string layout (in this, the Beethoven symphony that most demands split violins). But they clearly don’t care about musical values. The only thing this reminded me of, besides an excessively sophomoric Monty Python routine, was the Napoleonic bombardment of Vienna. They should have killed a few audience members for true authenticity.

  • Schoenberglover says:

    Wished they’d created drama through the music and not through some distracting staging / extraneous sounds.

  • Rog says:

    If you listen to what Bourgeois and Greilsamer say in the film, Norman, it should be pretty clear what points they are trying to make. I think what you mean is that you don’t like it.
    I rather do, so thanks at least for bringing it to my attention.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Very nice playing. Too bad those gimmicks distract from the music.

  • Nelson says:

    I feel sorry for Beethoven and the players of the orchestra. Presumably the conductor approved of these shenanigans? Shame on him and the “director” of such nonsense. If this is what we need to bring an audience in to “listen” to Beethoven, It’s time to pack it in. Then again, Adam Fischer’s new recording with the Danish Chamber Orchestra manages to destroy Beethoven without any stage BS.

  • Helge says:

    Beethoven survives everything.Even this!
    Horrible sound from the Geneva Camerata as well!

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Looks like one of those “Music Theatre” pieces by Kagel from the 70s. Ho-hum

  • May says:

    Norman, I think the point being made is, that in this day and age, having a conductor for Beethoven is completely superfluous.

    • Nelson says:

      I don’t think they could play this badly without a conductor at the helm. Nor as well as they would with a great conductor.

  • Ed says:

    Completely mad and unmusical.

  • christopher storey says:

    Oh dear, oh dear … what possessed them to allow this deranged perversion of Beethoven’s music to escape ?

  • Bill says:

    That same question could well be asked of the OP here.

  • The View from America says:


  • Cyril says:

    Pitiful and embarrassing. Really, it’s one notch above disgusting and repulsive. Like splashing your own paint onto a Goya.

  • Adam Stern says:

    Oh, puh-lease…

  • Ms.Melody says:

    “At long last, have you left no sence of decency?”
    Joseph Nye Welch