Currentzis has excuses for Beethoven

Currentzis has excuses for Beethoven


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2019

The conductor Teodor Currentzis has halved his involvement in a Berlin and Vienna Beethoven symphony cycle played by his Russian ensemble, MusicAeterna.

Too busy elsewhere?

The press release says his withdrawal is a consequence of his ‘strained time budget (strapazierte Zeitbudget)’ and a ‘reorientation’ of the ensemble, which sounds like he’s dumping them.

Excuses come these days in ever-more evasive guises.


  • udouble-sharp says:

    Timete Danaos, et dona ferentes.

  • Tamino says:

    Didn’t he move the ensemble’s headquarters from Perm to St. Petersburg, without asking the musicians?
    How is that move to an expensive city coming along for the chronically underpaid musicians of his ensemble? Dear journalists, here you have a topic for investigation, take over please.

    Currentzis symbolises everything that is wrong with the classical music biz. First of all rampant pathological narcissism, on both sides, not only performers but also managements.

    • Olassus says:


    • BlueClarinet72 says:

      Absolutely. He just sells “new-ness” and “fresh-ness”. The problem is that his “new” and “fresh” has nothing to do with Beethoven or any of the composers he performs. It is just bad musical taste. His crazy gestures, faces, and gimmicks trick people without proper music knowledge into thinking that is actually conducting. The words passionate and exciting are usually used to describe his conducting, without knowing that all those things he does have really not so much impact on the way an orchestra plays… basically, he conducts not for the music, but for the audience and the photo. I think he is a fake.

      • Graham Robinson says:

        While he may be a narcissist and potentially delusional, Currentzis’ performances can’t simply be cast aside as ‘bad musical taste’. His performances of Beethoven symphonies at the Proms a couple of seasons ago were some of the best I’ve heard and incredibly well shaped on a larger structural level rather than just gimmicky. Sure what he does might not be to everyone’s taste, but the man is no idiot.

        • mathias broucek says:

          Surprised by the down-votes to this well-argued post.

          His Rite of Spring recording is truly phenomenal. As Graham suggests he’s a capable musician in many ways, even if not all his choices (or interpretations) are good ones.

        • Tristan says:

          thanks for this, I couldn’t agree more! Do not forget the fantastic 7th with Petrenko and the Berlin Philhramonic last year!

    • Opportunist says:

      You classical music “biz” Sucks as your attitude you should go investigate your self.

  • Opportunist says:

    Investigate how a non existent ensemble got life again and how many years now succeed and let your jealous pass because that destroys you. Curretzis is not after the money he is making art. If you don’t like stay away. Poor commentaries showing what you made of, can’t you see it?

    • Tamino says:

      whoever says he is „making art“ is full of himself and has no grasp of simple realities, how music happens in the people who listen.
      Music, even in recordings, never is an artistic entity by itself. It only happens inter subjects.
      That wouldn‘t stop a narcissist though, to masturbate to the music at hand.

  • Gustavo says:

    Currency’s value has increased?

  • udouble-sharp says:

    Orchestral players rely on their daytime teaching jobs for income. It’s a saturated market in St P (conservatory, Mariinsky) already – newcomers will be picking up whatever poorly-paid slack is left.

    But Thee-Adore doesn’t think about people or their livelyhoods. He lives in a parallel universe in which you just waltz out on your responsibilities,

  • Bone says:

    I’ve enjoyed some of his recordings. Could care less what kind of person he is – that is a topic for the meddlers ruining art with constant withering attacks on non-artistic concerns.
    In other news, I hear Wagner could be a touch non-PC…