Live at the British Library
Scores and sketches in Beethoven’s spidery hand and first editions of the composer’s works are among the treasures of the British Library. They inspired visitors to its Beethoven. Idealist. Innovator. Icon. exhibition and sparked the imagination of Oliver Zeffman. The conductor’s second Music x Museums concert, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Bach Choir and pianist Peter Donohoe, filled the building’s cavernous atrium with the sounds of two highlights from the library’s collection, both dating from 1808: the Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” and the Choral Fantasy, a mighty hymn to the better angels of mankind’s nature, scored for solo piano, vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra. “The British Library holds sketches of Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony and a first edition of the Choral Fantasy,” notes Zeffman. “The Sixth Symphony is a great piece to conduct. And it was tremendous fun to have the choir echoing around that big space at the British Library.” Enjoy this atmospheric concert matching spectacular musicianship to an equally inspiring setting.