Beethoven Symphony No.5
Recording date : December 2021
Alberto Sanna & Wim Winters
Instrument: Fortepiano after Fritz 1816 by Joris Potvlieghe
Album design: Laurent Simon
Consultant Microphone positioning: Joris Potvlieghe
Analog recorded on Studer A80r Reel-to-reel
LP 180gr + certificat
About this recording
Our recording label Authentic Sound is today known for the groundbreaking Tempo research brought on the homonym YouTube channel. The foundation of the brand lays on the project of implementing musicological research into musical practice and experimentation.
Our recording project indeed brings to you a fresh and unique interpretation based on the reconstruction of the original tempi originally meant for the music of the greatest classical composers.
If you are looking for a completely different perspective on history of music, if you are interested in discovering a "new" Beethoven and many other geniuses and if you are curios to hear what they heard as well you are in the right place!
Our Tempo research starts here, with a metronome…what is all of this about?
Have you ever heard about this little device? Do you know his history?
Maelzel’s 1815 metronome opened for generations to come the possibility to finally mark the intended tempi with the greatest precision. “The metronome markings will be sent to you very soon. Do wait for them”, Beethoven wrote at the very end of his life to his publisher Schott. “In our century, such indications are certainly necessary.”
Though dozens, if not hundreds of his contemporaries embraced the metronome, historical metronome marks are largely ignored today.
How so? How is it possible that todays the most important indications we have for the reconstruction of the original message of the music of the great classical composers such Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann and many others, are massively disregarded?
Unfortunately, most of the metronome indications are impossible to play even for the most accomplished virtuosos. Continuous rates of 15 till 25 notes a second are no exception in both fast and slow movements and for over a century now, the world searched in vain for an answer to what seems to be an unsolvable musical mystery.
So…did all of those composers made a mistake?
Well, it appears to be so… at least for us, musicians of 20thand 21stcentury. But it wasn’t for the musicians of the 19thcentury, in other words, they had no problem with any of those tempo indications!
Did they possess some sort of super power? Or it are us who miss something? You will find the answer in our recordings and research!
Let’s first fix their mistake, shall we? Our paradigm shift and our solution: the Whole Beat Metronome Practice (WBMP).
The Whole Beat Metronome Practice is to be described in the upcoming book “Fixing the Beethoven Mistake” as it is being demonstrated in multiple recordings on YouTube. Yes, the WBMP results in tempi slower (not half!) than the modern ones, but it allows us to exactly match the metronome mark left by the composer. And by that, a whole new world opens, a musical paradise that we are delighted to show to you.
Since the beginning of the research on YouTube, more and more musicians and music lovers have joined our movement and we currently have collaborators from all possible countries, from Switzerland to Germany, from Belgium to Italy, the Netherlands, UK, France, Portugal, Lituania, Canada and United States.
The revolutionary beauty of the project has indeed brought together people of any nationality and culture, who have the common passion of rediscovering the classical music in a more truthful and authentic way, trying to get back to a lost past where we can still hear the voices of the great classical composers we still love so much today!
One of the peculiarities of the project, is this beautiful state of the art Johann Fritz Viennese fortepiano 1816 copy made by Joris Potvlieghe in 2019. “Mr.Fritz”, as we call him here, will bring you into a new world, mesmerize you with his pure and warm sound, that sings like a human voice and embraces you like full power orchestra at the same time!
All the recordings we make are captured by one of the greatest recording devices ever made: A Studer A80r. The machine was built in 1981 by the famous Swiss company and brought back to factory specifications per our request in 2016 by Andreas Kuhn of Studer Analog Audio Switzerland. The original readings of 1981 were taken as a guidance. The original Studer measurement equipment was used to align the machine. All capacitors were replaced, the machine received two brand new original Studer heads and is ready to serve us for the coming decades.
Why an analog recording in a digital era? Yes, on paper, digital surpasses any analog medium on every field. Dynamic range, distortion, signal/noise ratio...but there seems to be something more with analog. When compared to a high end A/D convertor, the tape sounds so much more open and relaxed, in a way that surprised even the most skeptical listener we blind-tested. Does it color the sound? Probably, for the better I’d say, but even a one centimeter change in mic position will also change the sound, more than a change of medium will. Analog...is like driving a Rolls Royce with no limitations in power. And there’s nothing more relaxing than recording in Analog. Just press two buttons and you’re good to go.
Our Symphonies project: The Czerny’s 4 hands transcription
This recording is the first of all 9 Beethoven symphonies. For that we use the phenomenal (and rarely if ever played) transcriptions Carl Czerny made. Czerny was famous for his transcriptions and Beethoven always went to him for whenever the quality really mattered. Asked later in his life why he (Czerny) was so good (and fast) at it, he simply answered: guess from whom I learned it? As he passed this skill to Franz Liszt on his turn.
The transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies however are a pinnacle of quality in Czerny's oeuvre. Hand-crossings, covering of the entire keyboard, instrumental imitation, ... it's all there. Reason also why we decided to publish the scores, the same scores by the way we used during the recordings.
Your Vinyl Discs
In order to create the best possible listening experience, in consulting with the experts at Deepgrooves (The Netherlands), the symphony will be divided over 2 discs, 4 sides:
Side 1: (I) Allegro con brio (12'18'')
Side 2: (II) Andante con moto (15'21'')
Side 3: (III) Allegro - (IV) Allegro (1) (19'34'')
Side 4: (IV) Allegro (2) - (V) Presto (9'33'')
This way the LP will contain the best possible dynamic range. It makes the project more expensive but we didn't want to compromise at all on the final audio quality.