Music

Orchestre Métropolitain's Summer of Beethoven concludes with Symphony No. 9 and you can watch

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his physically distanced orchestra and choir at Montreal's Bourgie Hall.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his physically distanced orchestra and choir at Montreal's Bourgie Hall

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his Orchestre Métropolitain under COVID-19 conditions at Montreal's Bourgie Hall. (François Goupil)

Orchestre Métropolitain's Summer of Beethoven series concludes in emphatic form on Friday, Sept. 4, with the video stream of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 on Deutsche Grammophon's new DG Stage platform.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts his physically distanced orchestra, chorus and soloists at Montreal's Bourgie Hall.

The performance, which was recorded earlier this summer, will be available for streaming for 48 hours upon payment of €9.90 ($15.33).

The soloists are Marianne Fiset (soprano), Rihab Chaieb (mezzo-soprano), Frédéric Antoun (tenor) and Russell Braun (baritone).

This video stream concludes the OM's complete cycle of Beethoven's nine symphonies, recorded during the coronavirus pandemic, a partnership among the OM, Deutsche Grammophon and Bourgie Hall.

Initial plans for the Summer of Beethoven series did not include the ninth symphony, with its famous choral "Ode to Joy." "It was not the moment for something joyful, when the world was going through a crisis," explained Nézet-Séguin in this promotional video. But as they recorded the other eight symphonies in the cycle, they realized the ninth would give people hope, as it has done at so many times throughout history.

To enable physical distancing necessitated by COVID-19, the seating was removed from Bourgie Hall, with musicians and singers performing not only onstage, but also throughout the parterre and balcony of the downtown Montreal concert hall.

Orchestre Métropolitain records Beethoven at Montreal's Bourgie Hall with physical distancing measures in place. (François Goupil)

To access this video stream of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, visit DG Stage. For further information and additional "before the concert" content, head over to the OM's website.

The OM's 2020-21 concert season begins Sept. 20 with a performance of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde and Vivian Fung's Prayer, the latter commissioned by CBC Music. Details here.

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