Written by Roy Turse
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

image for Beethoven's Tenth Symphony - Out Today

Great news for classical music fans; following posthumous releases by other artists, a new recording of an unknown Beethoven work has hit music shops today.

The company behind the release say it has been compiled from old records of music written by Beethoven around 1816-1824. During this period he began working on what was to be his final Symphony, the Ninth. As the Ninth progressed, he put aside many of the works he had been developing, and as his illnesses began to get worse he raced to complete it before his death.

Now, however, a new work has been created by compiling the abandoned components from this period with some unused elements of the Ninth. The symphony was put together in secret using an artificial intelligence system that had been developed specifically for the task and had access to every score and recording of Beethoven's works. The extrapolated symphony was then recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under a strict non-disclosure contract.

Music critics have been mixed with their reactions to the release. John Fugue from The Observer said it was a stunning new masterpiece with the gravitas of the Missa Solemnis, a work from a similar period. Nigel Cadenza-Cleff from Gramaphone magazine said it had "little to offer in terms of new melody or phrasing", but was "somewhat pleasant to the untrained ear". Stephen Major from What HiFi said the work offered "acoustic brilliance" when played in Dolby THX Surround EX with his new super-cooled mercury mains lead.

The new work, Beethoven's Tenth, "The Unembarked Symphony" by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Gustavo Dudmel is available from today on SACD, DVD-Audio and downloadable ringtone.

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