Beethoven was let down by his musicians when he staged the premiere of his first symphony in the Burgtheater, Vienna – “no fire could be brought forth in their playing, especially not in the wind instruments,” said an account of the time.

Happily, this was not the case when Sydney Symphony’s concertmaster Andrew Haveron directed his colleagues for this performance, which lived up to its tag line ‘ Joyful Beginnings‘. This was a sparkling performance, full of joie de vivreand with the all-important woodwind department in top form, as were the brass, strings and Mark Robinson on timpani.

Tobias Breider, Sydney Symphony Principal Viola. Featured in 'Joyful Beginnings: Beethoven Symphony No 1', 8 & 9 April 2022.

Haveron led with fine judgement of tempi and a great deal of panache, keeping one steady hand on the rein and the other on his 1757 Guadagnini. Beethoven’s symphonies are bread and butter for any orchestra worth its salt but this was...