Note that although recorded live, this is not a filmed performance. (Selected photographs of the artists appear on the screen.)In 2000, Claudio Abbado recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic; they then toured with the cycle, and the performances they gave in Rome in January 2001 were taped and released on DVD.
"There is nothing old-fashioned or conservative about these performances, which are characterised by their lithe, dancing rhythms, transparent textures and perfectly articulated phrasing. This is Beethoven looking back to Mozart and Haydn just as much as his barn-storming moments anticipate the romantic world to come, and it's the wit and delicacy of the even-numbered symphonies that provide the most ravishing moments of all…. His conducting is all about upbeats, about moving the music forward under its own volition rather than dragging it by the nose."—The Guardian