Author Topic: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)  (Read 305485 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline aukhawk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1078
  • Frankie
  • Location: England
  • Currently Listening to:
    Bach to Björk
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1800 on: June 09, 2019, 06:15:03 AM »
Likewise I listened to Lan Shui's Eroica and found it a bit meh.  But then I grew up listening to Klemperer.
What do you think of the Scherchen 58 Eroica I wonder

[pause while I listen to the 1st two movements]
Yes pretty good - if you like 'edgey'.  I hope there's a better transfer out there than the one I found though (on Spotify, labelled 'LP Pure') which makes the recording sound a good 10 years older than it actually is.
I'm not really much of a one for Beethoven symphonies - I only ever listen to three of them (3, 6, 7) and that very rarely - given that I can't help but be aware that Klemperer-style interpretations are deeply out of fashion, my go-to for these three is now Vanska/Minnesota, which do sound very fresh to me.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8886
  • An American Hero!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1802 on: July 29, 2019, 02:43:25 AM »
 A review from the weekend Wall Street Journal (July 27/28, 2019) by Lloyd Schwartz, and English professor at the University of Massachusetts, and a music critic for a (semi-)classical radio network in America called "National Public Radio," of a book on Beethoven ( The Relentless Revolutionary ) by a certain John Clubbe:

Quote


 Another interpretive life of Beethoven has appeared. If the author, the American cultural historian John Clubbe, were a good friend and had asked for my advice about his manuscript, what would I have told him? Maybe something like this:

Dear John,

Thanks for inviting me to read your book, which I did with interest. Beethoven as revolutionary is a great subject. But I’m sorry to report that I was disappointed. A biographical study of a figure as familiar as Beethoven must demonstrate a strong reason for being published, and while there are a number of fresh perspectives here, I’m not completely convinced by your argument that Beethoven’s music is more politically motivated than we had previously assumed, or that your ideas about Beethoven’s republican sympathies are especially fresh.

For one thing, your focus is a little blurry. Sixty-six pages into “The Relentless Revolutionary,” you seem to poke a big hole in your own title, admitting that Beethoven “never became a doctrinaire revolutionary,” that he was “more an idealistic rebel, or rather, often a rebel, sometimes a revolutionary, more usually somewhere in between.” This summation, though it waffles a bit, has considerably more shading than your enthusiastically alliterative title. Maybe your title isn’t quite right.

It’s of course hard to disagree with your argument that Beethoven’s revolutionary sympathies lie behind such masterpieces as the “Eroica” Symphony and the opera “Fidelio,” works that explicitly depict heroic action and what it takes to be a hero. They certainly sound “heroic.” But it’s confusing when you also call the limpid opening ripples of the “Moonlight” Sonata “revolutionary.” Beethoven is clearly doing something impressively new, but is the fervor of his compositional inventiveness the same as his “revolutionary” political views? If it is, shouldn’t you be dealing with that confluence in a more comprehensively focused way?

I particularly admire your deconstruction of Beethoven’s shifting attitudes toward Napoleon, beginning with the composer famously rubbing out his dedication to Napoleon on his score of the “Eroica” upon learning that Napoleon had just crowned himself emperor. You lead us expertly through his continually changing attitudes, as when, only a few years later, he considered dedicating his Mass in C to Napoleon, but then didn’t—because, as you show us, it would have been professional suicide to celebrate his country’s conqueror. I’m less convinced by your persistent argument that Beethoven saw himself as a musical Napoleon.

Your opening chapters take up the “key influences” on Beethoven’s early years in Bonn, Germany, and the origins of the French Revolution. Some of this is pretty well-trod territory. I was more interested in what led up to Beethoven’s two early cantatas, “On the Death of Joseph II” and “On the Accession of Leopold II”—music composed to commemorate, first, the enlightened despot Joseph, who was too autocratic to succeed in bringing about the reforms that he (and Beethoven) desired, and his succession by the potentially more benevolent Leopold, who died only two years into his promising reign. 

Though neither of these two still-unfamiliar works was performed in Beethoven’s lifetime, they marked important milestones in his development. You call the former work Beethoven’s “first masterpiece,” though listening to it, I rather share recent Beethoven biographer (and composer) Jan Swafford’s more tempered estimation: “Beethoven’s setting . . . pulls out all the stops, revealing that at age nineteen he had a number of stops to pull.”

And I have to say that I also prefer Mr. Swafford’s more engaging, conversational style, which avoids your sometimes-stiff academic vocabulary (“thus”), gushy exclamations (“alas”), dated diction (“yesteryear,” “oft-”), and outmoded syntax (“be it noted,” “compose he did”). Whom do you imagine will be your reader?

While we’re speaking of style and diction, let’s look closely at the end of a paragraph about the “Eroica”:

'No doubt Beethoven did despair, but he was a fighter, and fight he would. Fate would not conquer him. The Eroica may strike those aware of Beethoven’s subsequent career as his most difficult, most challenging work. Twice as long as a typical symphony by Mozart or Haydn, it runs to what contemporaries regarded as an inordinate length, in modern recordings from forty-five to fifty-five minutes. It is also the first of his named symphonies.'

These sentences are full of clichés, outmoded and melodramatic syntax, irrelevant and intrusive details, and all they build to is an anticlimax. How does a symphony having a name relate to its being a challenging work? And isn’t it odd to call this Beethoven’s first named symphony when there is a total of only two?

What follows sounds even sillier:

'During the spring of 1803 he began what was perhaps the crucial work of his career. He rented a cottage for the summer in Oberdöbling, a village closer to Vienna than Heiligenstadt but still well outside the then city limits . . .'

I know it’s not what you intend, but it sounds as if you’re saying that Beethoven’s most “crucial” work was renting a cottage. Please rewrite this.

Now that you’ve retired from teaching, and after writing and editing nearly a dozen books, I’m not sure you should include in your bio that you’ve “given pre-concert lectures for the Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Santa Fe Symphony.” One reservation I have about the way you’ve organized this book—long chapters divided into many short sub-chapters—is that it often reads like a series of program notes. You really shouldn’t be repeating so many sound bites from one chapter (or even one page) to the next: that Beethoven’s short haircut indicated his sympathy with young French revolutionaries; that there’s a difference between “van” (being “from” somewhere) and “von” (indicating nobility); that the original title for “Fidelio” was “Leonore.” How many times do you need to remind us? Don’t you trust your reader to remember these details? Or do you simply not expect—or want— anyone to read the whole book in sequence? As with your impulse to go off on tangents—about the history of elegies, or Bacchus, or 18th-century prisons, or Goya’s black paintings—these relentless repetitions and reminders distract from a forward-moving, unified whole.

“The Relentless Revolutionary” seems to warm up whenever you plunge into the political and cultural issues that most convey your sense of discovery. My heart sank when you wrote that “to explore Beethoven as a revolutionary requires that we take up his fascination with Plutarch.” Yet your discussion actually springs to life when you write about the figure in Plutarch most important to Beethoven: Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman republic (four centuries before the better-known Brutus who assassinated Julius Caesar). That Brutus was so committed to the republic that he condemned his two anti-republican sons to death. How chilling (and I don’t remember reading this anywhere else) that Beethoven kept a bust of his ancient hero on his writing desk.

On the whole, you seem more comfortable writing about history than music. There is a lack of exactness whenever you write about what you hear in Beethoven, as when you describe the “Eroica” as a “veritable torrent of sound at white-hot intensity,” or when you conclude that the Finale of the Fifth Symphony “lasts a long time, and whenever we expect it to stop, it roars along.” Too often where you should be most specific your prose is smeared by generalized effusions. If I didn’t already know the music, I’d have a hard time imagining what it sounds like. What do you mean when you say, about the last quartets, that “the phrases have become detached and separated, yet linked by their emotional power they beckon to each other across the intervening spaces”? And are you sure you should end your big chapter on “Fidelio” with “This opera, like no other, can move us to tears”? (Do you really believe that this is the only opera that moves listeners to tears?)

Throughout your book I repeatedly asked myself what, exactly, you think music “means.” That is, I kept rehashing the old debate about whether any given musical work is basically abstract or whether, as you seem to believe, it almost always conveys a very specific narrative. We know that Mahler wrote narrative outlines for several of his symphonies and then omitted them from his published scores. But how important is it to understand an explicit storyline in, say, the “Eroica”? I believe that any great piece of music embodies an emotional progression of some kind. And in many works, like Debussy’s “La Mer” or even Beethoven’s “Pastorale”—his other symphony with a “name”—the composer obviously had some very specific images in mind. We know the second movement of the “Eroica” is a funeral march, but isn’t the emotional—and musical—progression more important than any particular story it might be telling? Isn’t there something liberating about not knowing literally what each musical gesture is supposed to illustrate, especially since we can’t know what was in Beethoven’s head?

And so, while I enjoyed your numerous digressions—about the obscure but heroic author Johann Gottfried Seume, whose two books on walking through Europe Beethoven owned and whose gravesite he visited; about the doomed French revolutionary journalist Gracchus Babeuf; about Beethoven’s friendship with Napoleon’s sympathetic and music-loving Baron de Trémont—I’m sorry I feel so negative about the whole book. I hope you find these comments useful. I would strongly encourage you to put this all through the wringer at least once more before you try to publish it.

Your friend,

Lloyd

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Andy D.

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Location: Winooski
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1803 on: July 29, 2019, 02:51:29 AM »

Karajan’s 1970s Beethoven In Blu-ray Audio: A Controversial Set Revisited


Wow. I've grown to really appreciate that set more than ever lately, probably edging out the 60s (especially the 9th, though Janowski and co. did a great job on the latter imo).

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 18445
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1804 on: July 29, 2019, 03:19:22 AM »
A review from the weekend Wall Street Journal (July 27/28, 2019) by Lloyd Schwartz, and English professor at the University of Massachusetts, and a music critic for a (semi-)classical radio network in America called "National Public Radio," of a book on Beethoven ( The Relentless Revolutionary ) by a certain John Clubbe:

Thanks for posting this. Schwartz is spot on: Beethoven was anything but a "relentless revolutionary". The label is misguiding both musically and politically --- all his life he actually vacillated between left and right in both fields; one could as well argue he was a cosnervative. Of course he was neither, or rather both simultaneously --- he was in a class of his own.
“Melody is the essence of music.”  --- Mozart

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 53064
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1805 on: July 29, 2019, 03:36:53 AM »
A review from the weekend Wall Street Journal (July 27/28, 2019) by Lloyd Schwartz, and English professor at the University of Massachusetts, and a music critic for a (semi-)classical radio network in America called "National Public Radio," of a book on Beethoven ( The Relentless Revolutionary ) by a certain John Clubbe:


Delicious! Reading this review has been perhaps the most crucial work of my day.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8886
  • An American Hero!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1806 on: July 29, 2019, 04:33:58 AM »
Delicious! Reading this review has been perhaps the most crucial work of my day.

It is most gratifying to know this!  0:) 

Thanks for posting this. Schwartz is spot on: Beethoven was anything but a "relentless revolutionary". The label is misguiding both musically and politically --- all his life he actually vacillated between left and right in both fields; one could as well argue he was a conservative. Of course he was neither, or rather both simultaneously --- he was in a class of his own.

Yes, and I thought of the famous Bruckner story that he expected his students to follow the rules of composition in his classroom, but later, if they were still following the rules in their works, he would show them the door!

Composers need to create their own "rules," so to speak, and those could change from work to work, and most probably should change!.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13155
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1807 on: August 03, 2019, 11:32:06 AM »


Vlach Quartet Beethoven, ears started to really prick up in op 18/3/ii; I knew the op 131 before, and it is a great favourite of mine, so I'm looking forward to hearing the op 18s in this set. It was a 2017 release, which I missed. Ecellent transfers so far.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 11:35:06 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1808 on: October 05, 2019, 12:27:42 AM »
Beethoven Violin Concerto Cadenza Question

Dear interested Beethoven-heads... I've been trying to put together a list of the various cadenzas (and their sub-versions) that have been provided for the Violin Concerto. Mainly I'm interested in the main cadenza, actually. And specifically, I'm interested in finding recordings of these.

Here's a list of those where I could not find a recording, yet.

Victor Kissine Edition of Beethoven/Schneiderhan (Kremer plays this now, I think)

Joseph Joachim I & II: Szigeti, Szering, Huberman and Kogan play Joachum cadenzas. Do they all play the II version? Does anyone other than Ricci play version I?

Who, besides Padovani and Ricci, plays Leopold Auer in a pure form? (Heifetz of course plays his modification thereof in C1 and then switches to Joachim for C2 and C3.

There is, of course, the Ricci/Bellugi recording with 14-some cadenzas. But apart from him, is there anyone who has recorded any of these:

Ferdinand David, Jakob Dont, Isaak Dunayevsky, Carl Flesch, Joseph Hellmesberger Sr., Jenő Hubay, Christiaan Kriens, Bernhard Molique, Miron Polyakin (= Auer Variant??), Manuel Quiroga, Camille Saint-Saëns, Schradiek?, Ödön Singer, Sayaka Shoji, Louis Spohr (classical/LvB contemporary 1813?), Henryk Wieniawski , August Wilhelmj, Eugène Ysaÿe


Offline vers la flamme

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1809 on: October 05, 2019, 03:13:54 AM »
I'm afraid I'll be of no use to this fascinating topic as I've only heard the Beethoven VC but once, months ago, it was the Heifetz recording with Munch & the Boston Symphony. One day I will take the deep dive into this work. For some reason, I find it daunting compared to others in his middle period.

Just to contribute to this thread a bit beyond my ignorance, I have been seriously enjoying this 2CD over the past week:



I'm slowly trying to get back into Beethoven after a few months of not listening to his music at all. These brilliant performances of the late piano sonatas are as good a place to start as any, I think. Late Beethoven has always mystified me but I think, obviously, there is something there. It's always interesting hearing a late work of his and trying to figure it out. My favorites of these performances, I think, are op.101 and op.109. I have yet to hear the Hammerklavier here.

Any fans? I know some might find Pollini too cold here, but I think it's just right. He plays Beethoven as if he were a Modernist composer, and it works. I would be skeptical of some of the earlier sonatas (or concerti) in his hands, though.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1810 on: October 05, 2019, 06:44:30 AM »
I'm afraid I'll be of no use to this fascinating topic as I've only heard the Beethoven VC but once, months ago, it was the Heifetz recording with Munch & the Boston Symphony. One day I will take the deep dive into this work. For some reason, I find it daunting compared to others in his middle period.

Just to contribute to this thread a bit beyond my ignorance, I have been seriously enjoying this 2CD over the past week:



I'm slowly trying to get back into Beethoven after a few months of not listening to his music at all. These brilliant performances of the late piano sonatas are as good a place to start as any, I think. Late Beethoven has always mystified me but I think, obviously, there is something there. It's always interesting hearing a late work of his and trying to figure it out. My favorites of these performances, I think, are op.101 and op.109. I have yet to hear the Hammerklavier here.

Any fans? I know some might find Pollini too cold here, but I think it's just right. He plays Beethoven as if he were a Modernist composer, and it works. I would be skeptical of some of the earlier sonatas (or concerti) in his hands, though.

This is one of the greatest recordings ever made. Of anything. Top 100 classical stuff, if one wanted to draw up such a silly list. And it hasn't aged a bit. It's also a good part of the foundation of Pollini's fame in general and as a Beethoven interpreter.

Offline Biffo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1583
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1811 on: October 05, 2019, 06:48:28 AM »
This is one of the greatest recordings ever made. Of anything. Top 100 classical stuff, if one wanted to draw up such a silly list. And it hasn't aged a bit. It's also a good part of the foundation of Pollini's fame in general and as a Beethoven interpreter.

Pollini is incomparable in Op 111

Offline vers la flamme

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1812 on: October 05, 2019, 06:51:00 AM »
^Thank you for confirming my impression! So this was recorded in the late '70s, no? A decade and a half since winning the Chopin competition as a young virtuoso, but with much of his illustrious recording career still ahead of him. I find Pollini to be a fascinating artist and I will be exploring his recordings further.

I listened to the op.111 yesterday and it was absolutely brilliant. Not sure why I didn't include it when I listed my (first-impression) favorites from the set. It completely blew me away.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1813 on: October 05, 2019, 06:55:03 AM »
^Thank you for confirming my impression! So this was recorded in the late '70s, no? A decade and a half since winning the Chopin competition as a young virtuoso, but with much of his illustrious recording career still ahead of him. I find Pollini to be a fascinating artist and I will be exploring his recordings further.

I listened to the op.111 yesterday and it was absolutely brilliant. Not sure why I didn't include it when I listed my (first-impression) favorites from the set. It completely blew me away.

Incidentally, it was one of my very first (well, No.13) CD reviews and among the first discs that I gave one of those mini-reviews at Tower Records. https://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/10/dip-your-ears-no-13.html
And Pollini was the first "proper" concert/recital that I ever got a press ticket for. I still remember walking down the aisle of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to my 12th row / Piano Left seats, thinking to myself: "I'll never stop pretending to be a music critic!"

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8886
  • An American Hero!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1814 on: November 30, 2019, 03:15:33 PM »
For some reason I was recalling how it came to pass that I listened to Beethoven's Piano Sonata 32 Opus 111.  Solo piano music had not enthused me much, along with most or even all chamber music in my early years.

The subtle depth with which a pianist can delicately touch e.g. the single key A1 and linger gently over its pulsating whisper, before advancing to higher or lower territory, had eluded me.  Until I read a book called...

...Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann.

The description of the work (done by a character who is an organist) was so marvelous, so compelling, that I felt that I needed to overcome my antipathy toward solo works and listen to this last sonata by Beethoven as soon as possible.  At the library I chanced upon the enchanting performance on London/Decca by Wilhelm Backhaus.  Soon I was listening to all of the Beethoven sonatas as performed by Backhaus and Kempff and others whom I have forgotten (Claudio Arrau was undoubtedly one of the group).

"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1815 on: November 30, 2019, 05:22:22 PM »
For some reason I was recalling how it came to pass that I listened to Beethoven's Piano Sonata 32 Opus 111.  Solo piano music had not enthused me much, along with most or even all chamber music in my early years.

The subtle depth with which a pianist can delicately touch e.g. the single key A1 and linger gently over its pulsating whisper, before advancing to higher or lower territory, had eluded me.  Until I read a book called...

...Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann.

The description of the work (done by a character who is an organist) was so marvelous, so compelling, that I felt that I needed to overcome my antipathy toward solo works and listen to this last sonata by Beethoven as soon as possible.  At the library I chanced upon the enchanting performance on London/Decca by Wilhelm Backhaus.  Soon I was listening to all of the Beethoven sonatas as performed by Backhaus and Kempff and others whom I have forgotten (Claudio Arrau was undoubtedly one of the group).

I love chapter VIII. In fact, I've once, to impress a lady, taught myself to recite the chapter along the Pollini's recording so that all the cues in the book about the music would line up with those in the recording.  ;D

Offline Cato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8886
  • An American Hero!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1816 on: December 01, 2019, 03:07:45 AM »
I love chapter VIII. In fact, I've once, to impress a lady, taught myself to recite the chapter along the Pollini's recording so that all the cues in the book about the music would line up with those in the recording.  ;D

Dude!  You must tell us: was she impressed?   8)


I love chapter VIII. In fact, I've once, to impress a lady, taught myself to recite the chapter along the Pollini's recording so that all the cues in the book about the music would line up with those in the recording.  ;D

Quite an accomplishment: I never tried reading the section with the sonata playing.  I will see how that works out!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline vers la flamme

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: Atlanta
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1817 on: December 01, 2019, 04:40:52 AM »
I'm reading Dr. Faustus now and that part with Kretzschmar and his Beethoven lectures really blew me away. Of course, I had to go back and listen to the late sonatas (and yes, it was Pollini).

The last five sonatas are definitely some of the greatest music ever written for the piano.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1818 on: December 01, 2019, 05:59:26 AM »
Dude!  You must tell us: was she impressed?   8)

A dude never tells.  ;D :P

Quote
Quite an accomplishment: I never tried reading the section with the sonata playing.  I will see how that works out!

I should have the notes with the time-stamps still around.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2471
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
« Reply #1819 on: December 01, 2019, 06:01:19 AM »
I'm reading Dr. Faustus now and that part with Kretzschmar and his Beethoven lectures really blew me away. Of course, I had to go back and listen to the late sonatas (and yes, it was Pollini).

The last five sonatas are definitely some of the greatest music ever written for the piano.

I later wanted to do it as a performance with an acquaintance... but it turned out that my voice does NOT carry over a grand piano being played behind me.

Incidentally, Thomas Mann published the 8th chapter as a standalone essay in English in Harper's Magazine (or some other such mag.), so there's precedent for reading just that. It's riproaringly funny, too... which was what surprised the above-mentioned lady in question the most, because she hadn't thought of Mann that way.