If ever there was a musician whose battle cry was “freedom” it was Ludwig van Beethoven. His Leonore Overture No. 3 relates the heroic conviction of a woman to free her husband from certain doom. The Piano Concerto No. 2 was composed for his own astonishing virtuoso technique. And the Symphony No. 5 has become so much more than a symphony – its famous first four notes have been turned into a Morse code phrase for "victory." Its propulsive energy and journey escalate towards a finale that has long transcended the concert hall and given hope to oppressed people everywhere.
Born in 1987, and now in his 20s, he's been called, "...the finest pianist of his generation," by the UK Telegraph, who also commented that, ..."[he] shows that he's set to be one of this century's big names." He's Igor Levit. And his latest CD of the last five piano sonatas of Ludwig von Beethoven has been creating quite a stir.
Join us an hour earlier than usual this Sunday for our monthly broadcast of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Music Director Dirk Brossé leads a program that includes one of his own works, the World War I-inspired Terra Incognita. The major work on the program is Beethoven's "Pastoral."
Join host Dave Conant, Sunday, October 19, 4 to 5 pm.
For the past few years, pianist Stewart Goodyear has been reconnecting to his musical roots through Beethoven. He performed all 32 of the composer's piano sonatas in a single day in 2011 and 2013, and then over four concerts last month. A stunt? A statement? Goodyear tells The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns it's more like a calling.
Isn't Stewart Goodyear that pianist who specializes in Gershwin?
As Beethoven set about composing his Third Symphony, his hearing was failing and he felt certain his life was about to get worse. That it was born in a moment of despair may help explain why the finished work, for all its grandeur, is extremely odd — employing devices that are by turns aggressive and mundane, somber and practically danceable.
This Sunday at 1 pm it's a re-broadcast of the 2013/204 season-opening concert from the end of September, featuring Beethoven's awe-inspiring Ninth Symphony. With its universal message of freedom and brotherhood, the Ninth is the crowning achievement of Beethoven’s revolutionary works, its famous “Ode to Joy” serving as a message of hope for all mankind. Showcasing the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and conducted by Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, this performance launched a two-year cycle of all nine Beethoven symphonies.
The Choir will also appear in Beethoven’s rarely heard setting of Goethe’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, as well as the world premiere of the young American composer Nico Muhly’s newly orchestrated Bright Mass with Canons for chorus, orchestra, and featuring the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ.
During intermission, WRTI's Susan Lewis speaks with Yannick about the program, and the new season, and WRTI's Jim Cotter sits down with both tenor Christian Elsner and bass-baritone Shenyang, both of whom play very important roles in this concert.
Not to be missed! That's this Sunday, July 13 from 1 to 3 pm on WRTI.
The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a two-year cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, although known to generations of music lovers, these great works continue to provide insights into Western musical heritage.
This week's Center Stage from Wolf Trap features Beethoven's second string quartet followed by two works which bring a real Brazilian flavor to the broadcast - just in time for the World Cup! Bill McGlaughlin and Rich Kleinfeldt are your hosts on Sunday, June 15th at 4 PM.
Ludwig van Beethoven: - String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
Christoph von Dohnányi returns to the podium to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in a program of German masterpieces performed this past April at Verizon Hall, culminating in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, one of the most perfectly crafted works ever written!
Also on the program, Brahms’s Haydn Variations; which almost certainly gave Brahms the confidence to complete his long-awaited First Symphony. In it, Brahms transforms a simple, lilting melody into a tour-de-force for orchestra.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote his seventh symphony in the midst of Napoleon’s attempts to conquer Europe. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work, and its second movement in particular, is a tribute to freedom. Here, the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, performs: