Episode 20 – At the Keyboard
John focuses on Beethoven’s music for the instrument that originally made his name; the piano. He discovers some rarities that demonstrate the great composer’s fondness for Britain, including variations on God Save the King and Rule Britannia, and tells the fascinating stories of the keyboard duels he was forced to take part in by his patron.
John will tell us about the opponents he sent packing, including one who described Beethoven as “small, dark and obstinate-looking”, and another who stormed out of the concert hall having been soundly beaten, never to appear in Vienna again. That latter duel earned its place in musical history, as it inspired Beethoven to come up with a theme that he would return to again and again, ultimately reaching its zenith in his Symphony No.3, the Eroica.
All the Beethoven pieces featured in this podcast are taken from the 90-disc Naxos box set, the Complete Beethoven Edition. You can buy yours by heading to Presto Classical and Europadisc.