Episode 35 – War
John continues his journey through the life of Beethoven by picking up the story in Vienna, a city being besieged by Napoleon; not that this stifled the composer’s creativity. John plays two of the small military marches Beethoven composed inspired by the events around him, along with the moving Piano Sonata he wrote to say farewell to his friend and patron, as Archduke Rudolph was forced to flee the city.
John also reveals the story behind one of Beethoven’s most famous pieces for piano, also composed around this time; his Piano Concerto No.5, the “Emperor”. John explains why it’s one of his most inventive pieces of writing, and how it has its own, sad, place in musical history.
Finally, John plays part of a Piano Trio that Beethoven composed for a friend - but which was a disaster when he first premiered it, owing to his worsening deafness, along with music Beethoven wrote for his literary hero.
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.