Episode 34 – Rewriting the Rules
In this episode, John explores the many ways in which Beethoven rewrote the musical rulebook, from famous openings to terrifying solos.
John explains what impact the opening chords of his ‘Eroica’ Symphony would have had on the original audience, and why the soloist is the one setting the pace for the very first time, in his Piano Concerto No.4.
John also reveals which Beethoven moments can dramatically increase the heart rates of even the finest musicians, including the very beginning of his ‘Emperor’ Piano Concerto, the Violin Romance that demands the soloist plays across two strings at once - knows as “double-stopping - and the Mount Everest for violinists; the piece that requires “double-double stopping”.
Finally, he explores Beethoven’s apparent obsession with the timpani, demonstrated in his so-called “Piano Concerto No.6” - in reality, an arrangement he made of his Violin Concerto for piano - and how he ensured that the timpani shines in one of his most famous creations; Symphony No.9, the ‘Choral’.
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.