Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happy 246th Birthday Ludwig!

On Dec. 16, 1770, one of the giants in classical music, the great composer and pianist, Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.  Historians are in some dispute on that date because while his birthday is celebrated on the 16th, it is said that he was baptized on Dec. 17.  This would be Ludwig's 246th birthday.

This giant in classical music, sometimes referred to as simply, "the master", was one of the main contributors in developing the transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic Era of music. That is why he is often mentioned in the lists of great composers in both eras. Beethoven is one of my favorite composers, and if I was forced to narrow it down to just one, Beethoven would be my choice as my favorite composer. 

L.V. Beethoven [1770-1827]
One of my favorite movies is Immortal Beloved, a story of the life of Beethoven set in an exciting dramatic style about the mysterious love of his life.  For anyone who hasn't seen that movie I would suggest getting a copy of it.  It is a great movie for not just fans of classical music but for fans of a love mystery.  And if you aren't big fans of classical music before the movie, you will be after you hear some awesome clips of beautiful melodic music by Beethoven.

Here is the trailer from Immortal Beloved:


Here is the stirring fourth [final] movement of Beethoven's classic dramatic 5th symphony.  This has one of the most exciting triumphant climaxes of any symphony ever composed. 

L.V. Beethoven: Symphony #5 in C minor, Movement 4, Allegro:


Many, if not most fans of classical music consider Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the choral symphony "Ode to Joy". the greatest symphony ever composed.  Here is the stirring, joyful final movement that, if you were in the concert hall to hear in person, just might give you goose bumps. Just remember as you are listening, Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed this symphony. 

L.V. Beethoven:  Symphony #9 in D minor, "Choral-Ode to Joy", movement 4, Recitative - Allegro:


One of the most beloved piano sonatas is Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, with its unique mesmerizing slow tempo first movement and exciting energetic final movement.

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Sonata #14 in C-Sharp minor, "Moonlight":


My favorite piano concerto is Beethoven's "Emperor", piano concerto #5 in E-Flat Major.  Here is the ultra beautiful adagio movement and exciting final movement from this epic concerto. 

Note: there is no break between the second and third movements - just a bridge.

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5 in E-Flat Major, "The Emperor", movements 2, Adagio un poco mosso, and 3, Rondo-Allegro ma non troppo:


One of my favorite violin sonatas is Beethoven's sonata #9, "Kreutzer".  The Kreutzer has three movements, 1. Adagio Sostenuto - Presto;  2. Andante con variazioni;  3. Presto.

Please turn up the volume, play full screen and enjoy this spectacular performance by Yuja Wang [piano] and Joshua Bell [violin]. 

L.V. Beethoven: Violin Sonata #9, "Kreutzer":



Happy Birthday Ludwig!


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