Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Belated Happy Birthday To The Master

On Dec. 16, 1770, one of the giants in classical music, Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany.  So, Tales wishes the grand master a belated 245th birthday.

Happy Birthday L.V. Beethoven [Dec. 16, 1770 - March 26, 1827]
Beethoven, a virtuoso pianist and powerful composer is right at the top of my favorite composers.  His early years were in the late Classical era of music and as he got older he was one of the first Romantic era composers.  His music has many examples reflecting both of those two great periods of "classical music."  As Bach's sons reflected a transition from the Baroque Era to Classical Era of music, Beethoven was instrumental in making the transition from the Classical Era to the Romantic Era very smooth.  

From Wikipedia"At the age of 21 he moved to Vienna, Austria, where he began studying composition with Franz Joseph Haydn [great classical music composer], and gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his 30s his hearing began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost totally deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his life."

Here is a clip from one of my favorite movies, Immortal Beloved, on Beethoven, that I recommend to all of you who haven't seen this movie to obtain the video:

Next is a piano concerto from Beethoven in the classical era style, the final movement rondo allegro of his piano concerto #3, with the great virtuoso pianist Mitsuko Uchida as soloist. 

L.V. Beethoven: Piano Concerto #3 in C-minor, movement 3, rondo-Allegro:

Now an example of Beethoven's transition to the Romantic Era of music is revealed in his piano concerto #5, "The Emperor." 

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:

I think I am right in saying that many if not most classical musicologists consider Beethoven's 9th Symphony, his chorale "Ode to Joy" as the greatest symphony ever composed.  While, I of course, get goose bumps when hearing in person his epic 9th symphony, I still count as my favorite his well known 5th symphony.  The finale of that symphony contains one of the most stirring triumphant climaxes ever, in my opinion.  Listen to this greatness from the master with the late legendary Maestro Leonard Bernstein conduction Berlin Philharmonic.

Note: the first few measures contain the bridge from the 3rd to the 4th movement as there is no break between the 3rd and the final movement.

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

Happy Birthday, Ludwig!


Bedfordguy said...

Big Mike, I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, listening to the great Beethovan. Thank you, sir. Often the 9th symphony is performed together with Schoenberg's "Survivor from Warsaw". I would love your take on that piece. I have had the pleasure of being in the chorus for both pieces more than once. Thank you for this important diversion from politics. Bedfordguy.

Big Mike said...

Wow Wow how awesome is that for you! Both of those pieces give you goose bumps and you just sit there in awe feeling you have just been touched by God. It is an experience like none other at the concert hall. Thanks so much for sharing big Harry-would I love to be there when you are in the chorus.

Bedfordguy said...

It'seems hard in "Survivor" to sing the shema without my hair standing on end.

Big Mike said...

I understand the emotion and meaning so much big Harry. I am sure all Jews in attendance have tears in their eyes at that moment. What an honor you have been able to do that.

A little story- my Dad who had lymphoma cancer and was near the end at the hospital with the family and his rabbi-His eyes were closed and for hours and hours he didn't speak a word-it was like he was not conscious. But when my Mom told the rabbi the Shema was his favorite prayer and as the Rabbi begin to chant the Shema-my Dad, with his eyes still closed, sang the whole Shema in Hebrew. Wow! That is a moment our family will never forget as we knew God was with us. Thanks big Harry.

bradley said...

Mike, that reflection is EXACTLY what happened, it was like a miracle from God, our dear pop wanted to give us one more life lasting memory, and boy he did--- thx so much for sharing with your tribbles.

Bro Brad

Big Mike said...

Thanks bro. Love, you.