Beethoven Played on Period Instruments

One of the biggest issues of this ossified study of hundred-some year old music is that our university students are being taught that Beethoven, for instance, is forever… or at least his music is.  We play them wonderful excerpts recorded on Steinway 9-footers of his Sonatae, and it never occurs to the young initiates that […]

On Beethoven’s Conducting

Among the violinists was the composer Ludwig Spohr (1784-1859), who was astounded by Beethoven’s conducting style, noting how he used “all manner of singular bodily movements. As a sforzando occurred, he tore his arms, previously crossed upon his breast, with great vehemence asunder. At piano he crouched down lower and lower to show the degree […]

Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 “Eroica” Analyzed

Beethoven‘s Third Symphony, “Eroica” has quite the interesting story behind it, and is often cited as a landmark composition which separated the Classical era to the Romantic.  It expanded tremendously on the symphonic form, and was many times longer than a comparable symphony by Mozart or Haydn.  The excellent San Francisco Symphony — at Keeping […]