All Ears on Beethoven

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

With WQXR's Beethoven Awareness Month underway, Terrance McKnight takes this week to reflect on the composer's life, work, and his lasting influence on the worlds of jazz, pop, big band and even disco.

Today he's known as one of the greatest composers in history, but Beethoven was actually known as a brilliant pianist in his day. As a performer, one of his favorite works to play was his charming Andante for Piano ('Andante Favori') in F, we hear it performed by, Claudio Arrau.

A favorite of many, Beethoven's Für Elise, Bagatelle in A Minor has been heard in concert halls, movie theaters, and even popularized on television by no other than Schroeder on Charlie Brown. We hear a performance by pianist John O'Conor, and later the Brian Setzer Orchestra moves and grooves with a Fur Elise adaptation entitled "For Lisa."

Speaking of adaptations, in the almost 200 years since his death, Beethoven's music has been transcribed by countless artists, including celebrated pianist Franz Liszt, to crossover artists such Jacques Loussier and the Klazz Brothers, among others. We hear Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 performed by the Jacques Loussier Trio.
Rounding out the show is Walter Murphy's funky rendition of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 entitled A Fifth of Beethoven.
Weigh in: What are some of your most beloved Beethoven compositions?
Andante for Piano ('Andante Favori') in F, WOO 57
Ludwig van Beethoven
Claudio Arrau, piano


Cornell West / Terence Blanchard
Concord Jazz

Fur Elise, WoO 59
Ludwig van Beethoven
John O'Conor, piano

For Lisa (An Adaptation of Beethoven's "Fur Elise")
Ludwig van Beethoven
Brian Setzer Orchestra

Rondino on a Theme by Beethoven
Fritz Kreisler
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
Janos Rolla, conductor
Isaac Stern, violin

Improvisation on Beethoven's "Pathetique" sonata, 2md movement
Ted Rosenthal
Ted Rosenthal, piano
Playscape Recordings

Beethoven Riffs On
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Biggest Little Band In The World
John Kirby Sextet

Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven, Op. 86

Max Reger
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Neeme Jarvi, conductor

Diabelli Variations: Theme

Uri Caine, after Beethoven
Concerto Koln
Uri Caine, fortepiano
Winter & Winter

"Diabelli-Variations" in C, Op. 120

Ludwig van Beethoven
Maria Yudina, piano

Comments [5]


Just stumble into this great Beethoven short bio:

Nov. 15 2011 12:12 PM
Appellate Squawk from New York, NY

Terence obviously knows and loves jazz and should have a straight jazz program without having to call it classical or experimental music.

Nov. 07 2011 08:21 PM

I'm sorry to say I think I have to agree with you, bassangel. (The treatment of the 7th I'm hearing right now makes me remember, unhappily, Ferrante and Teicher. borders at times perilously on something

And, yet again, no discoverable playlist for Terrance McKnight's show. We never seem to get an answer as to why this one show in the rotation seems not to supply a playlist. For a while, it could be found on Terrance's show page. But that stopped months ago. And it's peculiar that it's not integrated, as are every other host's selections, into the Mighty Q2 Music's superb playlist. This is a weekly frustration and one that seems to have our friends at WQXR and Q2 stymied, alas.

Nov. 06 2011 04:51 PM

Re: The tasteless jazz improvisations on Beethoven themes-Sat. night. Really, in the highly competitive jazz world, can no one pay homage to Beethoven in a new way? For the most part, these were a joke. Please, Qxr, you can do better than this.

Nov. 06 2011 01:41 PM

Hmmm, wtf at this silly comment form. I wonder if it allows links.

Some Test...

Nov. 05 2011 01:51 PM

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