Walking with Beethoven

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More than any other classical composer, Beethoven expanded the possibilities and scope of sonata form, which typically includes a slow second movement. He would designate the tempo of these movements with the term “adagio”, meaning slow. Alternatively the term “andante” was used.

On this episode of All Ears, Terrance McKnight gets into the spirit of Beethoven Awareness Month on WQXR by featuring some of the composer's notable andantes for piano and orchestra.

We also consider Beethoven's creative process. Every creative artist has a unique way of working. Mozart often composed in the back of a carriage. William Grant Still composed in a three-piece suit. And Beethoven composed at the piano while walking through the forests of Vienna.


Piano Sonata No. 15 in D “Pastoral”, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

Robert Taub, piano


Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5/1, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

Zuill Bailey, cello

Simone Dinnerstein, piano


Symphony No. 1 in C major, op. 21, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

Vienna Philharmonic

Leonard Bernstein


Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

London Symphony Orchestra

Bernard Haitink, conductor


Symphony No. 6, Op. 68, “Pastoral”, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

Zurich Tanhalle Orchestra

David Zinman, conductor


Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat, Op. 73, Andante

Ludwig van Beethoven

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Krystian Zimerman, piano


Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Minor, Op. 47, Kreutzer

Ludwig van Beethoven

Augustin Dumay, violin

Maria Joao Pires, piano


Improvisation on Beethoven'’s Pathetique Sonata, Second movement

Ted Rosenthal, piano