Sprouts, Complexity, and Transcendence

Pianist-Composer Michael Brown Guest-Hosts Hammered!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Beethoven’s influence cannot be measured.  This week on Hammered! we’re featuring his impact on different musical forms, the revolutionary spirit in music, and his transcendent late works.

Bagatelles—Monday, November 26 explores the evolution of the bagatelle, a short lighthearted piece typically written for the piano. We begin with the delightful and underappreciated Seven Bagatelles, Op. 33 by Beethoven, followed by Bartok’s unique 14 Bagatelles, Op. 6, and then the great American composer-theorist George Perle’s witty Nine Bagatelles (composed in 1999).

Inspirations—Tuesday, November 27 takes a look at works inspired by Beethoven symphonies including Ives’s "The Alcotts" from the Concord Sonata (which quotes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony) and Corigliano’s Fantasia on an Ostinato (quoting Beethoven’s Seventh).

Variations—Wednesday, November 28 presents Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor alongside more recent takes on the form—with variations by Copland, Webern, Berio, and selections from Frederic Rzewski’s monumental The People United Will Never Be Defeated!. 

Groundbreaking Audacity—Thursday, November 29 explores pioneering and daring works by the late Milton Babbitt (his Reflections for piano and synthesized tape), Mario Davidovsky (Synchronisms No. 6 for piano and tape), John Cage (Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano), Samuel Adler (Canto VIII), Crumb (Music for a Summer Evening), and Beethoven (the fourth movement of the "Hammerklavier" Sonata, Op. 106).

Late Works—Friday, November 30

On this last day of Beethoven Awareness Month we explore composer’s “late works.” We hear Liszt’s spiritual Les jeux d'eaux a la Villa d'Este, Elliot Carter’s strikingly virtuosic Two Thoughts About The Piano (2006), Beethoven’s transcendent Sonata in A-flat, Op. 110, and Leonard Bernstein’s hauntingly beautiful Thirteen Anniversaries.

Hosted by:

Michael Brown

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

THERE'S A LOT OF LOVE FOR BEETHOVEN, even if we do not include his MOONLIGHT SONATA. GREAT recorded performances of Beethoven's symphonies are so numerous that they include performances by maestri Walter, Munch, Weingarten, Toscanini, Beecham, Bodansky, Szell, Bernstein, Solti, and Ormandy. Beethoven was creating masterpieces with colleagues such as Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, von Weber, and Wagner. Beethoven's symphonies, opera, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, overtures, tone poems bagatelles, chamber music generally ,and song literature, is so pervasive and his world consciousness and basic humanity construct an icon unparalleled to and past his own era. At Juilliard, I studied his oeuvre and , in those days, all singers learned the concert rep of Beethoven , Schubert , Schumann, Wolf and Grieg, whether they would be opera singers or concert singers . So much of our treasured masterpieces, vocal and instrumental, are unknown quantities to most Americans. THANK YOU WQXR FOR CELEBRATING BEETHOVEN !!! Beethoven's symphonies are the ABCs of most essential single composers' oeuvre of the symphonic literature. Wagner and his contemporaries and their successors all recognized the epic achievement of Beethoven. I am a romantischer Wagnerian heldentenor and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute at 418A Main Street, Boonton, NJ . I have sung four solo concerts in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall. As part of my Ten Language Solo Debut concert at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, I sang the Gott ! welch dunkel hier ! aria of Fidelio. it can be heard from the live performance on my three websites, www.WagnerOpera.com, , www.ShakespeareOpera.com, and www.RichardWagnerMusicDramaInstitute.com. It received rave critical notices in newspapers and magazines. The Beethoven violin concerto is celebrated by its ardent interpreters Heifetz, Menuhin, Perlman, Milstein, Fuchs, Stern, Zuckerman, Elman, Francescatti, Oistrakh, Ricci, Sarasate and Paganini. Great Beethoven interpreters at the piano include Horowitz, Rubinstein, Bolet, Moisevitch, Barere, Cortot, Gieseking, Brailovsky, Schnabel, Rachmaninoff, Robert and Jean Casadesus, Barenboim and Paderevski. Among the greatest singers famous for their Beethoven performances in opera and concert my voice teachers Kipnis, Schorr, Singher, Brownlee, Branzell and Matzenauer. Other famous singers with extensive Beethoven "rep" were Flagstad, Roswaenge, Schlusnus, Matti Battistini, Patzak, Birgit Nilsson, Huesch, Janssen, Frick, Bampton, Svanholm, Windgassen, Neidlinger, Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig, Berry, Gwyneth Jones, Varnay, Lawrence, Raisa, Hoffmann, Hines, Greindl, Plishka, Vickers, Harshaw, Steber Jessner, Maison, Vinay, Ernster, Frantz, Jean and Eduard de Reszke, Resnik, Thebom, Austral, Rysanek, London, Destinn, Leider, Farrell, Madeira, List, Ljungberg, Rethberg, Lehmann, Traubel, Kollo, Schoeffler and Ludwig Weber.

Nov. 30 2012 05:28 PM

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