A Matter of Style: Which Beethoven Period Do You Want to Hear?

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

For this final Showdown of Beethoven Awareness Month, we looked at the three stylistic periods of Beethoven’s career.

We asked you if you wanted to hear early, middle or late Beethoven? By just four votes, you chose his middle period. At noon, we played Vladimir Ashkenazy performing Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein" 


Comments [21]

Cathy from California

I agree with Richard from River Vale and would like to add Mendelssohn and Dvorak as contenders for a month of awareness.

Nov. 29 2012 12:00 AM
Daniel Freeman from Manhattan

I don't think the "late period" is being fairly represented by the Grosse Fuge alone without the entire quartet of which it was originally part of. We know that Beethoven created an alternate version with a different and less musically radical finale because of the outcry about the radical qualities of the Grosse Fuge. By itself the Grosse Fuge refects only one aspect of the late Beethoven and that, at its most extreme.

(note that the facts stated in the forgoing are "off the top of my head" and have not been check with reference to any written authoritative commentary or history).

Nov. 28 2012 12:00 PM
Richard levine from River Vale, NJ

Beethoven month was fabulous. How about a month of Schubert or Brahms? The Romantic Period is the greatest music of all time.

Nov. 28 2012 11:58 AM
Derek D. Cocovinis from West Orange, NJ 07052

I absolutely loved last night's on air recording, as well as anecdotal material, of Beethoven's final violin Concerto. I need more information on that piece, catalog number and to whom again it was dedicated. Looking forward to more Beethoven music and information through the week, including in the Lunch Hour today!!

Nov. 28 2012 11:52 AM
Beverly schpoont from Northport,n.y.

Keep Beethoven coming. At least every other month.)

Nov. 28 2012 11:52 AM
david laufer from car

thoroughly enjoyed this Beethoven month

Nov. 28 2012 11:52 AM
Elizabeth Wissner-Gross from Great Neck, NY

Thanks so much for providing this listening opportunity! Your listeners appreciate it.

Nov. 28 2012 11:49 AM

I'd love to hear the Grosse Fugue. Thanks.

Nov. 28 2012 11:48 AM
John from Hoboken

While all periods of the maestro bear endless listening, the late period is where he pushed the envelope furthest. I recall listening to this in music school and agreeing with my friends that it presaged 12-tone music by several hundred years. Appropriate that it's played by the Berg quartet as well.

Nov. 28 2012 11:47 AM
Raymond Banacki from Brooklyn, New York

Please, the Middle Period, the Piano Sonata, Ashkenazy and Beethoven, who could resist such a combination?

Nov. 28 2012 11:25 AM
Scott from Brooklyn

Oh please, the Grosse Fugue. Beethoven's late period, especially the genius of his chamber music, can never be played enough for me. And what a great way to close out Beethoven Awareness Month - with a great valadictory work.

Nov. 28 2012 11:19 AM

The Waldstein is great, no question about it - but it sounds positively ordinary next to pretty much anything from the late period. There's never been anything before or since that really compares to late Beethoven.

Nov. 28 2012 11:15 AM
evie from Manhattan

Can we please make it Beethoven Awarness YEAR???? :)

Nov. 28 2012 11:12 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

My question to WQXR is: Which composer will be next to have an Awareness Month? (How about Bruckner?)

Nov. 28 2012 10:42 AM
Rae Barlow from nyc

The Waldstein Sonata is a favorite of mine as is Mr. Ashenazy.

Nov. 28 2012 10:28 AM
Wally from Manhattan

I prefer Bach to Beethoven and I've never heard
Beethoven's Grosse Fugue so I'm interested in hearing it.

Nov. 28 2012 10:02 AM
Julia de Bary from Verona, NJ

How to choose from these 3 fantastic works...?..
by the way....great idea "Beethoven awareness month"..
Thank you for the great music!

Nov. 28 2012 09:49 AM

I chose the Fuge because I'm an organist and I'm very much aware of J S Bach's Fugues. I have not heard (I don't think) this fuge of Beethoven, therefore I chose it and will be listening to hear what Beethoven does with a fuge. I am aware that Beethoven was very aware of Bach as were
his contemporaries.

Nov. 28 2012 09:47 AM

no comment

Nov. 28 2012 07:52 AM
Tim from Washington DC

Those are all great recordings of some of the best music ever written - how to choose between them? After all the Thanksgiving feasting the other day, which of the three kinds of pie did you choose, for your second helping? As happened with the deserts, today I overindulged and voted twice - for the Waldstein and the Grosse Fugue. Happy holidays everybody!

Nov. 28 2012 06:35 AM
Rev Leslie M. Celadhan, IFM from Huntington, Long Island

This is so much FUN!!

Nov. 28 2012 12:24 AM

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