Roundup: A Lot of Love for Ludwig Van

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For a second year in a row, WQXR invited listeners to “Obeythoven,” the unofficial slogan of Beethoven Awareness Month.

Through live broadcasts, Sunday marathons, astute history lessons, lots and lots of music and, of course, those posters (pictured), there was a lot of love for ol’ Ludwig van this month.

Things, though, did get off to a difficult start. The power was still out in the office when WQXR launched its second installment of Beethoven Awareness Month on Nov. 1. The power was out but the music never went off the air.

Throughout Superstorm Sandy, listeners sent WQXR messages on Twitter and Facebook that music was helping them stay sane during the storm and the “Hurricane be damned! More Beethoven."

On the first day of Beethoven Awareness Month, WQXR General Manager and Vice President Graham Parker wrote: “As this week continued in the wake of the Superstorm, we didn’t think for a moment of cancelling our plans for our celebration of Beethoven's music, life and power. He didn’t shrink from a challenge and neither did he shrink from conceiving the most spectacular sounds, rhythms and melodies. If it worked for him, it works for us and we really hope it works for you.”

It seems to have worked.

A highlight of this year’s Beethoven Awareness Month were the Sunday music marathons, including a 10-hour string quartet marathon performed live from the Greene Space. Also in the Greene Space, Q2 Music hosted Beethoven Remixed, which featured the Brooklyn Rider string quartet performing with DJ Spooky.

For the second year, the Carnegie Hall Live series played a part in Beethoven Awareness Month. WQXR broadcast the first concert in Carnegie's Zankel Hall following Superstorm Sandy. Carnegie had been closed after the storm damaged a nearby construction crane and forced the closure of West 57th Street. That broadcast featured the Belcea Quartet performing two of Beethoven's late string quartets. Later in the month came the live broadcast of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner, performing Beethoven. This year, along with the Monteverdi Choir, it was Beethoven's epic choral work Missa Solemnis.

Belcea Quartet plays Beethoven at Carnegie Hall:

Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique plays Beethoven at Carnegie Hall:

 

Throughout the month, WQXR offered up 25 essential Beethoven recordings, one presented each weekday, as well as insightful looks into Beethoven's life presented by Bill McGlaughlin.

And, once again, the posters were back on the streets of New York City, and popping up all over Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Obeythoven, indeed.

Visit the complete archive of Beethoven Awareness Month 2012 to see all the past month's events, articles and broadcasts.