Friday, 3 February 2012

Beethoven and me...

So i after looking online yesterday to see what there is to do in this wonderful city, that city being Melbourne. I spotted that the Brunswick Beethoven festival is on, the first performance was to be Anthony Halliday
1, Variations on the Ruin of Athens Op. 76

What is interesting is he wrote this piece in the style of Turkish music, sort or exotic, you can imagine a parade of Elephants, giraffes on the street, carnival coming to town? Pretty out there stuff for the time he lived in

2, Sonata op. 31 no. 2 'Tempest'
Largo - allegro

Shakespeare and Beethoven? 

I'm not the jealous type, i swear i'm not, but Beethoven was a huge fan of Shakespeare, i'm a fan of  Shakespeare in the park, with plenty of wine and snacks.

What is interesting about Beethoven's the Tempest, is you need to read Shakespeare and his Tempest to understand what it's about, well that's according to a student of Beethoven.

This student had had a record for telling little 'white lies', but Beethoven was a huge Shakespeare fan after they were translated into German of course, so the Tempest story could be true

Beethoven's favourite Shakespeare play was "The Merchant of Venice". Beethoven also read Hamlet, The Tempest, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, All's Well That Ends Well and The Winter's Tale and he died before he had the chance to see Romeo and Juliet

Sonata op. 31 no. 2 'Tempest'

3, Sonatta op. 111
Maestoso - allegro con brio ed appassionato
Arietta, adagio molto smplice e cantabil
Last but not least, one of the most amazing things i have ever heard, now Anthony Halliday described how Beethoven wrote this piece while he was ENTIRELY deaf, he couldn't even hear the dinner bell or his iphone ringing off, how did he ever survive?

He must of drove his neighbour down stairs absolutely mad, his neighbour was constantly banging on his ceiling. He could drive me mad any time he liked, in fact sometimes i feel like i'm on Auto pilot, take me to crazy town Beethoven! And i would go too!

Part 1

Now, Anthony described a part of it where it felt like 'stars falling' i would have said explosions then glittery confetti and glitter falling and how he created new effects for this piece that had never been done before.

Once i heard the piece he was referring to i thought
Bang on the money, that's it! 
And he should know, he was playing it after all and the piece reminded me of a scene from  Emile Zolas book 'Doctor Pascal', the last book in the Rougon-Macquart series

The scene i'm thinking about is where the grandmother that has  a type of locked in syndrome from a stroke and she watched her grandson go into convulsions and she then realises that he is dying and she dies herself watching it all happen, when the family in the next room come back, both grand mother and grandson are dead.

Part 2

A scene like that from a Emile Zola might not seem worth relating here, but for me it was one of the best things i have ever read, in fact, i read the book again just to get that scene in it's entirety, it was unbelievable.

One of the things Anthony said was
'If composers could say what they wanted to say with words, they wouldn't use music'
One wonders if Emile Zola aspired to play music? I think he should of.

Part 3

A few weeks ago i watched a movie called 'A room with a view' 

Here are some Beethoven related excerpts:
Lucy Honeychurch: Mother doesn't like me playing Beethoven. She says I'm always peevish afterwards.
Revered Beebe: I can see how one might be... stirred up.

Whatever's the matter with dear Miss Lucy?
I put it down to too much Beethoven.
I heard her beautiful playing.
I have a pet theory about Miss Honeychurch.
Is it not odd that she should play Beethoven
with such passion and live so quietly?
I suspect that one day... and life will mingle. 
Mind you marry her next January.
Her music, the style of her...
how she kept to Schubert when,
like an idiot, I wanted Beethoven.
Schubert was right for this evening. 

A scene from the movie 'A room with a view'

 Those that don't hear the music think the dance is crazy, god bless you Beethoven, where ever you are!

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