Dec 5, 2020 - 8 PM EST
Original broadcast date: December 5, 2020
Join us for a concert of all Beethoven, featuring our esteemed Artist in Residence, James Ehnes.
Beethoven’s landmark Violin Concerto in D, his singular piece in the genre, was a turning point for the concerto. The first “Romantic” concerto, it pushed the limits of the form, in length, complexity and structure. The first of three movements opens with five soft, even beats on the timpani that remain discernible throughout. The concerto then floats into the second movement, a serene, pensive, unhurried passage of leisurely melody. Finally, sharp orchestral chords rise without pause, leading into the lively Finale. This piece overwhelmingly demonstrates that Beethoven was not beholden to convention and his dalliance with the genre showed the way for generations of composers to come.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 exudes a cheerful exuberance of celestial proportion. Composed at the same time as the celebrated “Immortal Beloved” letters of 1812, the mysterious 10-page note was penned by the lovelorn composer over the course of two days. Found only after his death, its addressee remains unknown and hotly debated to this day.
Like the letters, this symphony exudes tremendous joy and happiness, tempered by a glimpse into brooding sadness and pain. Experience the thrill of this “dance-like” symphony, and revel in the indomitable spirit and brilliance of Beethoven.