More Sketches of Beethoven

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Another set of extraordinary portraits of Beethoven by artist Jane Adams.

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Beethoven and ... Rostropovich?  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost.  I used to find it 'easier' to draw him than I do now! Beethoven and … Rostropovich? (circa 1972).  I found this forgotten early drawing from the 1970s, while searching for the two which I have lost. I used to find it ‘easier’ to draw him than I do now! I love listening to the Beethoven cello sonatas.

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Continuing this “Beethoven series” inspired by Elene’s researches :  this post includes some journaling over the weekend, and portraits of the master by others, and from my new sketches.

First: a detail from my “watershed” series of dreams during the 1970s:

September 1976 – from “Paris and the Hollow Way”
(Watershed Tales)

“Smelling the flowers which grow around the end of Boulevard Malesherbes, I see the bright food in the brasseries, the Gaulish striped canopies over smoked glass. Avenues which radiate from this place are planted tree-deep with bouquets gathered this morning from the tart grass; the dew is still upon them – the waters of a river…

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Muse (short fiction) by Nicola Belte

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White as china, she is, a new polished plate, ready to be broken. She ain’t more than ten-and-fifteen, made very tiny by the master’s heavy, black overcoat what’s thrown about her shoulders. I stand back as the door swings wide, the carriage crunching away over the gravel, her boots tipping and tapping on the step, not wanting in but not keen on staying out, neither. I’d tell her to bolt, to run screaming, but there ain’t no-one what can see me. Her skirts swoosh into the parlour, and there’s that rattle and clank of buckets, as the maids make ready her bath.

* * *

Maud’s her name. The morning sun has her propped up in her nest of feather quilts, her eyes bold and bright. There’s food on a tray aside the bed — poached eggs and bacon and sweet, milky tea. At first. As soon as the master starts his work they quick lose the stomach for it.

“Will it hurt?” she mutters to herself, shaping the burnt rind into the curl of a question. I think of her mother, weighting her empty heart and home to the velvet sack of shillings in her pocket. Think of a sweetheart, perhaps, seeing her face, for a while, in every passing flower-girl; her shape forming in each swirl of steam from the trains what growl across the arches. But they’ll forget.

“I daresay it will,” I whisper. I stare out over the spindly trees and the tall metal gates, run my fingers over the frost what’s gathered on the inside of the glass. I don’t feel nothing, and I’m glad for it.

* * *

“Consumption. To be consumed, to be eaten up, to have all that is superfluous burned away, in one glorious moment.” The master and his men talk in the parlour as I stand outside. I put my face to their long coats on the hat-stand, choke back the smell of January rain and the suffocating smog of the city. “A woman is most beautiful on the brink of death. It is capturing the apple at its ripest, before it starts to decay. There is beauty in death, and in death there is art.”

READ ON HERE:

http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/muse/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FlashFictionOnline+%28Flash+Fiction+Online%29

Beethoven  Hero: documentary film trilogy by Kerry Candaele

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Beethoven  Hero is a continuing exploration of the man, his music, and his extraordinary reach across time and space. The trilogy takes us on a journey through history and around the world, telling stories of the enduring power of Beethoven’s creations—of the ways they live within us and transcend the boundaries that separate us.

The legacy of Beethoven—in our personal lives and in the public conflicts, tragedies and occasional triumphs that define our times—is complex, and Beethoven | Hero explores this complexity. The first part of the trilogy,Following the Ninth (2013), followed the music to China, Chile, Germany and Japan. The second part, Love & Justice, takes us to Chile once more, using Beethoven’s Fidelio to explore the darkness of political repression and the way Chileans tried to sustain hope in the shadow of Pinochet. The third part, Last Will and Testament, will follow in the footsteps of Beethoven’s powerful Late Quartets.

While I do believe that Beethoven’s music somehow captures universal virtues—the courageous and passionate will to overcome all defeats, spiritual and physical—I am also open to the fact that I am living within the mythos of Beethoven the Hero. His image, both biographical and musical, continues to pull us toward the man and his creations. We puzzle over the man, and we embrace the music in an attempt, always incomplete, to understand who we are as humans, in pain, in love, in joy, in accents both spiritual and sensual at equal turns.

At a time when art and music are disappearing from school curricula, we are designing the Beethoven | Hero trilogy to be used in schools across the country to improve students’ understanding of the arts and of the historical contexts in which they are created and experienced. Beethoven | Hero tells the story of how art—emerging from the collision of history and flawed, brilliant humanity—outlives its creator to challenge, inspire and occasionally transform us.

http://www.beethovenhero.com/

The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – BBC Documentary 2016

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A great documentary which explores what inspired Beethoven to create the amazing 5th Symphony. What I especially love is the inclusion a visit to Bonn and Beethoven Haus, and conductor John Eliot Gardner’s period orchestra. Yes folks- the 5th in this documentary is played on period instruments! 

Why Pianos From Mozart’s Era Are Better Than Ours

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At a festival in Zichron Yaakov, pianist Malcolm Bilson will try to prove his contention that 300-year-old pianos can produce more faithful sounds than Steinways.

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Let’s say you’re a pianist, or a devoted fan of classical piano music. And let’s say that to your ears, Steinway pianos are the best in the field. Would you be satisfied exclusively with a Steinway? The American pianist and musicologist Malcolm Bilson, for one, talking about how to choose a piano, offers the example of the person in charge of tuning the collection of antique pianos at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where Bilson is a professor of music. That piano tuner, he explains in a talk that can be found online, also does a better job of tuning modern Steinways than someone who specializes only in modern Steinways. It’s like a mechanic who deals only with Mercedes cars and thus knows less in the aggregate than a mechanic who is familiar with many different cars.

In regard to Mozart’s “expressive instructions,” as Bilson terms them, the key point concerns groups of sounds that are meant to sound connected, like a single “singing” line, as opposed to those that are to be separated. An illuminating example is the opening phrase of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D Minor, K. 466. The composer’s direction to separate the first three connected notes from the next three can be executed nicely only on the fortepiano, Bilson notes and demonstrates. Whereas on the modern piano, the separation will sound clumsy, fragmented, “like a hiccup.”

Beethoven’s piano sonatas will also definitely benefit from being played on a period instrument, Bilson says in reply to another question. In the case of Beethoven, it’s crucial to choose the correct fortepiano, he points out, because there are vast differences between the first sonatas and the later ones (which were composed for very different fortepianos). Steinways or other contemporary pianos are not suitable for playing the sonatas, Bilson avers, one reason being that very brief powerful notes (sforzando), such as Beethoven calls for, cannot be effectively produced on modern pianos, on which the sound develops slowly.

Overall, Bilson says, there are more nuances of loudness in the fortepiano, though modern pianos are preferable in terms of color changes. However, what’s important in Mozart and Beethoven, he says, is not the changes of color but the 
articulations, as previously explained. “It is difficult to execute those changes on a modern piano,” he says.

read more:

http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/culture/.premium-1.697634