December 16

Happy Beethoven’s Birthday.

A man’s mind and heart could hold all this:


7 thoughts on “December 16

  1. I love to watch the musicians, and remember when I too moved with the music, and wonder if they earn enough money, and remember my final teacher who, though first chair trumpet for the San Francisco Symphony, on weeknights had to put up with teenaged brats like me.

    • Ah, my father had to put up with all those teenaged brats, carrying horn cases. Just for the record, you should know it seemed to delight him, in the aggregate, and it made life a lot pleasanter for me, growing up with it. Interesting people were always coming into the house.

  2. I like Hélène Grimaud too very much, a very sensitive artist capable of playing also the most difficult pieces.

    Let me then celebrate Beethoven – which of course I like very much – my own way. I agree with what Goethe (more or less) said when his friend Mendelssohn played before him Beethoven’s 5th symphony on the piano:

    “Gosh, it is wild it risks of making the whole house fall apart!”.

    And in fact the harmonious, classical-based music created until then fell to pieces when Beethoven arrived (he disliked Don Giovanni and Figaro as too graceful, too frivolous).

    After all the man had said, more or less: “Music is the highest revelation vis-à-vis any kind of wisdom, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for men to make them totally drunk with it.

    He kept his words lol.

  3. I had the rare pleasure of hearing three Beethoven cello/piano sonatas last weekend, played by the incomparable Colin Carr and his wonderful new pianist Thomas Sauer. The range of concept in those pieces is remarkable … really an astonishing marriage of philosophy and architecture.

    • I only recently listened to one of those with any attention, on the radio, and now can’t remember which it was or who recorded it. (I was in my chair with my book listening to the radio late, and drifted off after the music was over.) In the nachlass of my former husband — a CD collection which required $600 worth of the most basic storage furniture to put away — I am sure I have performances of them all.

      Holiday project.

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