Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the most prolific and celebrated composers of the Classical and Romantic eras. We are collecting music, coverage and news about Beethoven from around Classical MPR and our affiliated programs. Have a look (and listen) and enjoy.
Beethoven's Life and Work
Stories about Beethoven, and the music he created.
On Beethoven's Birthday, The Three Periods It was not long after Beethoven's death that people began to talk about "three periods" in his music. Despite the obvious simplifications involved, this division continues to be used and discussed today.December 16, 2013
Writing thriller novels with Beethoven Best-selling author Jeffery Deaver whose latest book, The Kill Room, is the next in the series featuring forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme finds story structure in symphonic music.August 5, 2013
New Classical Tracks: Piano Variations According to Emanuel Ax, writing variations on a theme is a way for composers to show off what they can do. On his new disc, he lets us hear how Haydn, Beethoven, and Robert Schumann flex their muscles.January 29, 2013
New Classical Tracks - Beethoven for All This summer Daniel Barenboim has been conducting his first Beethoven symphony cycle in London. He's the first conductor since Henry Wood in 1942 to direct all nine symphonies in a single BBC Proms season. That orchestra has also recorded the nine symphonies, which have just been released as a box set.July 24, 2012
Morning Glories - Barenboim's Beethoven All this week, our 10 a.m. morning glories will come from a brand-new box set of the complete Beethoven symphonies by Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. All of this comes as the Orchestra is performing the Beethoven symphonies at the Proms (available on the Proms stream.July 23, 2012
Learning to Listen: The Minuet Our Learning to Listen series takes a closer look at classical music, aiming to help you understand what you're hearing on Classical MPR. This lesson is about the minuet.June 29, 2012
Blogging the Beethoven Bicentennial Collection: Symphonies 3 & 4
I imagine my dad, in his Minneapolis apartment in the early 70s, listening to Beethoven and reading the paper in his squared glasses and white turtleneck. Flash back a decade, to Karajan coaxing what Harvey Sachs called his "calculatedly voluptuous" sound from his players as he created a recording that he had every reason to think would be regarded as definitive by a generation of his peers.
Blogging the Beethoven Bicentennial Collection: Symphonies 1 & 2
Since before the term "bucket list" was a thing, it's been on my bucket list to listen to the entirety of the Beethoven Bicentennial Collection. With Beethoven's sestercentennial coming up in six years, I figure that if I start now, I can proceed at a nice leisurely pace and still wrap up right around his 250th birthday on December 16, 2020.
The Short Version: Self Assessment
Any prolific composer could surprise us with how they rank their own works. Perhaps it's as simple and as compelling as "What have I done lately?" This 19th century Titan might have dismissed one of our favorites with, "That's so 1808."
Seven More Days Until Beethoven's Birthday (More or Less)
A week from today (December 16) is Beethoven's birthday. As pointed out by Lucy in this classic strip, we don't really know this. What we do know is that Beethoven was baptized on the 17th of December, and Catholic children were traditionally baptized on the day following birth.
The King's Speech and Beethoven
Having finally seen "The King's Speech" over the weekend, I was all fired up to write a marvelous blog about how the film smartly uses the music of Beethoven (Mozart too!) to fully enhance the drama. Alas, it seems David...
Low Cal Beethoven
It was common practice in Beethoven's day to arrange large scale works for smaller forces. After all, getting to the concert hall wasn't always possible, so this allowed amateur musicians to experience great music right in their homes. Beethoven's assistant,...
Here's Your Moment of Beethoven
Recently, a colleague of mine stopped me in the hall to ask about a certain piece of classical music that had grabbed his attention. And a little later, another colleague stopped me in the hall, with a similar question. They...
Mixed Reviews for Beethoven on Broadway
Back in November I posted a note about 33 Variations, a play about a musicologist trying to unravel one last Beethoven mystery before she dies. Well, the play has opened, and the reviews suggest the show has a lot of...
Schiff on Beethoven, Again
Andras Schiff has been spending a lot of time with Beethoven in recent years, playing all 32 piano sonatas in a series of 8 recitals in London, New York and Los Angeles (and maybe other cities, too?). He's gotten reviews...
Beethoven on Broadway
Publisher Anton Diabelli wrote a short waltz and sent it to 50 composers, asking each of them to write a variation on it. Beethoven turned him down--but then ultimately wrote 33 variations on it. Why? That's the question at the...
Written by Bach .... Mrs. Bach, That Is
What if some of J. S. Bach's best loved pieces were actually composed by his wife? That's the conclusion that an Australian music scholar has reached. Is it a logical conclusion, far-fetched, or somewhere in between? Judge for yourself and...
Andras Schiff on Beethoven
I mentioned this on the air this morning, so I thought I'd post a link, too. Pianist Andras Schiff has been playing all of the Beethoven sonatas in a series of eight recitals. A couple of years ago, when he...
Beethoven + Minnesota Orchestra + Osmo Vanska = Perfect 10
Happy news in the New Year for the Minnesota Orchestra. Not long after receiving a Grammy nomination for their recording of Beethoven's Ninth, their new CD of Beethoven's First and Sixth Symphonies gets a perfect 10 rating from critic David...
Beethoven Gets Even
Just in case you missed it on All Things Considered: Music critic Tom Manoff taking notice that the most famous Beethoven symphonies have the odd numbers (Beethoven's Fifth, Beethoven's Ninth..), and the "neglected" ones, the even. Actually, in the case...
Beethoven, Klemperer and Mendelssohn
So, the Minnesota Orchestra kicked off their "Beethoven's Back" promotion today with The Big Guy himself handing out coffee, newspapers and downloads in front of Orchestra Hall this morning, and it reminded me of a story about Beethoven's Fifth Symphony...
On the Air This Week
Highlights from July 22 to 29 Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: veterinarian Kate An Hunter. Tuesday, 7 pm: Carnegie Hall Live: The National Youth Orchestra. Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: David Finckel and Wu Han play Debussy, from...