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  1. #1

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    Oh, wow, I'm on a big Beethoven kick just now, kickstarted by a three-part BBC series on his life and major works. Arguably (and people do argue!) the most revolutionary composer ever. But we are only now beginning to hear how LOUD and energetic his music seemed to listeners during his lifetime. Here's the Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, in a totally committed performance, great camera work too. This orchestra specialises in original instruments from Beethoven's time, gut strings, period-correct brass and woodwind, etc. Now, when the Early Music movement started, I'd be the first to admit that many of the performance might have been "correct" in instrumentation and technique, but they often lacked authority, a real command over the instruments and music. Not so with this orchestra! These musicians give it everything!

    Enjoy...headphones on full volume!


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  3. #2

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    Listening to the Canadian pianist Jane Coop's recordings of Beethoven's solo piano works first introduced me to just how fierce Beethoven can sound. Just how much bloody-minded repetition and restatement and barbarism there is in there.
    Skylark Catalogue
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    Both albums are on Spotify I would imagine

  4. #3

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    haha

    cheers

  5. #4

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    We've been listening a lot to the late string quartets. Our 10-year old daughter just took up violin, so we're striving to include as much violinnery in the around the house playlist as we can...

    PK

  6. #5

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    This is one of the more rhythmical interesting things he wrote, the last movement of op 27 no 1 (op 27 no 2 is the Moonlight Sonata)



    Then there is this famous bit using the Lydian mode



    and the grossest many grosse fugues he wrote


  7. #6

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    ELO
    Roll over Beethoven, Jeff Lynn, Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt (Bass)
    Those were the days !! Neotomic

  8. #7

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    Gardiner does a great job here. It is amazing how many times you can hear something, and then hear it again and it sounds almost completely new, or at least you discover new layers of depth to it.

    There are so many great Beethoven recordings over the years...von Karajan (I have the boxed set of symphonies) and Bernstein...I love the late string quartets, but as my friend Bill said "These are not for beginners, these are for experts." He meant classical music listeners.

    I remember when the Hogwood Mozart and Vivaldi recordings came out. They were real eye-openers (or ear-openers), especially since the more modern orchestras (and playing styles) had really changed the character of the music, and the "original instrument movement" went back to the basics.

  9. #8

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    It's all good, because the music is good. Hard to go wrong. But some do it better. I used to listen to Karajan, Toscanini, Bernstein, et al, and loved something about every one of their interpretations. But this Eliot Gardner Orchestra Revolutionairre et Romantique really get it all right for me: alive, earthy, dangerous, much like the composer himself. I've just bought the 2020 edition of the Gardiner Complete Beethoven box set, with all nine symphonies and other things. It should arrive tomorrow.

    I am seeking out a version of the late quartets I can live with over many years.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    I I've just bought the 2020 edition of the Gardiner Complete Beethoven box set, with all nine symphonies and other things. It should arrive tomorrow.
    nice rob! that oughta wake up the neighbors!! haha

    enjoy my friend

    cheers

  11. #10

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    Thanks for posting this, Rob. I'll have to track down that BBC series.

    I started out at university as a classical composition major many moons ago, and although I got really drawn into the early 20th century stuff, I always considered Beethoven to be the absolute peak of genius -- especially his solo piano works and late quartets.

    By the way, I was recently inspired by you to attempt a revival of some of my old classical guitar repertoire using a no-nails technique. I haven't gone full-on gut yet, but I've tuned down and have some Aquila Ambra's incoming. Fingers crossed! Literally!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    It's all good, because the music is good. Hard to go wrong. But some do it better. I used to listen to Karajan, Toscanini, Bernstein, et al, and loved something about every one of their interpretations. But this Eliot Gardner Orchestra Revolutionairre et Romantique really get it all right for me: alive, earthy, dangerous, much like the composer himself. I've just bought the 2020 edition of the Gardiner Complete Beethoven box set, with all nine symphonies and other things. It should arrive tomorrow.

    I am seeking out a version of the late quartets I can live with over many years.
    Are you familiar w/ the Takacs Qt?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu

    By the way, I was recently inspired by you to attempt a revival of some of my old classical guitar repertoire using a no-nails technique. I haven't gone full-on gut yet, but I've tuned down and have some Aquila Ambra's incoming. Fingers crossed! Literally!
    Ah, guts are the way to go, Jehu. Gut and flesh just sounds better on the page and in the air compared to nylon and nail. Aquila have created a new gut string this last couple of months, only available from their website for the Gut and Silk set. Expensive, but I've had my beta-test set on since January, tuned all the way to 440, without breakage. But the Ambra's are a good start, so I hope you like them. It took me a couple of years (some 30 years ago) to be convinced I'd made the right decision, and have never since looked back. Have fun!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    Are you familiar w/ the Takacs Qt?
    Yes, indeed, and it's probably a toss between them and the Quatuor Mosaiques, who take a more period-instrument approach. I'll probably eventually end up with both! The Alban Berg Quartet are also worth the admission, but in a very different way.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Aquila have created a new gut string this last couple of months, only available from their website for the Gut and Silk set. Expensive, but I've had my beta-test set on since January, tuned all the way to 440, without breakage.
    That's interesting, I didn't see those on their site. Which ones are they? (Sorry for the derail!)

  16. #15

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    No problem. These are they:

    Gut & Silk 900 | Aquila Corde Armoniche

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    No problem. These are they:

    Gut & Silk 900 | Aquila Corde Armoniche

    amazing ...and we worry about best way to string round core thomastik jazz swings! hah



    cheers

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    No problem. These are they:

    Gut & Silk 900 | Aquila Corde Armoniche
    Thanks, Rob. Maybe I'll check those out when it comes time for my next string order. But I'll have to save my pennies... Ay caramba!

  19. #18

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    at the end of richard lesters great film-help- starring-the beatles...as they roll through end credits..beethoven is given a credit..and lester drops in audio of john lennon saying "famous beethoven!"...total disrespect by youth..a power always to be regarded...

    in nyc, street corner girl groups were the wave..and the great producer shadow morton incorporated famous beethoven into it

    pre lennon




    a beethoven rabbit hole

    cheers

  20. #19

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    BTW - how are you feeling Rob?

  21. #20

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    Thanks for posting this, Rob. The Fifth has always been my favorite piece of classical music, full stop. This remarkable reading is simply sublime. I clicked on the video meaning to listen to the first movement. That was 45 rapturous minutes ago.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRMan
    BTW - how are you feeling Rob?
    Thanks for asking, GTRMan. I'm still in recovery from Covid. Generally my brain and body are still very tired, and I sleep two or three times during the day. Last week I lost all sense of balance, and couldn't stand, and then everything went black for a few moments. Apparently this is a known side-effect, but so far has been a one-off. Then there are moments when I feel 100% fine, usually - as now - first thing in the morning. Overall, I seem to be on the right trajectory, there is no pain, and I am a little less exhausted than I was last week. So far it has been ten weeks like this, and might be another ten before I am out of it. According to data gatherers at Kings College in London, whose app I fill in every day, I am very much not alone: one in twenty have a similar long-term recovery. One thing I really don't like is that I have almost zero creative energy, and haven't played guitar much at all since this started, but I am able to listen to music and read books, and am enjoying doing so more and more each day. I'm not down or depressed, just a little fed up. Cheers :-)

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Thanks for posting this, Rob. The Fifth has always been my favorite piece of classical music, full stop. This remarkable reading is simply sublime. I clicked on the video meaning to listen to the first movement. That was 45 rapturous minutes ago.
    I know what you mean, k. Most people don't get beyond the first movement, but the rest of the symphony is equally as enthralling. And what a performance!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Oh man....had to pause that between movements to get my breath back....

    Can't remember seeing an orchestra's violin section on their feet - that's gotta help, why aren't the rest of 'em standing up too ?

  25. #24

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    I don't know. Good to see, though. And, yes, it is a breathtaking performance.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Thanks for asking, GTRMan. I'm still in recovery from Covid. Generally my brain and body are still very tired, and I sleep two or three times during the day. Last week I lost all sense of balance, and couldn't stand, and then everything went black for a few moments. Apparently this is a known side-effect, but so far has been a one-off. Then there are moments when I feel 100% fine, usually - as now - first thing in the morning. Overall, I seem to be on the right trajectory, there is no pain, and I am a little less exhausted than I was last week. So far it has been ten weeks like this, and might be another ten before I am out of it. According to data gatherers at Kings College in London, whose app I fill in every day, I am very much not alone: one in twenty have a similar long-term recovery. One thing I really don't like is that I have almost zero creative energy, and haven't played guitar much at all since this started, but I am able to listen to music and read books, and am enjoying doing so more and more each day. I'm not down or depressed, just a little fed up. Cheers :-)
    Best wishes for a continued recovery Rob! That sounds tough, and frightening, but also sounds like you're turning a corner. Thanks for sharing what a person goes through, most of us have only a general idea.

    Best.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Thanks for asking, GTRMan. I'm still in recovery from Covid. Generally my brain and body are still very tired, and I sleep two or three times during the day. Last week I lost all sense of balance, and couldn't stand, and then everything went black for a few moments. Apparently this is a known side-effect, but so far has been a one-off. Then there are moments when I feel 100% fine, usually - as now - first thing in the morning. Overall, I seem to be on the right trajectory, there is no pain, and I am a little less exhausted than I was last week. So far it has been ten weeks like this, and might be another ten before I am out of it. According to data gatherers at Kings College in London, whose app I fill in every day, I am very much not alone: one in twenty have a similar long-term recovery. One thing I really don't like is that I have almost zero creative energy, and haven't played guitar much at all since this started, but I am able to listen to music and read books, and am enjoying doing so more and more each day. I'm not down or depressed, just a little fed up. Cheers :-)
    I missed the bit about you getting Covid....don't know how, your posts are among those I read whatever the thread's about.

    Ten weeks is a long time to feel less that 100%, I hope you're back to normal in much less time than that..

  28. #27

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    today I can listen only to Carlos Kleiber and Furtwangler recordings


  29. #28

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    Does anybody know if the documentary Rob mentioned, Being Beethoven, is available in the U.S.? You can't watch it in the U.S. from the BBC website due to some copyright stuff.

  30. #29

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    I hope it will be available, if not now then in the near future, especially as there a couple of US academics contributing. Unfortunately, I can't recall their names.

  31. #30

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    Rob - wishing you full recovery from this pestilence. Godspeed!