Saturday, February 12, 2011

2/12 Beethoven's Last Piano / Rattle-ing the 5th

Here's an interesting little feature from the BBC about the restoration of Beethoven's last piano (really!) - and a performance by Melvyn Tan of some of the Bagatelles on said restored fortepiano.  One interesting fact is that the strings are so thin that they are "near the breaking point."  So that would fit right in with the stories of Beethoven breaking 4 strings on the first chord!

"Beethoven's Broadwood fortepiano returned to England from Budapest in 1992 for restoration. Part 1 and 2 of the video tells us the history of the piano and about the restoration. Parts 3 and 4 are a performance of Beethoven's Bagatelle No. 1-6, op.126 by Melvyn Tan on the occasion. The final part is Beethoven's Fantasia in G minor Op.77, also performed by Melvyn Tan. A BBC production. "
(41 min.)


From the intimate to the bombastic:
Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 (hardly needs any introduction at this point...)
Conducted by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berliner Philharmoniker 2007, (39:17)


Note that I now added a new link over to the right to go to my Youtube Channel devoted to The Daily Beethoven. This is where you will find every video I personally created for TDB (as well as videos I have written posts about but have not published yet) and videos which I did for my own enjoyment (read: LvB guitar arrangements) which I couldn't fit into the blog content. 


  1. The Broadwood was NOT Beethovens last piano !
    The Last piano Beethoven had was a Graff .
    Also all piano strings work best at 80% of their braking strain , so the strings on the Broadwood would be no more likely to break than any others.
    In fact the Broadwood was the most highly developed piano in the world at this time .

  2. Also to add to my other comments ,
    This programme is not a BBC programme but was made by Thames Television .

  3. Thanks for your corrections jb.