Sunday, February 13, 2011

2/13 O'Conor's "Bootcamp" / Gardiner's "Eroica"

(The guy on the top left was pretty damn good.  Bottom right was kind of wonky...)
Here's a 54-minute film about John O'Conor's "Beethoven Bootcamp".  I don't play the piano myself but it was still an interesting look at performing Beethoven's piano sonatas.  O'Conor was taught by Wilhelm Kempff and he continues the teaching tradition by holding a 2 week masterclass in Italy every year.  This film documents one such class with 7 young students.  O'Conor is pretty off-the-wall - the film is pretty frank with his assessments which is almost kind of jolting in this back-slapping PR-drenched profession...

"In this unique film, recorded in Positano, on Italy's rugged Amalfi coast, internationally acclaimed concert pianist John O'Conor tries to pass on the passion and power of Beethoven's music to the next generation of musicians. It's not an easy task - even though this group of seven men and women from around the world are hand picked by O'Conor for these master-classes, as much for their musical ability as for their perceived dedication to their art and their craft, the lessons have mixed results."
Master-class reviewed in New York Observer

A while back I posted the BBC movie "Eroica" about the first performance of Beethoven's 3rd Symphony.  It still ranks as my favorite Beethoven dramatization.  A bonus feature on the DVD was an option to watch just the Eroica being performed (without the talking and drama, etc..).  It's an extraordinary performance on period instruments and probably the closest you can find to the original orchestra in Beethoven's time.
Here's John Eliot Gardiner's "Eroica" from "Eroica the Movie"

Maestro Gardiner talked at length about Beethoven's 5th  HERE.


  1. Great! I locve John O'Conor's Beehtoven! Check out my channel on YouTube at

  2. You have a nice channel - looking forward to seeing play more LvB :)