Saturday, April 30, 2011

4/30 Barenboim Masterclasses 2

A Piano Notes Chart
Several months ago I featured some masterclasses given by Daniel Barenboim with some fairly well-established pianists such as Lang Lang, Jonathan Biss and Alessio Bax.  Here are some more classes held by Barenboim with:

Pt. 1-4: Shai Wosner & Piano Sonata #17 Op.31, No.2, "Tempest" 1. Largo, Allegro
Pt. 5-9: David Kadouch (expanded) & Piano Sonata #16, Op.31, No.1, 1. Allegro Vivace
Pt. 10-13: Abboud Ashkar & Piano Sonata #21, Op.53, "Waldstein" 1. Allegro Con Brio
Pt. 14-16: Javier Perianes & Piano Sonata #31, Op.110, 1. Moderato Cantabile, Molto Espressivo
It's kind of funny tho that sometimes Barenboim tells a student to play a certain way, and then the film cuts to Barenboim playing and forgetting his own advice...

Linklist (3 hours, 8 min)

Friday, April 29, 2011

4/29 The 5th Symphony Bamboo Happy Meal

Today is kind of a food theme I suppose.  After visiting the above "Beethoven's No. 9 Restaurant" (in historic Kansas), listen to Symphony 5 in an acapella arrangement - in Japanese...  Apparently the lyrics are a kind of "menu-tribute" ("asa-gohan" means "breakfast" in Japanese).  The video is not easily embeddable so click below to check it out in a new window:
Beethoven au Restaurant
This "Breakfast" arrangement is available as a mini CD.

And in case acapella is not your "cup of tea", here's a version on bamboo sticks:

Bamboo Angklung concert  Beethoven symphony №5

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4/28 Beethoven's Symphonies in Full ScoreVideos

OK, here are the Big Enchiladas, "The Nine".

Hardly any explanations are necessary, except watch these in "full screen" and on the biggest monitor possible ;).  However:
  • It's important to pay attention to the number of staff "lines" on the page, indicated by the brackets.  If all the instruments are playing then the whole page will just be one huge staff line and 1 huge bracket.  Usually though, especially in the early symphonies, there will be 2 staffs and brackets separated by a blank space or a "//" (if the strings are playing alone then there may be just 4 or 5 staffs bracketed in one line).
  • The 1st group at the top is the winds. In general the flauti (flutes) are at the top, followed by the other winds - oboi, clarinetti, fagotti (oboe, clarinet, bassoon).
  • The 2nd orchestral group is the brass/horns - corni, trombe (trumpets, horns).
  • The 3rd main "section": is the timpani or piano.  The timpani is usually an easy enough part that following the timpani can aid locating where the music is at.
  • 4th, the bottom 4-5 staffs are the strings - 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello and sometimes 1 bass.  Lots of times the basses and cellos are on the same line.  The strings are almost always going so those are a good place to keep one eye on.
  • It was pretty challenging following these score in book form and even now it's all too easy for me to get lost, but with a little practice these ScoreVideos should be very rewarding.  One helpful tip is to read through each movement twice.  The second time is always easier right after you've read it through the first time.
I know the above tips are woefully inadequate - I definitely recommend getting a real book!  Anyways at the least we have here a blog post with the greatest body of symphonic literature ever composed all in one entry.

These videos are all by YT-er 12clar3412clar34Bravo.

Symphony 1, 2 Full Score 

Symphony 3, 4 Full Score 

Symphony 5, 6 Full Score 

Symphony 7, 8 Full Score 

Symphony 9 Full Score

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27 Chamber Music, Lieder ScoreVideos

Continuing my mini-series listing "ScoreVideos" (Youtube videos where the score is displayed as the music plays) we now get to the chamber works.  These include the complete cello sonatas, most of the best violin sonatas, some song lieder, complete string trios, etc...(Previously I listed the extant piano sonatas and symphonies with piano scores).

These have basically just one or two staffs more than the piano scores I've listed so far, so it shouldn't be too hard to follow these if the previous ScoreVideos are under one's belt.  In general the piano lines are on the 2nd and 3rd staffs (right and left hands respectively) and the violin, cello, or voice is on the first line. Have fun!  Remember - the scores are just for additional enjoyment.  Even without the visual scores, these are all masterpieces of beauty.  Click on the links below to be taken to the appropriate playlist.

(Some of these were featured on the blog before, like the cello sonatas and the string trios)

5 Cello Sonatas and 2 Sets of Variations (Brendel)

5 Violin Sonatas: No. 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 (Staier, Sepec, Kreisler, Rupp)
This set also includes 12 Variations in F for Violin and Piano on "Se vuol ballare" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, WoO.40 (1793):
Andreas Staier: pianoforte
Daniel Sepec: Beethoven's violin (!)

4 String Trios & Serenade Op.8 (Grumiaux, etc)

Lieder, Aria and Other Chamber Works:
  • Serenade Op. 41 for flute and piano
  • Resignation (Lieder, Fritz Wunderlich)
  • Der Kuß (Lieder)
  • Adelaide, Op. 46 (Lieder)
  • Ich Liebe Dich (Lieder)
  • Ah, Perfido, Op. 65 (Aria, Regine Crespin)
  • Six National Airs Op. 105
  • Piano Quartett in C, WoO 36/3 - III.Rondo
  • Messe in C major Op.86 - Credo
  • 3 Equali
  • Wind Trio Op. 87 (Piano Transcription)
  • Fugue for String Quintet Op. 137 in D (Piano Transcription)
  • String Quartet in E-flat Op. 127 (Mvmt 3 & 4)
  • String Quartet Op.74 "Harp" (Mvmt 3 & 4)
  • Unfinished Piano Cto 6 
  • Grosse Fugue (Talich)
  •  Elegie auf den Tod eines Pudels, WoO 110 (Schreier)
  •  Zärtliche Liebe, WoO 123 (Fischer-Dieskau, Demus)
  • Canon in 3 Voices, WoO 159 
  • An die Geliebte, WoO 140 
  • Piano Sonata No. 30, Op. 109, Prestissimo Arranged for String Quartet

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26 Clarinet Duos

Beethoven only wrote 3 sets of duos involving the clarinet.  Actually he might have written none, since the 3 Duos for Clarinet and Bassoon WoO 27 are considered "spurious" by some Beethoven experts.  They were published in Paris during B.'s lifetime so it's possible that if he might've even seen these "forgeries".  However there exists no record or letter from him confirming/denying these duos.  Maybe he wrote them in his sleep, who knows?  In any case they are pretty fun and most woodwind players know them today as Beethoven pieces.

John Palmer writes about the 3rd duo:
Opening with a sonata-form movement set in B flat major and marked Allegro sostenuto, the third of the three Duos, WoO 27, is the most unusual. The secondary key area of the first movement is more a wash of figures and scales than a real thematic passage. The "reprise" of this material in the recapitulation is practically new music; the recapitulation is like the exposition only at its very beginning and end. A direction to repeat the development/recapitulation complex is an early Classical-era trait. 
WoO 27, No.3, 1st M (Bassoon/Clarinet):

WoO 27/3 : Bassoon and Clarinet 

WoO 27, No.1, 1st M is here arranged for 2 Clarinets, and sounding quite nice, I think:

Л.В.Бетховен \ Ludwig van Beethoven - Дуэт для двух кларнетов

Recently posted as a Clarinet/Cello duo, this time WoO 27, No. 2, is a Flute/Oboe duo:

WoO 27.2 Barbara Rosnitschek Flöte und Fagott Brenneke

For one more interesting duo arrangement of these "spurious-yet-ubiquitous" duos, click HERE to see a version of WoO 27, No.1 for Euphonium and Flute.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25 Bernstein on Beethoven's 9 Symphonies

("Light'em up" Lenny)
I've featured Leonard Bernstein here several times before, but today Lenny is actually going to introduce all 9 Symphonies of Beethoven!  These were done for TV broadcasts of concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic in the 70's I think.  Even after all these years - there's simply nobody like Lenny!

Leonard Bernstein Introduces Beethoven's 9 Symphonies (36 min):
I'm tempted to add some kind of description to each of these - but that would spoil it...
1. Symphony 1
2. Symphony 2
3. Symphony 3
4. Symphony 4
5. Symphony 5
6. Symphony 6
7. Symphony 6 & 7 (w Maximilian Schell)
8. Symphony 8
9. Symphony 9
From dericho06's YT channel .


Sunday, April 24, 2011

4/24 Beethoven at El Jardín de Belagua

At El Jardín de Belagua ("The Garden of Belagua") they hold regular chamber music concerts in the intimate setting of a very large living room. Their Youtube channel broadcasts these performances to the world outside.  I really like that the camera is stationary and concentrates on the performer's hands and body movements.  There are far too many "concert videos" where the camera swoops around the room or zooms in on the performer's "sweaty brow" - that drives me crazy.  So here's a concert program compiled from some fine performances there of Beethoven works:

Pt. 1-3: Piano Sonata #6 In F, Op.10, No.2 (1797)
Pt. 4-7: Violin Sonata No.5 FM 'Spring', Op.24 (1801)
Pt. 8-11: Piano Sonata #13 In Eb, Op.27, No.1, "Quasi Una Fantasia" (1801)
Pt. 12-13: Piano Trio 4 (Clarinet ver), Op.11 "Gassenhauer" (1798) (I, II)
Pt. 14-15: Piano Trio 2 in G Op.1 No.2  (1794) (II, IV)
Pt. 16: Duo (Clarinet & Cello arr.), WoO 27, No.2, (III. Rondo)

Linklist (83 min)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23 Lectures on Conductors and Aliens
Vanderbilt University in Nashville has an incredible Youtube channel where you can literally spend days - maybe weeks, watching their educational videos, lectures and concerts.  It's pretty incredible that this kind of programming is free on the internet.  Several universities do this nowadays and you can find filmed classroom lectures on everything from electronic music synthesis to copyright law to brain surgery (I think).

Here's "What Does a Conductor Actually Do?" (1 hr. 20 min.)
Giancarlo Guerrero leads a penetrating and intimate exploration of the role and responsibilities of the symphonic conductor. Through the use of personal stories, DVDs, recordings and demonstration, class participants learn firsthand the actual components of the conductor's leadership and job requirements. The world's great conductors will be compared and contrasted, illuminating the central and sometimes surprising role the conductor plays in the musical interpretation, production, sound, personnel and importantly the enjoyment of the audience.
Beethoven  - Symphony 7 (excerpts)
Sir Georg Solti, Vienna Phil
Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony
Carlos Kleiber, Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Tchaikovsky (excerpts)
Leonard Bernstein, NY Phil

How to Listen to Classical Music: What Does A Conductor Actually Do?

Here's an 1 hr 15 min. lecture/demonstration called "Symphony 101"
Giancarlo Guerrero, music director and conductor of the Nashville Symphony, leads an engaging and invigorating discussion about the elements and structure of the music of the symphony orchestra. What is a symphony? Maestro Guerrero will dissect the symphonic form exploring scherzo, minuet, theme and variation, and more. The great composers of symphonies and their works are also explored through their different approaches to the form and their unique and recognizable voices.

How to Listen to Classical Music: Symphony 101

Check out Vanderbilt's channel for more lectures and concerts including:
OCTUBAFEST at the Blair School of Music (lots of tubas on stage)
"Life in the Universe" (Jodie Foster character in the movie Contact is largely based on this real-life researcher)...

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22 Ballet & Beethoven

Beethoven only composed music for one ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, Op.43 (1801), but that hasn't stopped modern choreographers from adapting his other chamber and symphonic works for dance as well.  I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of ballet, but if you put the Adagio from the "Hammerklavier" to it, or even the ever-modern "Grosse Fugue" - well I'll at least give it a go.  So...

Here's the Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet performing "HammerKlavier", based on excerpts from the late Piano Sonatas 29, 30 and 32:

Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet "HammerKlavier" Beethoven (excerpts)

Here's the same ballet company doing a performance using the Grosse Fugue op 133 (there's a bit of odd rehearsal footage with electronic music as well):

Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet & Beethoven Luckman Theater
(Another clip with some footage of ballet with the Op.130 "Cavatina" and Op.132 "Heiliger Dankgesang" can be seen HERE. )

The Michael Shannon Ballet here presents a kind of "dysfunctional domestic drama" to the adagio of the "Ghost" Piano Trio (it takes about a minute before B. kicks in):

Been There Done That: Michael Shannon Ballet: What Happened to Us: Beethoven: Configuration Dance

Finally here's Uwe Scholz and the Stuttgart Ballet performing a ballet to the entire 7th Symphony.  I think I like the Allegretto the best (the 2nd part).  Richard Wagner famously referred to this symphony as the "Apotheosis of the Dance" (I think specifically the 4th movement) and even did a private solo dance performance with Liszt on piano...
Choreography: Uwe Scholz
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 in A Major
Costumes and stage design: Uwe Scholz based on "Beta Kappa" of Morris Louis
Lighting setup: Uwe Scholz, Dieter Billino
World premiere: April 26, 1991, Stuttgart Ballet 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21 Piano-Reduced ScoreVideos (Symphonies, Missa)


Reading and following along with an orchestral score can be a pretty confusing experience, especially if the work has lots of twists and turns and if the orchestration changes shape all the time. Of course, that's the very thing that Beethoven does in all his symphonies. So when looking at a full orchestral score with up to 1500 notes on a single page - well it's almost too much of a good thing!

So before posting "The Nine" in full score, here are "piano-reduced" ScoreVideos.  These are made from piano transcriptions of B.'s symphonies (the most famous one being Franz Liszt's) and are perfectly fine for following a symphonic work on a kind of "theme and accompaniment" level.  In many of these 2-stave versions there are also additional markings indicating that this melody is from the flute, or that one is from the cellos. 

So far YT-ers fyrexia2 and have made a bunch of ScoreVideos using piano reductions...well done gentlemen.  Click on the links below to be taken to playlists for the piano-reduced ScoreVideos. It may help in some cases to click the lower right "full-screen" button to see the score better...

Symphony 1 & 2
Christoph Von Dohnanyi, Cleveland Orchestra
Piano Solo Transcription by Otto Singer

Symphony 1, 2 w score

Symphony 3 (mvmt 3 & 4 only) & 4
Giulini, Los Angeles PO

Symphony 3, 4 w score
Symphony 5 Kubelik, Bavarian RSO
Symphony 6 Bohm, VPO

Symphony 5, 6 w score

Symphony 7, 8 w Score

Symphony 9, Movement 4:
SOPRANO: Melanie Diener
TENOR: Endrik Wottrich
BASSE: Dietrich Henschel
Direction: Philippe Herreweghe
05:42 Bariton Solo - Recitativo
06:50 SATB Choir
07:10 Soloists
09:30 Tenor Solo
10:00 Tenor + TTB Choir
11:50 SATB Choir: "Freude, schoner gotterfunken"
12:40 SATB Choir: "Seid umschlungen Millionen"
16:02 SATB Choir: Allegro energico, sempre ben marcato
18:53 Soloists: "Freude, Tochter aus Elysium"
19:27 Soloists + SATB Choir
21:20 Prestissimo

Missa Solemnis
This score has the vocal parts in the upper staves and the piano reduction in the bottom 2.
The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists conducted by John Eliot Gardiner

Missa Solemnis w score Linklist

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20 Beethoven's Piano Partners (Fortepiano Survey)

Beethoven went through alot of pianos in his life (though only 3 that we know for sure). Here's an idea of his collection:

The organ Beethoven used to play in Bonn as a youngster.
"Schanz" piano from 1790.  This actually isn't one of B.'s pianos but it's likely he played
on one like this in his 20s. (from Paul Badura-Skoda's collection)
"Erard" Piano.  This was a gift from Prince Lichnowsky in 1803.  B. found it a bit limiting...
Drawing of B.'s "Thomas Broadwood" piano, given to him in 1818. 
Eventually bought by Franz Liszt (the piano, not the drawing).
"Conrad Graf" piano received as a gift in 1825.  Probably the last piano B. really used, since the
Broadwood was starting to fall apart from all those hammerblows....
Colored version of Hoechle drawing of B.'s last apartment.
B. actually had the Broadwood and the Graf end-to-end
but this only shows the Broadwood.
A discussion of Beethoven's pianos would take many pages - so I recommend getting "The Beethoven Companion" edited by Denis Arnold and Nigel Fortune which has a pretty big chapter on B.s pianos and how they affected his compositional evolution.

While you're waiting for that to arrive here's Jorge Demus (I think) playing one of my favorites: Beethoven's Bagatelle in B Minor op, 126 No. 4.

Below is a playlist collecting a couple hours worth of Beethoven on fortepianos...the first 6 are on 4 different fortepianos played by Hiroaki Ooi:
1 - Piano Sonata Op. 49-2 No. 20 II Tempo di Menuetto (1796)
(replica after A.Stein ca. 1790, 5-octave)

2 - Piano Sonata Op. 57 No. 23 "Appassionata" I Allegro assai (1805)
(Jones-Round 1805, 5 1/2-octave)

3,4 - Große Fuge (Winkler Arr.) Op. 133 (1826)
(J. Broadwood 1816, 6-octave)

5,6 - Symphony No. 3 "Eroica" Op. 55 (Liszt Arr. 1865?)) I Allegro con brio
(J. Streicher 1846, 7-octave)

7, 8 - Piano Sonata #14 In C#m, Op.27/2, "Moonlight"
9-12 - Piano Sonata #31 In Ab, Op.110 (Nasseri)
13 - Variations in F, Op.34 (Ochoa)
14, 15 - Piano Sonata #26 In Eb, Op.81A, "Les Adieux" (Tan)
16-18 - Piano Sonata #21 In C, Op.53, "Waldstein"
19 - Piano Sonata #26 In Eb, Op.81A, "Les Adieux" (Demus)
20 - Piano Sonata #32, Op.111 - Maestoso (Demus)
21 - Piano Sonata #11 In Bb, Op.22, M1

Playlist: Beethoven Fortepianos

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19 Beethoven with Cannons

The very first post on The Daily Beethoven (back in the sepia-tinged days of July 2010) was about Wellington's Victory (or, the Battle of Vitoria, Op. 91 (Wellingtons Sieg oder die Schlacht bei Vittoria)).  I'd like to revisit that work just briefly - mainly because I found a video of a performance with live cannons.

This is almost a theatrical piece  because there are actually opposing teams on each side of the orchestra playing the "battle sounds" on drums and rattles. It also uses "nationalistic" themes to portray the movements of each army: "God Save the King," "Rule Britannia" for the British, and "Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre" ("Marlborough Has Left for the War") for the French (sounds like "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow").  The work is in two parts, the "Battle" part and the "Victory Symphony".  The Victory Symphony was derived from a kind of simple wind band version for Maelzel's Panharmonicon contraption, but B. added the battle part and expanded it into Wellington's Siege (both parts).

Besides the Panharmonicon version and the concert version, there is also a piano 4-hands version with offstage cannons (I'm assuming the roof repairs were a real pain).

The Battle "plot" goes something like this:
1. Drums and Trumpets on the English Side
2. English March: Rule Brittania
3. Drums and Trumpets on the French Side
4. French March: Marlborough
5. Summons
6. Countersummons
7. Battle: Allegro (Cannons and musket fire commence from both sides)
8. Forward March: Allegro assai
9. Andante

Here's a video from someone's iPhone of an actual concert with real cannons.  I think there were a few misplaced cannon shots, but cannonade is hardly an easy instrument to master.  Also the fireworks are a bit much, there are no fireworks in the actual score... And the symphony is a bit drowned out, but hey - there's explosions!

Battle Proms - Beethoven's Battle Symphony, Op. 91 (Wellington's Victory)
(Althorp Park Battle Proms 2009)

Here's a pretty interesting staged version with some artillery at the end - you can actually hear the music with this one:
Beethoven was actually criticized in his own lifetime for creating such a "cheezy" piece.  His reply:
"what I sh*t (scheisse) is better than anything you could ever think up!"

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18 Frederic Lamond's Beethoven

Frederic Lamond recording for the Duca - 21 July 1909, Frankfurt
(Courtesy The Pianola Institute)
Frederic Lamond, born in 1868,  is a pianist originally from Glasgow in Scotland. Before Artur Schnabel established himself as the Beethoven pianist of his time, Lamond was considered the greatest interpreter of B.'s works on the piano. The tradition is certainly there: Beethoven "blessed" Liszt with a kiss on the forehead (possibly apocryphal) and Liszt was Frederic Lamond's teacher when a teenager.  Lamond also personally met Tchaikovsky, Brahms and possibly Clara Schumann.  (Whenever I read about these pianists and their encounters with repertoire composers like Brahms, Liszt, Wagner, et al.. I always feel like I'm reading about a time "when Gods walked the Earth".  That would of course make Beethoven a kind of "Zeus" figure I suppose...)

While listening to Lamond's Beethoven sonatas, it strikes me how "eccentric" his and Schnabel's interpretations are compared to most modern performers.  Both seem to have more expressive rubato and take more dynamic liberties than what I'm used to hearing from pianists of the latter half of the 20th Century.  It's quite interesting to hear this interpretive "evolution".

Here's a recording of Lamond talking about his meeting with Franz Liszt.  Apparently the first thing they studied together was B.'s "Hammerklavier" Sonata Op. 106.  No shortage of self-confidence there!

Lamond Speaks of His Lessons With Liszt Frederic Lamond 1945

And here's a full selection of Lamond's Beethoven - rich stuff.  His Moonlight is unusually fast, the feeling is quite different yet still maintains atmosphere...
Pt 1-3: Piano Sonata #14 In C#m, Op.27/2, "Moonlight"
Pt 4-5: Piano Sonata #23 In Fm, Op.57, "Appassionata"
Pt 6-8: Piano Sonata #8 In Cm, Op.13, "Pathétique"
Pt 9-11: Piano Sonata #17 In Dm, Op.31/2, "Tempest"
Pt 12: Piano Sonata #12 In Ab, Op.26, "Funeral March" M. 1-2
Pt 13-16: Piano Concerto 5 in Eb major, Op.73 "Emperor"
Pt 17: "Eroica" Finale (4-Hand Player Piano Arrangement)

Lamond Beethoven Playlist (2 hours)

A great article on Frederic Lamond and his history:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

4/17 Herreweghe's "Eroica" / Stern & Abbado's Violin Concerto in D

Isaac Stern teams up here with a very young Claudio Abbado on Beethoven's Violin Concerto. Stern here is so one with the music - it's like he's completely transparent and the music is just flowing through him. His command of dynamics and his ability to "thread through" the orchestral textures is downright preternatural. I wish the recording and sound were a bit better, but it's still pretty superb.

Beethoven - Isaac Stern - Abbado - Orchestre National de France (1980)

Secondly, here's Philippe Herreweghe and the Radio Kamer Filharmonie from 2/20/11 at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.  Maestro Herreweghe has a style that is both modern (historically informed) and yet respectful of the romantic tradition.  Another great "Eroica"...

Beethoven Symphony no. 3 - Philippe Herreweghe

Saturday, April 16, 2011

4/16 In Search of the Magnificent Rebel

Today I'm going to feature a kind of "smorgasboard" Beethoven biography program.  From Disney's TV show from the Golden Age of TV comes "The Magnificent Rebel - The Story of Beethoven".
60 minutes, followed by the trailer:
Karl Boehm stars as Ludwig van Beethoven in this lavish Disney production, filmed on location in Europe. Beethoven is depicted as an intense, moody individual, who pours out his emotions in music--and in the occasional romance. The incessant din of the Napoleonic wars causes Beethoven to lose his hearing, after which he becomes more withdrawn than ever. He is humanized through the friendship of a blind youth, who gives him the fortitude to continue his work. (originally telecast in Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, was released theatrically in Europe. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Another GREAT drama about Beethoven is the TV production "Beethoven Lives Upstairs".


Friday, April 15, 2011

4/15 A Beat Box Fur Elise

Beethoven on the Moon (Beethoven Quadrangle)
Today is Friday so perhaps it's time for another installment of "Strange Versions of Beethoven's most over-exposed pieces"

Human beat boxing is absolutely fascinating and in my opinion a real art form. I don't go out of my way to listen to that stuff but I've seen some beat-box performances where one guy held 3000 people in thrall. Anyways, here's IMHO the best Beethoven Human Beat Box video of Fur Elise (and there are a few!)

This Fur Elise is actually fairly honest to the source material. The interesting thing is that he plays two guitars at the same time...

Fur Elise

Finally here's a more radical re-working of Fur Elise - but one which I kind of like...(and most of them I hate).

Beethoven = Ryo - Shall we march, Ms. Elise?

Beethoven Peninsula (Antarctica)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

4/14 Listening to Piano Sonatas with Score
Instead of doing my usual weekly series of Color Analyses©,™, (PAT. PEND.), I'm going to divert for a couple weeks to concentrate a bit on what I like to call "score-following" videos ("ScoreVideos").  These are videos where the 'videographer' matched the music with the score so that a listener can follow along.  I've posted these here and there on The Daily Beethoven before but I'm going to seriously start cataloging these things because they are so useful.

Now about reading music...(and please excuse me if you are a sight-reader, because today will all seem very patronizing I suppose) - I am an awful music notation reader.  For me to sight-read "Fur Elise" would result in a 3 hour rendition ("sight-read" of course means play the piece from looking at score and not from memory).  Also my "internal voice" - that is, reading a score and hearing the music in my head without an instrument or singing - is about as accurate as the 10th person's recitation in a game of "telephone". 

However with just a bit of practice and a healthy serving of patience, any non-musician can appreciate these score videos I think.  Just a basic understanding of music notation should help quite a bit.  Now I'm not qualified to give a lesson on reading music (see the link at bottom for that), but here's some pointers which helped me...

Look at the black dots and don't worry as much about the vertical lines attached to them.  The dots tell you the direction of the pitches.

OK - now look at the vertical lines.  The more lines attached to a note the shorter the note is going to be.  Shorter means it will go by faster.

The time signature for this one is 2/4.  That means it's an even rhythm and can be counted in 4's: 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4....
Other even rhythms are 4/4, 2/2, etc...if you see a big "cents" sign in the beginning (or "C") then that means it's countable in 4's.

If the time signature has a top number that's a multiple of 3 (3/4, 6/8, 12/8, etc) that means it can be counted in 3s: 1-2-3-1-2-3...

What helps me alot is to either count under my breath, tap my foot, or "conduct" with my hand as the measures go by.  That way, even tho I may be confused by a measure (bar) at least I'll still be on the right bar later on.  Never stop.

Conducting 4's (simple meter):

Conducting 3's (triple, or compound meter):

If a piece is a fast one, then I usually count in 2's (down-up-down-up...).  If it's a really slow one, you can count to 4 twice in 1 measure/bar.

If you get lost then the wonderful thing about these videos is that when the picture changes at least you're caught up!  Just start reading and matching what you hear with what you see right then.  Believe me, there's nothing more embarrassing then flipping back and forth through a score book trying to figure out where the performance is at :).  These score-following videos prevent you from missing a repeat sign and all that.

Following a score with music is great because
1.- You'll see things which you might not be aware of when just listening.  These include melodic patterns, subtle changes in note articulation...crescendo, sforzando and other dynamic markings, etc...

2. You'll be interacting with the music as opposed to being a passive observer.  It's kind of like a game - your eyes must follow along an invisible bouncing ball.  The problem with "passive" listening is that it leads to "attention drift" and "background music-itis".  Beethoven's music works remarkably well in setting a mood (and some of his stage music is intended for just that), but to really get the absolute most mileage out of his pieces, they can be experienced like reading a book, or watching a movie - or better yet, carrying on a conversation.

3. It's fun and gets easier the more you do it. 

Here's an early Beethoven piano sonata to get started:
Piano Sonata #2, Op. 2 No. 2 in A major 2nd Mov.

And Piano Sonata #10, Op.14 No.2, 1st Mov.:

OK the below link will take you to a playlist (which I will try to keep updated) listing every score-following video of Beethoven's piano sonatas on Youtube. Many of these performances are not by "professionals" so don't expect Glenn Gould or Vladimir Horowitz, but they are great for exploring the works themselves.

Piano Sonatas w score:
Piano Sonatas 1-6, 7, 8 ("Pathetique"), 9, 10, 17.3 ("Tempest"), 
18.2/4 ("The Hunt"), 27, 28, 29 ("Hammerklavier"), 31

Of course there's no reason to feel any pressure to follow with the score, it just makes listening to Beethoven's piano works a different experience.  

Here's what looks to be a good site on learning how to read music (I can't guarantee anything tho - maybe I'll add more sites later):

Personally, I highly recommend this book:  "Learn to Read Music" (Shanet)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/13 How Twelve-Tone Music Works

Recently I've been reading this book, "Music in the 20th Century", William W. Austin which gives a pretty good introduction to Schoenberg and his method of 12-tone composition. I thought I might as well record what I've learned on the Daily Beethoven at least for my own edification. "LvB and More", right?

Schoenberg's concept of 12-tone music means the application of 12 unique pitches in a specified sequence or "row". To make a 12-tone row he puts the 12 different notes of the chromatic scale in a desirable order without repeating any of them.

Ex. -  G, F#, B, G#, E, A#, A, C, D#, C#, D, F

This row is also usually used in 3 different variations: upside down (inversion), backwards (retrograde), or upside-down AND backwards (retrograde inversion).

So that's all I knew for the last 20 years basically about "dodecaphonic music". In the last year, from conversations with a music educator friend and from the book above I've learned much more about 12-tone. 

The 12-tone row doesn't have to be single notes going from left to right. It can also go horizontally, suddenly go backwards, then forwards, etc... The horizontal aspect really blew my mind. Theoretically the row could be written as just be one 12-note chord - or an 11-note chord followed by 1 note. Basically any horizontal or vertical direction is allowed and you can even "go around" notes and come back to them later at the end. The main thing is that the notes are not repeated.

But wait! Here's another eye-opener (at least for me). I just wrote that notes should not be repeated. That's not literally true. Each of the 12 notes in a row should be thought of as entities, not mere pitch frequencies. By entities, I mean each note in the row could appear as a trill or as a "tremolo". By tremolo I really mean that the note can be repeated - but you cannot have a different note between the reappearance of the same note (AAABBB is OK, AABBBA is not OK). Schoenberg uses the 12-note row more like a "concept" of 12 unique entities based on pitches. I suppose if one were to take that concept to an extreme, you could play a non-12-tone phrase, such as "Ode to Joy" in the key of A, then the key of A#, then B, etc....(or any order of keys) and you could say that was a 12-tone application to "Ode to Joy".

Finally, the row can be stated, and then immediately restated in any register. So you could have a row with the starting note F, then repeat the row in F#. The whole piece doesn't have to obey this same sequence over and over again. The row can be treated pretty much as a motif.  Basically as long as you can draw a circle around a bunch of notes and none of them "repeat" (see above) then that's a 12-tone moment. The next phrase can be in any key really.

Finally - and this is probably the MOST IMPORTANT rule about 12-tone composition:


What I mean is that 12-tone is a tool used to break free from traditional harmony of the 19th century and if at any time one decides that it would be nice to have that first note repeated at the end of the phrase - it's perfectly fine. The 12-tone system is more like a "recipe" kind of rule. It's a good way to get some new flavors but if you want to substitute lemon juice for vinegar it's OK, you can still call it salad dressing. Schoenberg himself broke the 12-tone rule all the time. Once, when someone wrote to him pointing out that the had repeated a note within his tone row, Schoenberg basically told him that his music was to be listened to, not studied.

"My works are twelve-tone compositions, not twelve-tone compositions."  
(Schoenberg letter to annoying nit-picking fan)

I highly recommend the website of the Schoenberg Center.  There you can listen to every single Schoenberg work for free.

A perfect example of the 12-tone technique at work is Op. 25, Suite for Piano, Nr. 5: Menuett. Trio (1923).  This was one of the earliest and most succinct 12-tone works Schoenberg wrote.  The Austin book analyzes the rows in that piece very well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/12 Desert Island Discs

Recently you may have heard that the BBC has begun opening up their archives of the Desert Island Discs program for free web streaming. I have to admit, I'd never heard of this program, but apparently it's the longest-running radio program in existence. Oops. However that makes it a veritable treasure trove of undiscovered music goodies for new listeners like me. Interestingly enough, this Desert Island Discs program doesn't just approach musicians like most interviews of this type - scientists, administrators, politicians, teachers, actors, etc...are all included - which makes for some interesting commonalities.

For example, Stephen Hawking and Yoko Ono both chose Edith Piaf as one of their 8 desert discs! I don't think a sentence with those 3 names together has ever been published before.

Anyways, as far as Beethoven is concerned, I was pretty impressed that our man B. got the most "hits" out of the entire history of the show. Who says Beethoven isn't still relevant?

Some of the people who included B. on their D.I.D. list includes:
James Ellroy (crime writer)
Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort)
Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland)
James Mason (Captain Nemo)
Roald Dahl (Wonkabars and Oompa Loompa)
Margaret Thatcher (former politician)
Marlene Dietrich (Screen Goddess)
Vivien Leigh (Marion Crane from Hitchcock's "Psycho")
Martin Sheen (former President of the United States)
Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf, Magneto, etc)
J K Rowling (children's book writer)
Dr Jane Goodall (Ape Scientist)
Dave Brubeck ("Take 5")
Stephen Hawking (Gravity Scientist)
Christopher Reeve (Superman)
Peter Maxwell Davies (Composer - great choices)
Mel Brooks (Created Young Frankenstein)
Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
Vincent Price (Dr. Phibes)
John Barry (made 007 theme famous)
Elvis Costello (His Aim Is True)
Arthur C Clarke (Why no LvB in 2001:A Space Odyssey?)
Dudley Moore (The real Arthur)
William Hartnell (Doctor Who)
Aaron Copland (wrote Wide World of Sports theme (wink))

Anyways, these people chose one or more Beethoven works as 1 of their 8 desert island recordings.  Obviously the selection of interviewees tends toward the British side of things, so I wonder how a survey like this would go in America?

Here's the full list of all the people who selected Beethoven.

At present only 500 programs are available leading up to March 11 and going forwards, but I believe they will add more as time goes by.  You can see the lists tho for the entire history of the show.  Have fun!

(The James Ellroy interview is pretty good - he lists I think 5 works and he obviously loves Beethoven.)

Below is Sir Ian McKellen's Beethoven pick:
String Quartet in Bb Major, Opus 130: II. Presto 
Cypress Quartet (Sir Ian actually chose the Lindsays)

Today's post is kind of a fluff piece - that's because tomorrow and the next are going to be kind of  "academic" ones...but I hope they will be fun.

Monday, April 11, 2011

4/11 Beethoven's "Pop Hit" Clarinet Trio ("Gassenhauer")

(This picture has absolutely nothing to do with Beethoven or this work besides the word "Gassenhauer".)
Beethoven's composition Opus 11 is a trio for either clarinet, piano and cello, or violin, piano and cello.  The subtitle "Gassenhauer" can be translated as either "street song" or "pop hit".  From what I gather, the 3rd movement is a series of variations on a theme from the popular song "Pria ch'io l'impegno", from Joseph Weigl's opera "L'amor Marinaro"(1797). In that regard it can be considered a "pop-hit" I suppose.  I kind of prefer the clarinet version over the violin one since the first movement has a kind of 'lilting' feel which suits the clarinet quite nicely... Also B. doesn't have any other clarinet trios...  This is a relatively early piece - but great fun as many of his early pieces are.  Nonetheless, careful listening reveals that B. is already beginning to push against the rules of sonata form...

From Allmusic:
"The most striking feature of the Allegro con brio first movement is the transition between the first and second themes. After a convincing modulation to the dominant, F major, what sounds like a second theme begins, but on D major. This quickly dissolves into fragments of the first theme and leads to the actual second theme, appearing first in the piano in F major. Beethoven forgoes the D major episode in the recapitulation. 

"Beethoven sets the central Adagio in E flat major. In sonata form with a brief development, the movement's recapitulation is highly decorated. 

"The finale is as much a vehicle for Beethoven's piano virtuosity as it is an example of his variation technique. The first variation is for piano alone and features detached runs and tremolo technique. The fourth variation, on the tonic minor, brings with it a moment of reflection before the piano, in another flamboyant outburst, abruptly changes the mood with a fortissimo entrance at the beginning of the fifth variation. The theme is most clearly perceptible in the sixth variation, while the aggressive seventh variation, again on the tonic minor, is built of rhythmic fragments of the theme in true Beethovenian fashion. Only the broad outline of the theme remains in the elegant eighth variation. The final variation again clearly articulates the theme before slipping momentarily into G major and 6/8 meter for a developmental coda that eventually moves back to the tonic and opening meter."

Clarinet Trio Op. 11 'Gassenhauer' (1798)
1. Allegro con brio
2. Adagio
3. Tema. 'Pria ch'io l'impregno'

Performed by the Oscine Trio:  "The Oscine Trio is an international ensemble of three young and talented artists recognized for their invigorating and energetic performances that have taken the classical music world by storm. Japanese clarinetist Maiko Sasaki, Israeli-American cellist Reenat Pinchas, & South African pianist Eugene Joubert."

Linklist (18 min)

More info on the Beethoven's "Pop Hit" Clarinet Trio HERE.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4/10 Brendel Masterclass / Another Folk Song Set

“Alfred Brendel on Music—collected Essays”
Having Alfred Brendel accompany his son on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas yesterday inspired me to continue the theme and present excerpts from his masterclass at New England Conservatory from November 5, 2009.  Here he coaches Sangyoung Kim playing Beethoven's Variations in E-Flat Major (Eroica) Op. 35.  A fascinating and rare look at one of today's modern virtuoso performers in a teacher-student setting.  We only have 11 minutes here sadly...


As a sequel of sorts to my set of all NON-English, Beethoven-arranged folksongs a few days ago, here is an ALL-English set from drtmuir's YT channel:
1. Scottish Folksongs: Songs from Op. 108: Behold my love, how green the groves / Oh, had my fate been join'd with thine / Come fill, fill my good fellow
2. Music, love and wine / O sweet were the hours / O swiftly glides the bonny boat
3. 2 Scottish Folksongs ?
4. 2 Irish Folksongs, WoO 154: Save me from the Grave and Wise / Put Round the Bright Wine
5. 3 Songs from Folksongs of Various Nations, WoO 157: Charlie is my darling / O Sanctissima / A Health to the Brave
6. My Harry / By the Side of the Shannon
7. 3 Folksongs from WoO 157, 156: The Wandering Minstrel / Robin Adair / Polly Stewart
(Total length: 52 minutes)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

4/9 Complete Cello Sonatas with Score

Last year I was fortunate to find the complete Beethoven cello sonatas on Youtube performed by Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich.  Over the last few months Sonatas 2 and 4 got deleted so that post is no longer a complete survey... Fortunately I came across a set of complete cello sonatas with visual score on MagicDonDino's YT channel.  His set features Alfred and Adrian Brendel on piano and cello respectively.  Following Beethoven with a score is actually at least as satisfying as watching a live performance so this is a great set too in my opinion. The performance is superb as well...

No. 1-2: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 Op 5 No 1 in F major
No. 3-5: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 Op 5 No 2 in G minor
No. 6-7: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 3 Op 69 in A
No. 8-9: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 4 Op 102 No 1 in C
No. 10-11: Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 5 in D major, Op 102 No. 2
No. 12: 12 Variations for Cello and Piano on "See the conqu'ring hero comes...
No. 13: 7 Variations on "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" for Cello and Pi...
(Total length: 2 hours, 17 minutes)

Cello Sonatas 1-5 with Score

It seems pointless to save this next playlist for a future post since we're on cello sonatas today anyways - Here's Cello Sonatas 2-5 - all live performances, except No. 4, but that's Friedrich Gulda on piano so it's still worth posting even tho there's nothing to see....

Click below to go to the Youtube playlist I assembled...

Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op.5, No. 2 (Yo-yo Ma & Emanuel Ax)
Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op.69 (Zara Nelsova & John Newmark)
Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op.102 No. 1 (Pierre Fournier & Friedrich Gulda)
Cello Sonata No. 5 Op.102 No. 2 (OLIVER ALDORT cello /  ILYA ITIN piano)
12 Variations on a theme by Mozart Op.66 (Mstislav Rostropovich, cello / Vasso Devetzi, piano)
Cello Sonatas 2-5 live

Friday, April 8, 2011

4/8 Tarrega Beethoven Transcriptions

Francisco Tarrega was one of the Romantic period's greatest composers for guitar and had a major influence on the classical guitar's presence in the 20th Century. He also composed the Nokia ringtone.

As far as Beethoven is concerned, Tarrega transcribed several of Beethoven's works - especially piano - to classical guitar. As a guitarist myself I've spoken here before of how I wished B. had written more music for guitar, and fortunately Tarrega must have felt the same way.

Here's a good selection of Tarrega's Beethoven transcriptions I found on hydraTV's YT channel:
1. Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ("Moonlight"), Op. 27/2 Adagio sostenuto
2. Septet for strings & woodwinds in E flat major, Op. 20 Menuet
3. Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 Allegretto
4. Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major ("Funeral March"), Op. 26 Marcha fúnebre
5. Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2/2 Scherzo
6. Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13 Adagio cantabile
7. Septet in Eb for Violin, Viola, Clarinet, Horn, Oboe, Cello & Bass, Op.20 (1799) M4: Theme
8. """" - Variation 7
9. Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major ("Kreutzer"), Op. 47 Andante
10. Minuets (6) for piano (or orchestra), WoO 10 Minuet No. 3
P11. Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat, Op. 7 Largo con gran espressione
(Performed by Timo Korhonen)

Linklist (43 min)

As a bonus "cover", here's the 7th Symphony 'Allegretto' (yet again) performed on harmonica ensemble...

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 mvt. 2 ( Harmonica )

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4/7 The 5th Symphony (Color Analysis)

The good ole 5th Symphony gets alot of press. I've even analyzed this before in a previous post (Greenberg analysis). However since this breakdown by Alan Rich is different (especially in the 2nd movement), it's worth putting together here.  It also demonstrates how structural analysis is merely an approximate description of how a work flows, and can be interpreted in different ways, even by published professionals.  It's worth reminding that Beethoven himself never thought in these terms - he just KNEW what should come next and did it, intuitively.  But these things have certainly been a great help to me when trying to understand a large work (or even a small work).

Symphony No. 5 in C minor,Op. 67
Arturo Toscanini, NBC Symphony Orchestra 1952
I. Allegro con brio (sonata form) starting from (0:03)
II. Andante con moto  Theme and variations starting from (7:19)
III.Allegro (Ternary, ABA) starting from (16:18)
IV. Allegro (Sonata form) starting from (20:57)

I. Allegro con brio (sonata form) starting from (0:03)
1st theme (BLUE)
2nd theme (MAROON)
3rd theme (BROWN)
Exposition (repeat):
1st theme (LT BLUE)
2nd theme (LT MAROON)
3rd theme (LT BROWN)
1st theme (PURPLE)
2nd theme (PURPLE)
1st theme (BLUE)
2nd theme (MAROON)
3rd theme (BROWN)
Coda (based on 1st theme) (PURPLE)

II. Andante con moto  Theme and variations starting from (7:19)
1st variation
2nd variation
3rd variation (based on 1st variation)
4th variation
5th variation
6th variation (based on 1st variation)
7th variation
8th variation
9th  variation
10th variation (coda)

III.Allegro (Ternary, ABA) starting from (16:18)
Part A:
1st theme (MAROON)
2nd theme (BLUE)
Both 1st and 2nd themes (PURPLE)
Part B:
1st theme GREEN)
1st theme (return) (GREEN)
Part A:
1st theme (variation) (LT MAROON)
2nd theme (variation) (LT BLUE)
Both 1st and 2nd themes (variation) (LT PURPLE)
IV. Allegro (Sonata form) starting from (20:57)
1st theme (BLUE)
2nd theme (MAROON)
3rd theme (BROWN)
4th theme (OLIVE)
1st Development:
3rd theme (PURPLE)
2nd theme (reprise of Mvmt III 2nd theme) (VIOLET)
1st theme (BLUE)
2nd theme (MAROON)
3rd theme (BROWN)
4th theme (OLIVE) 
2nd Development (or Coda):
3rd theme (PURPLE)
2nd theme (PURPLE)
4th theme (PURPLE)
1st theme (PURPLE)

(form analysis from Alan Rich's "Play by Play") 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4/6 The 7th Symphony (Color Analysis)

I must confess, the 7th symphony is not my favorite of Beethoven's 9 symphonies. It's a ROCKER, to be sure, but I don't know - it sounds a little too much like heavy metal music to my ears...;)
That 2nd movement Allegretto though is sublime, no matter how many movies, TV commercials and videogames use it to spice up their scores...

Symphony 7 in A, Op. 92
(Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Jaap van Zweden conducting, previously in video featured HERE)
I. Poco sostenuto: vivace (Sonata form) from (0:04)
II. Allegretto - Theme and variations (from 14:19)
III. Presto: Assai meno presto (from 22:36)
IV. Allegro con brio (Sonata form) from (32:05)

I. Poco sostenuto: vivace (Sonata form) from  (0:04)
1st theme (MAROON)
1st theme (development) (MAROON)
2nd theme (BROWN)
1st theme (return) (MAROON)
2nd theme (return and development) (BROWN)
Transition to exposition (BROWN)
1st theme (BLUE 1)
2nd theme (BLUE 2)
3rd theme (GREEN)
Exposition (repeat):
1st theme (LT BLUE 1)
2nd theme (LT BLUE 2)
3rd theme (LT GREEN)
Development - based on 1st theme (PURPLE)
1st theme (BLUE 1)
2nd theme (BLUE 2)
3rd theme (GREEN)
Coda - based on 1st theme (PURPLE)

II. Allegretto - Theme and variations (from 14:19)
Introduction to theme (MAROON)
1st theme (PURPLE)
1st variation (PURPLE)
2nd variation (PURPLE)
2nd theme (BLUE)
3rd variation (PURPLE)
4th variation (fugue) (PURPLE)
1st coda (based on 4th variation) (GREEN)
2nd theme (partial) (BLUE)
2nd coda (GREEN)

III. Presto: Assai meno presto  (from 22:36)
III. Presto: Assai meno presto (from 22:36)
1st theme (BLUE)
1st theme (development) (BLUE)
2nd theme (GREEN)
1st theme (partial return) (BLUE-GREEN)
1st theme (return) (BLUE-GREEN)
2nd theme (return) (GREEN)
1st theme (return) (BLUE)
TRIO: 2nd theme (return) (GREEN)
SCHERZO: 1st theme (return) (BLUE)
Coda (GREEN)
IV. Allegro con brio (Sonata form) from (32:05)
1st theme (MAROON)
2nd theme (BROWN)
3rd theme (BLUE)
4th theme (GREEN)
Exposition Repeat:
1st theme (LT MAROON)
2nd theme (LT BROWN)
3rd theme (LT BLUE)
4th theme (GREEN)
2nd theme (PURPLE)
1st theme (PURPLE)
1st theme (variation) (PURPLE)
1st theme (MAROON)
2nd theme (BROWN)
3rd theme (BLUE)
4th theme (GREEN)
Coda (1st and 2nd themes) (PURPLE)

(form analysis from Alan Rich's "Play by Play")
I'm going to do the 5th tomorrow as well, just since I have the notes handy...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4/5 A Couple Special Moments in Beethoven's String Quartets

Bela Bartok in his later years used to carry around the sheet music of Beethoven's string quartets with him and never tired of showing his friends the amazing things he found in them.  So today in that spirit I'm concentrating on just a few favorite "moments" from B.'s string quartets.  Many times these are parts where things first really just seemed "weird" - but then seemed so right.

One that springs to mind immediately is the beginning of the recapitulation of the final movement of Opus 131. The first violin leaves the development with this long dramatic trill - and then keeps on going! I have no idea what this means from a harmony viewpoint, but it's a moment I look forward to every time I hear Op.131.  It's almost the reverse strategy of when the famous horn call comes too early in the Eroica's 1st movement recap.  But instead of being too early, this guy is too late!  You can hear what I'm talking about here at 2:35 (listen to the whole movement, but the link below just goes to the moment I'm highlighting):
Op. 131.6

Another great moment is at the end of Op.74, the Harp Quartet. We're well into the coda, things should be winding down - but B. suddenly cuts loose with a totally virtuosic 1st violin cadenza snaking through "tiptoe" pizzicato and one his most yearning themes. It's a true test of a quartet's communicative ability to have such a dynamic range of textures and still maintain a unified identity and message.  I put a link to that moment here at 39:57:
Op. 74

In Op. 18, No. 4 in C minor, the 4th movement, the theme is fast and witty and pauses at the end for a kind "breath".  However in later iterations Beethoven actually leaves out the rest and so there is a kind 2-note "chuckle" right after the phrase ends.  Here it begins at 2:02:
Op. 18, No. 4 M4

I talk about the Grosse Fuge all the time it seems, but here's one aspect I don't think I've written about before... After 15 minutes of nightmarish counterpoint and clashing phrases - Beethoven ends with an extremely "up" cadence. It's like a delicious glass of water after trekking thru a desert storm:
Grosse Fuge from 15:31

Finally, in Op.135, Movement 2 (Vivace) two cool things stand out for me - the sudden E flat half-note accents before the beginning of the 1st repeated section - clearly designed to give whiplash to any minuet fans - secondly the ostinato figure which repeats almost verbatim for 49 measures. This, to me is the first "hip-hop" loop in history.  ;)
String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 2. Vivace
The Hagen Quartet 
The "ostinato" part starts at the 2 minute mark.

Opus 135 M2 ostinato figure