Monday, July 18, 2011

7/18 A Year of Ludwig van Beethoven

And so I've come to Day 365 of the Daily Beethoven project. It's been a long journey and I've certainly learned alot.  The original idea behind starting this blog was just to put my favorite Beethoven links in one place, and somehow along the way I started getting into analyzing his compositions, posting pictures of historical artifacts, visiting his place of business (Vienna trip) and even making videos of my own "rock" transcriptions of his works.  I believe there are a couple dozen of you regular readers who have stuck with this blog all this time.  Thanks!  I have certainly met a few cool Beethoven fans out there through this blog.

In the short term, I'll probably just add to the posts already here, since there are now a completes set of 365 articles, one for each day of the year.  The Index of Works is already getting quite unwieldy (28 references to the 5th Symphony!) so to make new posts about Razumovsky No. 1 (again) seems a bit redundant.  However I will try to keep an eye on the videos that I've posted from other peoples' channels (in case they get deleted) and try to keep this site a 1-stop spot for finding live complete performances of all of Beethoven's major works. Eventually I'll probably start adding new posts if some new earth-shattering insights come up.  I'll also continue to add videos to my Youtube Channel, especially once I start doing wave-form analyses again of the remaining piano sonatas and symphonies (Update: symphonies and string quartets are now done).

My main focus at this point as you can probably tell are the transcriptions of Beethoven's music into modern instruments like guitar and drums.  The posts related to that kind of thing will be the first ones to be expanded, and at some point I hope to post some live renditions of these transcriptions in place of the sequenced versions...

"Beethoven broke all the rules, and turned out pieces of breath-taking rightness. Rightness – that’s the word! When you get the feeling that whatever note succeeds the last is the only possible note that can rightly happen at that instant, in that context, then chances are you’re listening to Beethoven. Melodies, fugues, rhythms – leave them to the Tchaikovskys and Hindemiths and Ravels. Our boy has the real goods, the stuff from Heaven, the power to make you feel at the finish: Something is right in the world. There is something that checks throughout, that follows its own law consistently: something we can trust, that will never let us down."
- Leonard Bernstein on Beethoven

The Raven read by James Earl Jones + Moonlight Sonata


Sunday, July 17, 2011

7/17 Beethoven's Symphonies and Overtures for Guitarists and Experimental Music Lovers

Picasso, "Woman with Mandolin" 1910
The symphonies of Beethoven are to me the greatest artistic creation in the history of mankind.  So of course it's pretty ambitious to transcribe these for rock instruments.  I resisted for a long while, but once I figured out a way to do the concertos, it was a natural next step.  The first couple symphonies took to a new instrumental arrangement relatively painlessly, but then things started getting sticky.  By the time I got to the 8th, the whole thing started sounding like avant-garde music from the future!  Taming the 9th was a journey in itself.  Nonetheless, here's the fruits of those labors, and I'm sure I'll come back to these again and again with "improvements"....

Symphony No.3 in E flat major, Op.55 'Eroica' (1805)

Symphony No.7 in A major, Op.92 (1811)

Click for the 9 Symphonies of Beethoven for Rock and Roll Addicts

Overtures here:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

7/16 The Compleat String Quartets for Guitarists and Experimental Music Lovers

I've posted about my sequenced "rock" transcriptions of Beethoven's string quartets a couple times before but this time I've gone back and remixed/remastered them a bit, with some simulated "turntable" visuals.  Basically I added more drums, reverb and compression.  They'll probably still drive any purists insane with cries of sacrilege, but for anybody with a background in rock and avant-garde music approaching my own, these might be entertaining and perhaps even illuminating.

While arranging/transcribing Beethoven's various types of music (quartets, concertos, symphonies, etc...) into these somewhat similar rock arrangements, I could more clearly see the different composing approaches he used between these genres.  The concertos seem the most straightforward from a melodic and structural standpoint, though the solo part gets all the "adventurous" stuff.  The quartets have the most complex and labyrinthine horizontal/melodic material, and the symphonies take a middle ground of having dense vertical constructions but simpler thematic material.  These are just gross generalizations of course...

String Quartet 10 in Eb, Op 74 "Harp" (1809)

String Quartet 11 in Fm, Op.95 "Serioso" (1811)

Full Quartets Below:
Early Quartets: Opus 18
Middle Quartets: Opus 59, 74, 95

Late Quartets: Opus 127, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135

Symphonies tomorrow....

Friday, July 15, 2011

7/15 The Weirdest Piano Concerto Arrangements You'll Love Vol.2

Remember when I posted the "The Weirdest Piano Concerto Arrangements You'll Love Vol.1"? Well here's Volume 2...hope you enjoy listening, these were a blast to put together!

Piano Concerto 1
I: 0:04 II: 12:29 III: 20:32


Piano Concerto 2
I: 0:05 II: 13:15 III: 20:36


Piano Concerto 4
I: 0:04 II: 16:44 III: 20:20


Triple Concerto


Next post is going to be delayed because I'm just BARELY keeping up in these last few mega-posts and Youtube just yanked my unlimited time-limit video rights for no apparent reason - which means I may have to redo a whole lot of already completed videos. Sad face.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

7/14 String Quartet Op.59, No.2
One more string quartet before the final lap...

String Quartet No.8 in E minor, Op.59, No.2 ('Rasumovsky' 2)
Recorded live at the Taos School of Music, July 22, 2007
Alexandra Osborne, violin; Wojciech Kardewicz, violin; Elizabeth Kuefler, viola; Bronwyn Banerdt, cello


Beethoven began drafting the score of the first of the Opus 59 quartets on May 26, 1806, although there is evidence that he started to sketch them in the fall of 1804; by November 1806, all three were complete. Because Rasumovsky was to have exclusive rights to the pieces for a year, their publication was delayed until January 1808. Beethoven sold the rights to not only the Bureau des Arts et d'Industrie in Vienna, but also to Clementi and Co. in London. As a tribute to Rasumovsky's heritage, Beethoven planned to use Russian folk themes in each of the three quartets, but did so only in the finale of the first and the slow movement of the second. All three are in four movements, the third augmented by a slow introduction to the first movement.

The opening of the first movement of the String Quartet in E minor is actually more evocative of the Symphony No. 3 than it is the beginning of Op. 59/1. Two widely spaced chords introduce the piece, which immediately begins a presentation of the theme. However, the movement lacks the expansiveness of its two siblings, creating a very tight, nervous atmosphere and calling for a traditional repeat of the development section. The prominence of the Neapolitan, both the pitch F natural and the harmony of F major, creates a palpable pathos. The large coda takes a path as harmonically adventurous as the development section.

Carl Czerny (1791-1857), a former student of Beethoven, noted that the composer was inspired to write the slow movement of Op. 59/2, in E major, while contemplating a starry sky. The chorale-like opening of the movement looks forward to the Heiliger Dankgesang, Op. 132. The recapitulation of the hymn-like theme features an active cello line and a second violin part that sails above the first violin's melody.

As in the first movement, the E minor scherzo emphasizes the Neapolitan F major. The Russian theme appears in the E major Trio, where it is given extensive contrapuntal treatment, appearing first in the viola, followed by the second violin, cello, and lastly, first violin.

The finale again flirts with F major, this time primarily through C major (the dominant of F), which is found throughout the first 50 measures. Marked Presto, it is generally light and jovial, featuring a carefree main theme, rather atypical of the composer's style at this time. The second subject leads to a development section, after which the themes reappear to suggest a Rondo. Overall, this movement has much charm and rather parallels in spirit the finale in the previous quartet. This one, however, seems to fit in better with the character of its preceding three movements.

Mily Balakirev's Arrangement of the 2nd movement for solo piano:
Balakirev Centenary Celebrations Concert, Nicholas Walker - Pianist
Mr. Walker also performed the piano arrangement of the Op.130 Cavatina..


Finally. the 1st movement in a guitar arrangement (Oregon Guitar Quartet):

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7/13 String Quartet Op.127
Beethoven's String Quartet No.12 in Eb, Op.127, has been sadly overlooked here in favor of the personal "hits" like the Grosse Fugue and the Heiliger Dankgesang.. however it's an absolutely sublime and daring work in its own right.

!st Movement performed by the Jasper String Quartet:


Here's a vintage recording of the complete work, featuring the renowned Busch Quartet (from 1936):


Allmusic: This work may well be the most mild-mannered and conventional of Beethoven's late quartets. It is ironic that he originally had more grandiose ideas for it, intending it to contain six movements, including one subtitled "La gaieté" and an Adagio apparently of darker character. In any event, Beethoven settled on this less ambitious, but still effective scheme of four movements, with an Adagio theme and variations second movement, followed by a scherzo and a jovial finale.

What is unusual about this quartet, however, is not its traditional qualities—rare enough in Beethoven—but its lack of muscularity and conflict in the first movement. One hears little nervous energy and angst here, but plenty of lyricism in the main Allegro section that makes up the bulk of the movement. The introduction is marked Maestoso and presents a fanfare that builds up, imparting some expectation of drama and drive, if not of Beethovenian heroic fury. What follows is a lively theme of gentle, lyrical character. In fact, all the thematic material in this movement is nearly free of tension and grit. There is some contrapuntal activity in the fabric of the main theme (and its variants), and the fanfare of the opening returns just before the development, but merely yields once more to the cheerful main material. If there is anything unusual about this movement, it is the development, which resembles a succession of variations. The recapitulation maintains the generally peaceful tenor of the movement, and the coda turns sweet and caressing.

The aforementioned second movement theme-and-variations (Adagio ma non troppo e molto cantabile) presents a lovely, songful melody and six variations. Yet the movement has a thematic structure similar to a typical ABA scheme, with the third variation comprising the middle section. But one may hear it as separate variations as well. It has been asserted that the main theme does not appear conducive to thematic offshoots, owing to its mellifluous character and seeming uniqueness (and lush beauty), but Beethoven manages to mine its depths to find the six very attractive variations and a coda. The third variation's prayerful character imparts a religiosity that seems to highlight, if not define, the mood of the entire Adagio.

The third movement Scherzando vivace breaks with the gentler moods of the music thus far. It begins, like the first movement, with a fanfare, but here on pizzicato strings. The main theme appears on the cello, and is bandied about amid a fugal treatment that starts, stops, and starts again. The middle section is colorful in its dance-like music and constantly changing ideas. On the whole, this movement offers splendid contrast to the lyricism of the preceding pair.

The finale returns to the mood of the first two movements, with lively but unhurried music that shows no sign of that Beethovenian nervous energy. This is music of folk character, with the main theme sounding a bit oafish, but cleverly so. Its slightly odd character and husky rhythmic accompaniment impart a rural air to the proceedings. The thematic material of the second subject is in much the same mode. There is a short development section, followed by a reprise (which comes after a deftly wrought false reprise). This quartet was first published in Mainz in 1826. The composer dedicated it to Prince Nikolai Golitsin, who had commissioned him to write it and the two quartets that followed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

7/12 Violin Romance in G, Op.40

Beethoven's second Violin Romance actually has a lower opus number than his first, but it immediately sounds more bold due to it's wiry unaccompanied violin entrance...Renaud Capuçon gives a somewhat unique performance - I do believe he's using an updated ur-text?

Romance for Violin and Orchestra No.1 in G, Op.40 (1802)
Renaud Capuçon violin / Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Kurt Masur conductor


Allmusic: Often described as a "preparation" for the Violin Concerto, Op. 61, of 1806, the Romance in G stands as a fine work in its own right, clearly demonstrating Beethoven's mastery of the high-Classical style of Mozart and Haydn. Furthermore, Beethoven creates subtle connections between disparate sections of a work.

Cast in a two-episode rondo format (ABACA coda), the Romance in G is not imbued with sonata-form characteristics, as are many of Beethoven's later rondo movements. The rondo theme (A) is in two parts, each performed first by the soloist then repeated by the orchestra. Descending sixteenth notes in the solo part mark the beginning of B, in which the orchestra is relegated to a purely accompanimental role, creating unity by including figures from the rondo. Section B spends a significant amount of time on the dominant (D major); however, this does not represent a modulation but a preparation for the return of the rondo in G major. Again, the soloist performs both segments of the A section alone, this time including a running eighth note accompaniment under each of the literally repeated themes. Beethoven set the second episode, C, in E minor. The minor mode, dotted rhythms, and staccato passages give the section a "gypsy" music tinge. The foray into a new key area ends with the return of the G major rondo theme, again played by the soloist, but with accompaniment by the orchestra. Beethoven forgoes the repetition of each of the two parts of the rondo and ends the work with a brief coda featuring a lengthy trill in the solo violin. The three fortissimo chords that close the piece seem oddly, possibly comically, out of place in this generally quiet work, but they do resemble the orchestral string parts at the end of each rondo section.

Monday, July 11, 2011

7/11 Tchaikovsky's Beethoven

© All Rights Reserved by MikeBarnett

Having posted previously about composers "rewriting Beethoven" (Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Hindemith, Liszt), I submit Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to the list...courtesy of :
"One of his student orchestrations, Tchaikovsky scored Beethoven's famous violin sonata up to the end of the exposition of the first movement. There apparently is a recording of this on the Melodiya label, but I have not been able to acquire it yet. The current performance was made using the Garritan Personal Orchestra."
"Kreutzer" Violin Sonata (excerpt) (orch. Tchaikovsky) (1863-4): 
"Roll over Beethoven, And tell Tchaikovsky the news"
Created by .


Sunday, July 10, 2011

7/10 String Quartet Op.18, No. 3

Klinger's Beethoven sculpture postcard (
I haven't yet posted a complete live String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.18, No.3, mainly because I couldn't find one on the "Tube of You"...however here are movements 1 and 4...

1st movement -The Stolyarsky String Quartet


4th movement


The number of quartets comprising his Opus 18 is but one of Beethoven's nods to tradition, for sets usually included six works. In his Opus 18 quartets we find Beethoven both mastering the styles of his predecessors and forging into new territory. For instance, the independence of the four parts is much greater than in the works of his predecessors, which may be attributable to the fact that Beethoven developed his skills during a time freed from the hitherto ubiquitous basso continuo. Despite the numerous recent models, and despite the fact that the String Quartets, Op. 18, are clearly a product of their time, they could not have been written by any composer other than Beethoven.

The quartet in D major (No. 3) was the first composed. Its opening, with nearly all of the motion in the first violin supported by sustained harmonies, resembles the beginning of Haydn's Quartet, Op. 50/6, also in D major. The first movement begins with an emphasis on the dominant-seventh chord, while the second theme group flirts with the minor dominant, allowing an unusual excursion into C major. The rest of the quartet comprises a conventional movement pattern, but the Presto finale is a sonata, not a rondo. Although it is not labeled as such, the third movement is a minuet, albeit with some unusual, forward-looking touches. For example, the return of the minuet after the trio is not the standard da capo repeat, but is completely written out, with additional repetitions of and variations on the original material.
2nd Movement
3rd Movement

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7/9 A Few Remaining Piano Sonatas (No. 15, 22, 25)

Beethoven composes the 14th sonata (
Looking over my "Works Index" there are a few gaps in my list, so I'll try to fill those in the next few days...

Pt 1-3: Piano Sonata #15 In D, Op.28, "Pastoral" (1801) (Sahun Hong)
Pt 4-5: Piano Sonata #22 In F, Op.54 - (1804) (Jan Moeyaert)
Pt 6: Piano Sonata #25 In G, Op.79 (1809) ('Cuckoo') (Matthias Soucek)


Piano Sonata No.15 in D, Op.28 ('Pastoral')
Allmusic: A remarkable feature of this work is that each movement establishes its own insistent, dominating rhythm at its outset. The first measure of the opening Allegro, for example, is simply three quarter notes on the tonic note D, a figure that both establishes the work's 3/4 meter and commences the first subject. The flowing, carefree second subject, based on the same rhythmic pattern, derives from a series of rocking chords in both hands. The overall effect is one of cheerful contentment, though the development builds to a considerably dramatic climax.

The second movement, Andante is a not-very-slow slow movement in ABA song form. Here, Beethoven creates a serious, lyrical theme in D minor from a series of chords over an insistent left hand in sixteenth notes. The middle section, in the major mode, alternates syncopated chords with descending right-hand triplets, material that makes a plaintive minor-mode return in the coda.

The Allegro vivace Scherzo, again in 3/4, rises from a sardonic series of descending single notes, one to a measure and an octave apart, after which the right hand jumps both above and below the left with the theme. The Trio section, reviving the minor mode, is a series of rocking triplet figures.

Like the first movement, the Allegro, ma non troppo finale at once establishes a rhythm and commences with the main theme. The movement is in 6/8; the alternation of quarter note and eighth note rhythms provides a syncopated "rambling" feel. Beethoven finds fresh variants for every repeat of this theme, all the way to the brilliant coda.

Piano Sonata No.22 in F, Op.54
Allmusic: Playable on a five-octave keyboard, this little sonata lures amateurs and then snares them in unexpected technical complications. Billed as minuet, the first movement takes a measured, deliberate tempo, the simple, pleasant, ruminative theme lifting up from the bass. However, just when the student pianist starts enjoying the somewhat complacent mood of this beginning, the trio storms through with nasty octaves in both hands. This development, which really feels like a strange interruption, seems inexplicable. Returning in a slightly more ornate form, the stately opening utterance leads, once again, to the ill-tempered trio, then appears again, goes through transformations which include some dissonant chords, and ends. 

The second of the two movements, an Allegretto, is one of Beethoven's typical perpetual-motion rondos. This one has a dark edge to it, veering into the minor and keeping up the flood of sixteenth notes, thus seriously limiting the individuality of the various episodes. Amateurs generally must give up entirely by the time they reach the strenuous coda, in which the two hands race each other to the final bar.

Piano Sonata No.25 in G, Op.79 ('Cuckoo')
Allmusic: The G major Sonata No. 25 contains an opening Presto, an Andante slow movement, and a finale marked Vivace. The first movement also has the qualifying term alla Tedesca, or "in the German style." From the outset, the work arouses a strong and positive impression, as a result of its sharply chiselled rhythmic formulae and a certain direct (if not to say at times abrupt) candor and spontaneity. 

That feeling of directness and clarity of expression also informs the following movement, a brief but eloquent Andante in 9/8 meter and simple ternary form. This not only re-affirms Viennese tastes, both in terms of the directness already referred to, but also in the pronounced feeling of "naturalness," at times approaching pastoral straightforwardness that is an unmistakable characteristic here. 

Simplicity and directness are also crucial in the brief and witty finale, a fully formed Vivace rondo, lasting fractionally under two minutes. This sonata is sometimes given the nickname "The Cuckoo," because of the distinctive pattern of falling intervals and repeated note groupings that permeate the score at various points, never more obviously than during the final movement. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

7/8 Clockwork and a Calendar

From a "Beethoven Calendar"
Remix time...
Marc Heatley: Created as part of Sound Affairs' 2008 "Ludwig" tour - "A tribute to Beethoven in music and film."  I was asked to create original work in response to the music. This piece (to accompany the Orlando Gough composition "Dead White European Male") is based on David Pelham's iconic 1972 Penguin cover to the Anthony Burgess' classic "A Clockwork Orange".
"Dead White European Male" (Symphony 7 Allegretto remix)


Coriolan Overture (Dance Style)
(wykonanie Krashgul)


If 1907 comes around again this will be handy:

A Beethoven Kalendar from 1907...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

7/7 String Quartet Op.132, "Song of Thanksgiving"

Beethoven and the blind woman, F. Armin (
Beethoven's String Quartet Op.132 is most famous for the 3rd movement "Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart" (A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode) which I wrote at length about in a previous post.  But today I present the entire work:

String Quartet 15 in Am, Op.132 (1825) 
(Blair String Quartet)


(Link to an alternate performance by Brown University students in 5 parts) 
Performers: June Yoon (vln I), J.D. Andrade (vln II), Miranda Forman (vla) and Martha Niemiec (vlc)

Allmusic: The work carries the nickname "Heiliger Dankgesang" because of the note written in the score (actually in French) by Beethoven that pertains to the third movement. From this note, as well as from the time of the work's composition, one can safely deduce that the crisis one clearly hears in the music is related to the lengthy illness Beethoven suffered from April 1825 until August of that year. The composer makes no attempt to depict his feelings during the illness; rather, he reflects on them and gives thanks in this score for his recovery, for the vanquishing of the pain and suffering that he must surely have felt were symptoms of a life-threatening illness.

The first movement, marked Assai sostenuto, Allegro, has an odd but ingenious structure: Beethoven presents a four-note motif that proves to be the central force throughout, developing it in between three separate expositions. There are two main theme groups, the first of which apparently represents the composer's physical suffering, the latter his sense of hope to overcome it. These subjects transform brilliantly as the movement progresses, with the theme of suffering finally appearing as a joyous hymn at the close.

The second movement is a Scherzo marked Allegro ma non tanto. While the mood of the music here is happy, its slightly restrained character suggests the recovering composer is a bit leery about venturing into too much activity. 

The third movement, marked Molto adagio, is the work's emotional centerpiece. A slow, hymn-like theme of religious character dominates the proceedings, appearing in different guises throughout, in the end arriving at its definitive, celestial version. The form of this movement is unusual, consisting of five sections and progressing from depictions of the sick composer's hopes, to his feelings of recovery and returning strength, and finally to his recovery and thankfulness to God.

The fourth movement is comprised of a short march, marked Assai vivace. In certain ways, this is a rather puzzling chapter in the overall scheme of the music, the slightly martial nature of the theme seeming out of focus with the rest of the work. Yet, the music here serves as an effective contrast to the preceding movement, as if to suggest a return from the heavens back to the reality of earth.

The finale is a Rondo marked Allegro appassionato. There is nothing innovative in the form here, Beethoven apparently content to suggest that a return to routine can bring sufficient rewards for his purposes, as it may symbolize that a return to health can make one appreciate the simple things in life. Here the mood is joyous throughout and full of color and sunshine. The composer clearly conveys that the crisis is behind him, that the music does not celebrate triumph here, but rather expresses joy and thankfulness. This work was first published in Paris and Berlin in 1827 and was dedicated to Prince Nikolai Golitzin.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7/6 Miami Int'l Piano Festival: A couple selections...

Musical Map of "Rage" by James Boyk
The Miami Int'l Piano Festival 's Youtube channel has almost 400 videos of complete performances of classical works on piano and other chamber instruments.  Here's a few Beethoven selections...I decided not to include any of the piano sonatas since I've got so many up here already from the previous piano competitions.

Rondo a capriccio in G Major, 'Rage over a Lost Penny' Op.129
Sijing from China is 15 here. She plays this so called "Rage Over a Lost Penny" as though it were a masterpiece. performed at Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL at The Miami International Piano Festival Master Series 2006.


6 Variations in F, Op.34
March 2008 performance at the Miami International Piano Festival. Kit Armstrong is 16 years old.

Not Beethoven, but a pretty cool arrangement of Bartok's Roumanian Dances
GILLES APAP violin & arrangement
THE TRANSYLVANIA MOUNTAIN BOYS - Christopher Judge, guitar Brendon Statom, double bass
from a May 22, 2011 performance at the Colony Theatre Miami Beach Florida


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7/5 Jonathan Grows Up

The Chamber Orchestra Kremlin
A while ago I did a post on young and exciting talents and one of the people I mentioned was Jonathan (Okseniuk), who did an AMAZING job conducting Beethoven's final movement to the 5th Symphony. You can see the video HERE.

Since then, Jonathan has skyrocketed in internet fame and even attracted the attention of a real conductor who had him conduct a chamber symphony arrangement of B.'s String Quartet #4, Op.18, No.4.  Here's a short video feature on this amazing little guy.


Another view of the performance can be seen here. Meanwhile back at home Jonathan is still conducting Symphony 6!

The Chamber Orchestra Kremlin can be seen below (with it's regular conductor, Misha Rachlevsky) performing the complete orchestrated string arrangement.
Pt 1-4: String Quartet #4, Op.18, No.4
Pt 5, 6:  String Quartet Op.131
Pt 7-10" String Quartet #4, Op.18, No.4 (alternate performance)


Monday, July 4, 2011

7/4 Kreisler's Rondino

Fritz Kreisler
Fritz Kreisler was one of the most important violinists of the 20th century, both for his playing as well as his composing for the instrument. In fact he wrote a Rondino based on an unused theme by Beethoven (from the rejected final movement of B.'s Wind Octet in E flat (1793).


This version is a piano arrangement by Leopold Godowsky, performed by Phillip Sear..which would make this Sear's Godowsky's Kreisler's Beethoven B-side.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

7/3 Marmottes and Beethoven

I've recently noticed a plethora of arrangements of Beethoven's own arrangement of the traditional air, "La Marmotte".

First, a "straight version:


Now..on accordion:


and electric guitar & synthesizer:


Of course, I did my own arrangement as well...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7/2 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Play Beethoven

Robert Louis Stevenson is best known as a writer of books like "Treasure Island", "Kidnapped" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" but he also had an unusual side-career of transcribing works for recorder.

Here's a performance of Stevenson's recorder version of a song from Beethoven's "Egmont" score:
Egmont (Clarchen's Lied): Die Trommel gerühret, Op.84b no. 1
Played on tenor recorder by J.F.M. Russell from a Stevenson manuscript at Princeton University as part of a project to record the complete music of RLS.

A regular version of Die Trommel gerühret can be found HERE.

And here's Stevenson's arrangement of
Seufzer eines Ungeliebten - Gegenlieb, WoO.118 (1795)
Gegenlieb interestingly uses a melody which re-occurs in the 9th Symphony...

Played on soprano recorder by J.F.M. Russell from a Stevenson manuscript in the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library as part of a project to record the complete music of RLS.

A regular version of this song can be found in my earlier post HERE.

Friday, July 1, 2011

7/1 Beethoven, The Ventures and a Giant Harmonica

The Ventures are pretty famous as a surf-rock band but here they do some groovy arrangements of Beethoven:

The Ventures play the 5th Symphony


The Ventures play the Moonlight Sonata


And for no logical reason whatsoever I'm going to throw in another 5th Symphony arrangement on what looks like soprano, tenor and baritone harmonicas...

Mendes Harmónica Trio