These two Zoom classes will feature music from Beethoven’s final years when he began to push the boundaries of music further and further. Even today, the late Piano Sonatas sound incredibly modern and, at times, quite dissonant, as he explored new harmonies and altered our sense of meter and time as well. His last few Piano Sonatas are indeed, as Nietzsche wrote, “music about music.” When I did my earlier Beethoven Zoom class, I felt that I did not have enough time to really perform and explore these later works so I wanted to use his actual birthday (which is probably December 16) to begin this exploration of these powerful, but difficult, works. As before, I will also read from his many letters and show parts of the wonderful BBC documentary entitled “The Genius of Beethoven.”
There will be two different classes. The first class will be on Wednesday, December 16 from 1:00-3:00 as we focus on the years from 1810-1820. I hope to perform his Op. 81a Sonata (“Les Adieux”) as well as his Opus 90 in E Minor and (hopefully) at least part of his majestic “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Op. 106.
Then, on Friday, December 18 also from 1:00 to 3:00, I will focus on the years from 1820 until his death in 1827 with a special focus on his final three Piano Sonatas, Opus 109 to 111. Even today, these pieces are considered by many musicians as some of the greatest creations mankind has ever produced.
I hope you can join me on this incredible journey into human suffering, adversity, mental triumph, determination, and truly musical poetry.