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Dittersdorf played with Mozart and Haydn!

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (2 November 1739 – 24 October 1799) was an Austrian composer, violinist and silvologist) What the heck is a silvologist?! Click on the link to find out.

Besides having such a cool name! – playing with Haydn and Mozart and being a silvologist!; he also composed quality music.

[* In 1785 they played string quartets together. Mozart played the viola; Haydn second violin and Wanhal played cello]

Here’s his Sinfonia #4 in F major adagio non molto. Worth a listen.

Dittersdorf Sinfonia #4 in F major adagio non molto  orange_download_button

Composers Composers - Ignored and Almost forgotten!

Ignaz Pleyel another ignored, almost forgotten composer

Here’s another composer who has been almost forgotten and whose music is rarely performed these days; and yet ‘back in the day’ was hugely popular. The interesting thing about Pleyel from what I gather via the Wikipedia link below, is that his popularity was due in some part to the simplicity of his compositions. Easy listening!

Here’s his concerto for Clarinet in B flat major followed by the Sinfonia Concertante for flute in B flat major. Both pieces are the second movements.

Concerto for Clarinet in B flat major orange_download_button


Sinfonia Concertante for flute in B flat major orange_download_button

Oldest Pianist

Lady in Number Six

Yesterday one of Classical musics most beautiful souls, passed away. Surely The Divine enjoyed how she lived her life and so did we.

Here’s the link to the Oscar nominated film. Once you watch it you’ll never forget Alice Herz-Sommer. Enjoy!

Beethoven Blog Titles String Quartet

Where have you been Jim?!

September 2013 was my last posting! Amazing how time flies when you’re battling prostate cancer! Yep … the adventure of my life and it’s going better than I would have hoped. Determined to avoid any of the intrusive horrors; I’m using many of the natural cancer fighting modalities. Tons of powerful nutraceuticals and supplements, fresh veggie and wheatgrass juices, meditation, exercise, month by month hormone injections (the least intrusive of the ‘effective’ mainstream tools)  and a secret weapon!

Hey I just thought of a cool way to mark my progress. What better than Beethoven’s answer to being healed!

His string quartet #15 –  Heiliger Danksgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit-Neue Kraft fuehlend

translated: “A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode”

Like all of his late string quartets this is a ripper! (Aussie slang for good stuff)

Beethoven String Quartet No.15 in A minor Op.132 orange_download_button

Piano Schubert

Paul Lewis and Schubert

The other night I traveled to Melbourne and attended an all Schubert concert by the wonderful pianist Paul Lewis. Paul is in the process of (I think) recording all of Schubert. My favorite piece in the concert was this one:

At the end of the concert I got in the line to have CD’s signed. I said something to him like: ‘Hi Paul .. I’ve got a bunch of your Beethoven, and I just wanted to ask you; what do you feel Schubert brought to the table that his Master and guru, Beethoven, hadn’t done better already?’ I then said, ‘Something has happened to me in the past year that I never thought would happen … I’ve become a Beethoven freak’ – He said, “Really!” with a bit of intensity as though he found it very interesting! (he was quite personable and lovely)

Paul answered rapidly along the lines of how very different they were and at the end said, ‘Schubert is instinctive while Beethoven is logical.’ I thanked him and we shook hands. He had a firm handshake!

Hmmmm? I’ve been pondering the instinctive/logical bit, and don’t quite get it yet!

Farrenc Female Composers

Louise Farrenc Clarinet

Arguably the greatest female composer in history; Louise Farrenc like so many other female composers, faded into obscurity. If the woman who runs this web site has anything to do with it … you’ll be hearing a lot more from her!

(*there is a fair bit on my site already that features female composers, but I was struck today by this piece: And I do love the clarinet!)

Louise Farrenc’s clarinet trio / second movement

Louise Farrenc’s clarinet trio second movement orange_download_button

Beethoven Beethoven the alchemist magician genius Piano

Beethoven the alchemist magician genius

Sonata No. 4 in E flat major Op. 7 – II. Largo con gran espressione.

Played very well by Paul Lewis

I was listening to a debate on the radio some months ago on the theme: Was Beethoven the Greatest? I remember one of those who were voting ‘Yes’ – making a comment along the lines of how, as great as he was, sometimes you just had to wonder what in the hell he was doing! I think she meant that when he gets edgy and ‘out there’ it’s hard to figure out what he’s trying to accomplish musically or emotionally/spiritually … or any which way!

And how about the alchemical transitions he spins? Where he takes us from somnambulist/ hypnotic – to raging punk – like riffs in a minute.

Sometimes listening to Beethoven I find myself on the edge of my seat, almost holding my breath, to see what comes next. Where does a musical genius go after 8, 10 or 15  notes in a sequence that are like a child experimenting? Knowing, that said genius is not childlike, we wonder how his boundless musical savvy  is going to lead us out of it; and into… what?!

OK – here’s such a moment. Starting at 3:10 into this piece and going on to about 4:20. Who else but Beethoven could do this?

How did he take us from there to there? Magic stuff. Actually this entire Sonata movement is ‘somethin’ else’!