Daily Archives: June 7, 2012

Beethoven, Symphony No.10 in E Flat Major, “Unfinished”


Symphony No. 10 (Beethoven/Cooper)

 Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 10 in E flat major is a hypothetical work, assembled by Barry Cooper from Beethoven’s fragmentary sketches. This title is controversial since it cannot be proved that all the sketches assembled were meant for the same piece. There is consensus, however, that Beethoven did intend another symphony.


After completing the Ninth Symphony, he devoted his energies largely to composing string quartets, although there are contemporary references to some work on a symphony (e.g. in a Beethoven letter of 18 March 1827); allegedly he played a movement of this piece for his friend Karl Holz, whose description of what he heard matches the material assembled by Cooper. Cooper claimed that he found over fifty separate fragments, which he wove together to form the symphonic movement. Cooper assembled material for a first movement consisting of an Andante in E-flat major enclosing a central Allegro in C minor. Cooper claims to have also found sketches for a Scherzo which are not developed enough to assemble into a performing version.

There are numerous references to this work in Beethoven’s correspondence (originally, he had planned the Ninth Symphony to be entirely instrumental, the Ode to Joy to be a separate cantata, and the Tenth Symphony to conclude with a different vocal work).

Earlier, in 1814-15, Beethoven also began sketches for a 6th piano concerto in D major, Hess 15. (Unlike the fragmentary symphony, the first movement of this concerto was partly written out in full score and a reconstruction by Nicholas Cook has been performed and recorded.)


Two recordings of the “Symphony No. 10” were released in 1988, one conducted by Wyn Morris[1] and the other by Walter Weller.


An imaginary story of the discovery of Beethoven’s 10th symphony has been depicted by Sue Latham in her novel The Haunted House Symphony

Beethoven’s 10th symphony plays a large plot role in Beethoven’s Last Night, an album by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Did Beethoven write a 10th symphony that was lost to history?

Did Beethoven write a 10th symphony that was lost to history? (click to access MPR article)



Ludwig van Beethoven: Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, op. 50

From Wikipedia: “The Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50 is a piece for violin and orchestra by Ludwig van Beethoven, one of two such compositions by Beethoven, the other beingRomance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40. It was written in 1798, 

Ludwig van Beethoven in 1820

Ludwig van Beethoven in 1820 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

four years before the first romance, and was published 1805, two years later than the first. Hence, this piece was designated as Beethoven’s second romance. It is one of Beethoven’s most popular works.”

Silencio – Beethoven – Ernesto Cortazar _ Paisajes – Relax


Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Opus 31 No. 2 (Tempest Sonata) — Wilhelm Kempff (Recorded in Paris, 1968)

Kempff was born (1895 in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, Germany) in a family of distinguished church musicians. His father was his first teacher. He entered the Hochschule für Musik Berlin at age nine (deeply impressing the directors with his playing, improvisation and compositions) did furthur study in Potsdam, and finished up in Berlin 1916 also studying philosopy and music history.
His first appearance as a soloist was with the Berlin Phil Orch in 1918, Beethovens G major piano concerto under Arthur Nikisch…..Scandinavian tours continued after the war, culminating in a award bestowed on him by King Gustav of Sweden. 
He was music director of Musikhochschule Stuttgart 1924-1929, and married piano pupil Helene Freiin Hiller in 1926. In 1927 took his first trip to Turkey and met with president Atatürk offering advice on appointments to Ankara college of music. 
Then taught at Potsdam 1931-1941 with Edwin Fischer and Walter Gieseking. Premiere of his second opera “family Gozzi” in 1934 to good notices. He composed many works for orchestra, piano, organ, chamber ensembles and songs.
In 1951 he published his autobiography, “”Unter dem Zimbelstern, das Werden eines Musikers”
His first London concert in 1951 launched his strong international career (tho his first of many trips to Japan took place in 1936)
His first visit to US was for concerts in New York City, 1964
1969 TV broadcast of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto G major with Rafael Kubelik (someone post that!!)

UNESCO Concert (1974) in Paris with Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovitch.
1979 was his last concert with orchestra, Beethovens piano concerto G major with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy.
1981 his second book came out “Was ich hörte, was ich sah”.
23 May 1991, William Kempff died. He is buried in the private forest cemetery of the Baron von Künssberg at Upper Franconia.

About “The Tempest” from Wikipedia:  “

The Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2, was composed in 1801/02 by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is usually referred to as “The Tempest” (or Der Sturm in his native German), but the sonata was not given this title by Beethoven, or indeed referred to as such during his lifetime. The name comes from a claim by his associate Anton Schindler that the sonata was inspired by the Shakespeare play. However, much of Schindler’s information is distrusted by classical music scholars. The British music scholar, Donald Francis Tovey, in his authoritative book A Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas, says that

“With all the tragic power of its first movement the D minor Sonata is, like Prospero, almost as far beyond tragedy as it is beyond mere foul weather. It will do you no harm to think of Miranda at bars 31-38 of the slow movement… but people who want to identify Ariel and Caliban and the castaways, good and villainous, may as well confine their attention to the exploits of Scarlet Pimpernel when the Eroica or the C minor Symphony is being played (pg. 121).”


The opening bars of the Tempest sonata

The piece consists of three movements and takes approximately twenty-five minutes to perform:

  1. Largo – Allegro
  2. Adagio
  3. Allegretto

Each of the movements is in sonata form, though the second lacks a substantial development section. The first movement alternates brief moments of seeming peacefulness with extensive passages of turmoil, after some time expanding into a haunting “storm” in which the peacefulness is lost. This musical form, one will note, is rather unique among all Beethoven sonatas to that date. Concerning the time period and style, it was definitely thought of as an odd thing to write; a pianist’s skills were demonstrated in many ways, and showing changes in tone, technique and speed efficiently many times in one movement was one of them. The development begins with rolled, long chords, quickly ending to thetremolo theme of the exposition. There is a long recitative section at the beginning of this movement’s recapitulation, again ending to fast and suspenseful passages.

The second movement in B flat major is slower and more dignified. It mirrors the opening of the first movement both through use of a rolling recitative-like arpeggio on the first chord, and the rising melodic ideas in the opening six measures, which are reminiscent of the first movement’s recitative. Other ideas in this movement mirror the first, for instance, a figure in the eighth measure and parallel passages of the second movement is similar to a figure in the sixth measure of the first.

The third movement is a sonata-rondo hybrid in the key of D minor. It is very moving, first flowing with emotion and then reaching a climax, before moving into an extended development section which mainly focuses on the opening figure of the movement, reaching a climax at measures 169-173. The recapitulation, which is preceded by an extensive cadenza-like passage of sixteenth notes for the right hand, is followed by another retransition and then another statement of the primary theme. The refrain undergoes phrase expansion to build tension for the climax of the movement at measure 381, a fortissimo falling chromatic scale.


Beethoven's grave site, Vienna Zentralfriedhof

Beethoven’s grave site, Vienna Zentralfriedhof (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beethoven: Symphony No.3, “Eroica”: Paavo Jarvi, conductor, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

Beethoven: Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.55, “Eroica” 
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Paavo Jarvi, dir.
0:01 I. Allegro con brio
16:00 II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
28:52 III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace – Trio
35:26 IV. Finale: Allegro molto – Poco andante – Presto

From Wikipedia: “Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major (Op. 55), also known as the Eroica (Italian for “heroic”), is a musical work marking the full arrival of the composer’s “middle-period,” a series of unprecedented large scale works of emotional depth and structural rigor.[1][2]

The symphony is widely regarded as a mature expression of the classical style of the late eighteenth century that also exhibits defining features of the romantic style that would hold sway in the nineteenth century. The Third was begun immediately after the Second, completed in August 1804, and first performed 7 April 1805.[3]

Dedication and premiere

Beethoven had originally conceived of dedicating the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte. The biographer Maynard Solomon relates that Beethoven admired the ideals of the French Revolution, and viewed Napoleon as their embodiment. In the autumn the composer began to have second thoughts about that dedication. It would have deprived him of a fee that he would receive if he instead dedicated the symphony to Prince Franz Joseph Maximillian Lobkowitz. Nevertheless, he still gave the work the title of Bonaparte.

According to Beethoven’s pupil and assistant, Ferdinand Ries, when Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor of the French in May 1804, Beethoven became disgusted and went to the table where the completed score lay. He took hold of the title-page and tore it up in rage. This is the account of the scene as told by Ries:

In writing this symphony Beethoven had been thinking of Buonaparte, but Buonaparte while he was First Consul. At that time Beethoven had the highest esteem for him and compared him to the greatest consuls of ancient Rome. Not only I, but many of Beethoven’s closer friends, saw this symphony on his table, beautifully copied in manuscript, with the word “Buonaparte” inscribed at the very top of the title-page and “Ludwig van Beethoven” at the very bottom. …I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon he broke into a rage and exclaimed, “So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!” Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page had to be re-copied and it was only now that the symphony received the title “Sinfonia eroica.”[4]

There exists also the copy of the score made by a copyist, where the 

The Eroica Symphony Title Page, showing the er...

The Eroica Symphony Title Page, showing the erased dedication to Napoleon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

words Intitulata Bonaparte (‘dedicated to Bonaparte’) are scratched out, but four lines below that were later added in pencil the words Geschriben auf Bonaparte (‘written in honor of Bonaparte’). Further, in August 1804, merely three months after the legendary tearing-up scene, Beethoven wrote to his publisher that “The title of the symphony is really Bonaparte.” The final title that was applied to the work when it was first published in October, 1806, was Sinfonia Eroica…composta per festeggiare il sovvenire di un grand Uomo (“heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”).[5] In addition, Schindler tells us that upon hearing of the Emperor’s death in Saint Helena in 1821, Beethoven proclaimed “I wrote the music for this sad event seventeen years ago” – referring to the Funeral March (second movement).

Beethoven wrote most of the symphony in late 1803 and completed it in early 1804. The symphony was premiered privately in summer 1804 in his patron Prince Lobkowitz‘s castle Eisenberg (Jezeri) in Bohemia. The first public performance was given in Vienna‘s Theater an der Wien on 7 April 1805 with the composer conducting. For that performance, the work’s key was announced as “Dis“, the German for D-sharp.[6]

Musical characteristics and uniqueness

The work is a milestone in the history of the classical symphony for a number of reasons. The piece is about twice as long as symphonies by Haydn or Mozart—the first movement alone is almost as long as many Classical symphonies, if the exposition repeat is observed. The work covers more emotional ground than earlier works had, and is often cited as the beginning of the Romantic period in music.[7] The second movement, in particular, displays a great range of emotion, from the misery of the main funeral march theme, to the relative solace of happier, major key episodes. The finale of the symphony shows a similar range, and is given an importance in the overall scheme which was virtually unheard of previously[7] —whereas in earlier symphonies, the finale was a quick and breezy finishing off, here it is a lengthy set of variations and fugue on a theme Beethoven had originally written for his ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus.

EuroNews – Europeans – The Prague Spring – 40 years on

For a few months in 1968, Czechoslovakia briefly threw off some of the restrictions of hard-line communism. From March of that year, censorship disappeared, a free press flourished, and Czechs had a taste of change. But it all came to an abrupt end, when Soviet tanks invaded to bring the country back into line. In this edition of Europeans, how the Prague Spring paved the way for the Velvet Revolution 21 years later. 

Prague 1968

History forgotten is likely to be repeated: Never forget, always remember, and always tell the fact, as if it was a story…still factual.

European Scientist


Много хора с тъга си спомнят за събитията от 1968 г., когато съветските танкове влязоха в Прага и премазаха на практика започналия процес на движение на Чехословакия напред, ръководен от реформиста-марксист Александър Дубчек. “Пражката пролет” ще си остане в историята като пример за опит за политическо и културно либерализиране и стабилизиране в Чехословакия от 5 януари до 20 август 1968 г., завършила с въвеждането в страната на войските от Организацията на Варшавския договор (ОВД), като опит за построяването на “социализъм с човешко лице”, подето от реформисткото крило на Чехословашката компартия (КПЧ), във връзка с нарастващия спад в икономиката и потискането на изявите на другояче мислещите, възникнали в интелигенцията.

Периодът в развитието на Чехословакия, влязъл в него като “Пражката пролет” започва през януари 1968 г., когато бил сменен президента на ЧССР и 1-ви секретар на ЦК на ЧКП Антонин Новотни. Вместо него е избран представителя на либералното крило…

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Who Is Woody Allen? (from France 24 International News)

Who Is Woody Allen? (from France 24 International News)

Who Is Woody Allen? (from France 24 International News) (click to access story and video)

cannibal’ attacks spark Miami police drug warning (from France 24 International News)

 cannibal’ attacks spark Miami police drug warning (from France 24 International News)

cannibal’ attacks spark Miami police drug warning (from France 24 International News) (Click to access story)

May 28, 2012 on San Gabriel River bike trail At Azusa Nature Preserve.

Landscape of the San Gabriel river and mountains

Landscape of the San Gabriel river and mountains

2 miles closer to the mountains

2 miles closer to the mountains

Arthur Rubinstein plays Chopin: Concerto no. 2

The most astonishing music ever written, of a unique sensibility: Chopin, unique in every way!

Arthur Rubinstein is accompanied here by the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1968.

From Wikipedia: “The Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minorOp. 21, is a piano concerto composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830. Chopin wrote the piece before he had finished his formal education, at around 20 years of age. It was first performed on 17 March 1830, in WarsawPoland, with the composer as soloist. It was the second of his piano concertos to be published (after the Piano Concerto No. 1), and so was designated as “No. 2”, even though it was written first.

The work contains the three movements typical of instrumental concertos of the period.

  1. Maestoso
  2. Larghetto
  3. Allegro vivace

What makes Chopin’s Op. 21 an early-Romantic concerto par excellence is the dominance of the piano part. After introducing the first movement, the orchestra cedes all responsibility for musical development to the piano; there is none of the true interplay of forces that is the mainstay of the classical concerto. The idea that Chopin is a poor orchestrator is an oft-flogged dead horse of music criticism; Berlioz, himself a master orchestrator, was harsh in his appraisal, calling Chopin’s treatment “nothing but a cold and useless accompaniment.” Again, the criticism seems moot. If Chopin treated the orchestra merely as a platter on which to serve the piano, it was because the genre demanded it.”

Indeed a concert for Piano and Orchestra, rather than the other way around: I personally think that an orchestra couldn’t serve for better company for a piano, than in this concert!


Today’s Quotation: Mark Twain – on “Faith and belief”

Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) Discuss

George Szell & Wiener Philharmoniker – Orchestra Concert of 1966 Wiener Festwochen

Beautiful music, as it was understood in the 20th century (Gosh it was like yesterday). Not only that, but also the entire video, in good old black  and white, maintaining the air of time long passed …Someday, today will too become part of the historic past as something always happen, each moment to make one thinking about it as… Memorable .

Thank you, friends for returning to my virtual home, and for following, and commenting: You’re always welcome!

 An Orchestra Concert of 1966 Wiener Festwochen on 5th June 1963 in Grossen Musikvereinssaal in Vienna.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827):
Piano Concerto No.5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 “Emperor” (Pianist: Friedrich Gulda)
Anton Bruckner (1824-1896):
Symphony No.3 in D Minor, WAB 103

Wiener Philharmoniker
George Szell

Today’s Birthday: George Szell

George Szell (1897)

Szell was a Hungarian-born conductor and pianist who immigrated to the US during WWII. Having already conducted many European orchestras, he soon became the principal conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1946, he took over the Cleveland Orchestra and, by means of his famously dictatorial approach, built it into one of the most respected ensembles in the world, famed for its precision. Nearly 20 years after Szell’s death, who complained that he still got credit when the orchestra did well? More… Discuss


US Supreme Court Decides Griswold v. Connecticut (1965)

In 1961, Estelle Griswold, executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, opened a birth control clinic for women in deliberate defiance of an 1879 law outlawing the use or distribution of contraceptives. She was arrested and fined. Her appeal made it to the US Supreme Court, which stated in a landmark 1965 decision that married couples had a right to “marital privacy,” which included the right to use birth control. When was the same right extended to unwed individuals?More… Discuss