Beethoven and that Danged Metronome

August 16, 2019, 7:00 pm

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Beethoven and That Danged Metronome – The metronome is a device that musicians use to break up the musical minute, based on the portion of a second used per beat. Beethoven was notorious for marking his music with metronome timings, and this week we learn the significant role those little numbers played. The tempo and interpretation affect the emotional impact of a composition, thus changing its entire character. We’ll also take a brief detour and examine how other composers, like Bach, Handel, and Shostakovich worked with tempi in their music.

Playlist

Episode 1

Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria from Goldberg Variations (two excerpts)
Gould, piano
Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
CBS 37779, Sony 87703; 1:53, 1:33

George Frideric Handel: Overture from Messiah (excerpt)
Royal Phil/Beecham
Messiah
RCA LDS-6409; 2:24

George Frideric Handel: Overture from Messiah
Amsterdam Baroque/Koopman
Celebration Album
Erato 2292-45433; 3:07

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, III
Vienna Phil/Furtwangler
Beethoven/ Symphony No. 1/ Symphony No. 4
EMI 47409; 3:49

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 2, I
Berlin Phil/Karajan
Beethoven: Symphonien 1-9 Karajan
Deutsche Grammophon 429 036-2 (5 Disc Set)
DG 429036; 10:13

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 2, I (excerpt), II, III, IV
London Classical Players/Norrington
Beethoven: Symphony No 2 & 8 / Norrington, London Classical
EMI 47698; 1:09, 9:59, 10:45

Episode 2

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, I (excerpt)
Berlin Phil/Furtwangler
W. Furtwängler, Live in Berlin, 7. XII.1 952
Tahra 1008; 1:09

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, I
Vienna Phil/Bernstein
Symphonie No. 3 “Eroica”
DG 413778; 17:37

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4, I & IV (excerpts)
Bavarian Radio Symphony/Kleiber
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Melo 40047; 9:13, :19, :18

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4, IV (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/Furtwangler
Beethoven/ Symphony No. 1/ Symphony No. 4
EMI 47409; :21

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4, IV (excerpt + complete)
La Scala/Giulini
Beethoven: Symphonies 4 & 5 / Giulini, La Scala PO
Sony 58921; :17, 7:44

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, I (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/Furtwangler
Symphonies 5 & 7
EMI 69803; 1:00

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, I (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/Bernstein
Symphonien Nos. 5 & 8, Ouvertüre Fidelio
DG 419435; 1:01

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, I (excerpt)
Concertgebouw/E. Kleiber
Symphony No 5 In C Minor Opus 67
Decca LXT 2851; :54

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, I
Vienna Phil/C. Kleiber
Symphonie Nr. 5
DG 415861; 7:17

Episode 3

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, I (excerpt)
CSO/Stock; Schnabel, piano
“Emperor” Concerto For Piano And Orchestra
RCA 09026-61393; :17

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, I (excerpt + complete)
Cleveland Orch/Szell; Fleisher, piano
The Five Piano Concertos
CBS 42445; :17, 17:59

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4, I (excerpt)
Cleveland Orch; Ashkenazy, piano
Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos
London 421718; :16

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, I (excerpt)
NBC Symphony Orch/Toscanini
Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, 7 & 8
RCA 74321 55836; 1:17

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, I (excerpt)
Columbia Symphony/Walter
Pastorale: Symphony No. 6
CBS 36720; 1:13

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, I
Concertgebouw/Mengelberg
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos 5 & 6
Opus Kura 2016; 8:29

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 rehearsal (excerpt)
Columbia Symphony/Walter
Bruno Walter Rehearses Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 7 & 9
Sony 64465; 3:47

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, I
Columbia Symphony/Walter
Symphony No. 7 In A Major
Sony 64463; 12:58

Episode 4

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, finale
New York Phil/Bernstein
Symphony No. 5, Op. 47
CBS 37218; 8:53

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 finale (excerpt + complete)
Leningrad Phil/Mravinsky
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
Doremi 7811; :38, 11:00

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
London Classical Players/Norrington
Beethoven: Symphony No 2 & 8 / Norrington, London Classical
EMI 47698; 25:13, 3:01

Episode 5

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (excerpts)
CSO/Reiner
Symphony No.9 (“Choral”)
RCA 09026-61795; 1:12, :25, :57

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Furtwangler
Symphony No. 9 Choral
DG 435325; 1:12, 2:20, 24:47

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (excerpts)
London Classical Players/Norrington
Symphony No. 9 In D Minor
Virgin Veritas 56137820; :50, :28, 1:10, 1:03

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Rattle
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 Choral; Sir Simon Rattle/Vienna Philharmonic
EMI 7234 5 57450; 1:08, 11:50