Sunday, July 20, 2008

Musical Crack Cocaine

I don't know if I can provide a link, but I discovered a podcast series on iTunes: a CBC Radio 2 series on Beethoven's 9 symphonies. It should be easy to find via a search.

This is as good as it gets. A 20-30 minute podcast on each symphony, with a musically literate interviewer and the conductor of the Vancouver symphony with the analysis, including short blurbs on piano. It does assume that one knows the basics of classical music (e.g. the sonata form, and the sense of musical key) but it is not esoteric. Personally, it matches my music level perfectly.

I'm actually slowly rationing these as I don't want them to end.

Here's a fun factoid from the 1st symphony (though you really have to hear it on the podcast): in the 4th movement, Beethoven starts the main melody with a joke. 2 notes start, then a pause. Then the same 2 notes with 2 more, and again a pause. Then, again, the theme starts and screeches to a halt, until finally it bursts through as though the band has come in. The joke is that it gives the effect that the orchestra is practicing, or playing the piece for the first time, as the pauses are precisely the effect in those situations.

For 1800, this was clever stuff. Though Beethoven was not especially known for it (unlike Haydn, or Heaven's own court jester: Mozart).

1 comment:

Hegemom said...

"Heaven's own court jester!" I like it!

xxoo, H'mom