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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Morning in the Church of Beethoven

As I noted last week, I am reading the new book on LvB's Fifth Symphony, so to continue that theme, here is a bit of Leonard Bernstein's famous TV special on this from the 1950s (I think all of it is at YouTube somewhere).

1 comment:

Laurence Glavin said...

I own a copy of the LP recording of the audio from this telecast. At various points, Leonard Bernstein (who like me and Robert Frost was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts) conducts some rejected material from the 5th that he (Bernstein) orchestrated, then goes on to say "this sounds wrong somehow, and what Beethoven actually settled on is just right". I have a feeling that if Beethoven HAD incorporated some of the sketches he actually later rejected, then we would be so accustomed to them that nowadays we couldn't conceive of him doing otherwise. Right now, I have the music of another composer who had the letters 'b', 'e' and 'o' in his name: Berlioz. I attended a screening of his opera "Les Troyens" in HD at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA which invested heavily in its audio system so, although ticket prices are higher than at a local cineplex, it's worth it to hear The Met Orchestra in this piece as well as the lead singers in the best sound available. Berlioz attended the Paris Conservatoire at about the time Beethoven's symphonies werte first being played as "classics" and with the kind of professionalism we take for granted today. Berlioz' professors were just blown away by this music, especially the 5th Symphony as Berlioz has recounted so vividly in his memoirs.