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The Emperor

Soul Music, Series 10 Episode 5 of 5

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 05 October 2010

Majestic and moving in equal measure, Beethoven's fifth and final piano concerto, The Emperor, is this week's Soul Music.

Richard McMahon (concert pianist, and teacher at the Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama) plays extracts and discusses the virtuosic demands posed by The Emperor.

Australian film producer, Hal McElroy, talks about using the Adagio (the second movement) to illustrate the classic 1970s film Picnic at Hanging Rock.

That was where Andrew Law - now Chaplain at Malvern College - first heard the piece. He describes the Adagio as being 'one of those pieces of art which it is worth being alive to have heard'.

Concert pianist, James Rhodes, describes how The Emperor was central to his childhood and his developing love of Beethoven's piano music.

Music teacher and singer, Prue Hawthorne, recalls how her father (an amateur clarinetist) labouriously transcribed by hand the horn and clarinet sections of the first movement so they could play along with the record in their living room.

Also contributing is the renowned Beethoven biographer, John Suchet.

  • Richard McMahon

    Richard McMahon


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