Stephen Johnson looks to Vienna in 1808, when Beethoven, a composer in his prime, decided to unveil three major new works in a grand public concert at the city's smartest new venue.
Stephen Johnson considers how five seminal pieces of music would have been appreciated by the audiences who heard them first. He probes the societies and cultures that shaped the experience of those original listeners to reveal what our modern ears might be missing.
Stephen takes us to Vienna, 1808, where Ludwig van Beethoven is a composer in his prime. He is churning out masterpiece after masterpiece, adding the dazzling canon of work that would mark him out as one of the greats in all of Western art. So, when he decided to unveil not one but three major new works in a grand public concert at the city's smartest new venue, what could possibly go wrong?