Main content

Marin Alsop and Simon Schama join Donald Macleod to discuss Beethoven and the notion of struggle.

Continuing his conversation with the conductor Marin Alsop and historian Simon Schama, Donald Macleod asks about the centrality of the notion of struggle in relation to Beethoven’s life and work.

All through 2020, as part of Radio 3's Beethoven Unleashed season, Donald Macleod takes an unprecedented deep dive into the compelling story and extraordinary music of Ludwig van Beethoven. In this uniquely ambitious series, told across 125 episodes of Composer of the Week, Donald puts us inside Beethoven’s world and explores his hopes, struggles and perseverance in all the colourful detail this amazing narrative deserves. Alongside this in-depth biography, Donald will also be meeting and talking to Beethoven enthusiasts and experts from across the world to discover how his music continues to speak to us in the twenty-first century. Through story and sound, the series builds into a vivid new portrait of this composer, born 250 years ago this year, who made art that changed how people saw themselves and understood the world.

Symphony No 8 in F major, Op 93 (2nd movement)
Vienna Philharmonic
Simon Rattle, conductor

Sonata in A major, Op 30 No 1 for violin and piano
Gidon Kremer, violin
Martha Argerich, piano

Leonore Overture No 3
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor, Op 90 (2nd movement)
Andras Schiff, piano

Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58 (2nd movement)
Mitsuko Uchida, piano
Berlin Philharmonic
Simon Rattle, conductor

Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales

21 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 8 in F major, Op 93 (2nd movement)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • WARNER 4575732.
    • WARNER CLASSICS.
    • 6.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Sonata in A major for violin and piano, Op 30 No 1 (1st movement)

    Performer: Gidon Kremer. Performer: Martha Argerich.
    • DG 4767256.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 1.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Leonore Overture No 3

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
    • DG 4290052.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 7.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No 27 in E minor, Op 90 (2nd movement)

    Performer: Sir András Schiff.
    • ECM 4766189.
    • ECM.
    • 2.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op 58 (2nd movement)

    Performer: Mitsuko Uchida. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • BERLIN PHILHARMONIKER BPHR 180241.
    • BERLIN PHILHARMONIKER.
    • 5.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.