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Marin Alsop and Simon Schama join Donald Macleod to discuss Beethoven’s world.

One of the things that makes Beethoven so appealing is that he was a man of his times. And what times they were – times of extraordinary revolution and turmoil. Donald Macleod continues his conversation with the conductor Marin Alsop and historian Simon Schama by asking them about the political and social backdrop to Beethoven’s life and work.

All through 2020, 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.

Piano Sonata No 13 in E flat major, Op 27 No 1 (2nd movement)
Paul Lewis, piano

Symphony No 3 in E flat major (Eroica), Op 55 (2nd movement)
New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor

The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Fidelio: Act II finale
Arnold Schoenberg Choir
Berlin Philharmonic
Simon Rattle, conductor

Symphony No 4 in B flat major, Op 60 (1st movement)
London Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor

Produced by Martin Williams for BBC Wales

18 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No 13 in E flat major, Op 27 No 1 (2nd movement)

    Performer: Paul Lewis.
    • Harmonia Mundi HMC 901906/08.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 6.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 3 in E flat major (Eroica), Op 55 (2nd movement)

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • SONY G0100026780833.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • 6.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture

    Orchestra: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG 4196082.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 1.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Fidelio: Act II, Scene 2 (Finale)

    Choir: Arnold Schoenberg Chor. Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI 5 57555 2.
    • EMI.
    • 11.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 4 in B flat major, Op 60 (1st movement)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Bernard Haitink.
    • LSO LIVE LSO 0587.
    • LSO LIVE.
    • 1.

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Composer Help Page

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