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Beethoven was a reluctant teacher, but was moved to make a special effort for one or two especially charming and talented piano students. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Financial necessity forced Beethoven to accept piano students, mostly the sons and daughters of Vienna's noble families. He was a reluctant tutor, generally, but was moved to make a special effort for one or two especially talented and charming protégés.

This week, Donald Macleod follows Beethoven through the years 1796-99, as the young composer learns to negotiate the privileged and moneyed circles of Vienna’s culture loving aristocracy. Few can resist his extraordinary charisma as a virtuoso pianist, but will he also be able to persuade them of his talents as a composer?

Composer of the Week will be returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Piano Sonata no 4, op 7
Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)

Violin Sonata, op 12 no 2
Tai Murray, violin
Ashley Wass, piano

String Quartet, op.18 no.4, mvts.III & IV
Elias Quartet

19 days left to listen

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No 4 in E flat major, Op 7 (1st movement)

    Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No 4 in E flat major, Op 7 (2nd and 3rd movements)

    Performer: Benjamin Grosvenor.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata in A major, Op 12 No 2

    Performer: Tai Murray. Performer: Ashley Wass.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet in C minor, Op 18 No 4 (3rd and 4th movements)

    Ensemble: Elias String Quartet.

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