Main content

Beethoven wrestles with the new symphony he hopes will propel him to stardom, but the Viennese public are not sure if they like what he has to offer. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Beethoven was nearly 30 years old but yet to compose any of the major masterpieces he is best known for today. Donald Macleod follows his progress as Beethoven puts his music before a wider public and starts work on his ambitious first symphony.

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.

Violin Sonata op 12, no 3, III. Rondo, allegro molto
Alexandra Soumm, violin
Adam Laloum, piano

Piano Sonata no 6 in F, op 10, movts. II & III
Mieczyslaw Horszowski, piano

Zärtliche Liebe, WoO 123
Ilker Arcayurek, tenor
Simon Lepper, piano

Trio in B flat major, op 11
Atos Trio

Symphony No.1 in C, I. Adagio molto – Allegro con brio
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Conducted by Thierry Fischer

Producer: Chris Taylor

21 days left to listen

59 minutes

Last on

Last Friday 12:00

Music Played

  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Violin Sonata, Op 12 No 3 (3rd movement)

    Performer: Alexandra Soumm. Performer: Adam Laloum.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Sonata No 6 in F major, Op 10 No 2 (2nd and 3rd movements)

    Performer: Mieczyslaw Horszowski.
    • BBC Legends BBCL 4122-2.
    • BBC Legends.
    • 1.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Zartliche Liebe, WoO 123

    Performer: Simon Lepper. Singer: Ilker Arcayürek.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Piano Trio in B flat major, Op 11

    Ensemble: ATOS Trio.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No 1 in C major (1st movement)

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Thierry Fischer.

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.