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Beethoven Unleashed: Spirit of the Age

Donald Macleod is joined by five guests to explore Beethoven’s wider world.

Donald Macleod is joined by five guests to explore Beethoven’s wider world.

Beethoven’s lifetime was one of tumultuous change. In a week of programmes exploring this wider world around Beethoven, Donald Macleod is joined by five guests to discuss some of the various elements which combined to define the Spirit of the Age – the economy, the wider world of the arts, engineering, medicine and belief.


Professor Nicholas Matthews - Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, an expert on music and politics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and author of “Political Beethoven”

Ruth Padel – Poet, lifelong Soprano and author of “Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life”

Julian Allwood - Professor of Engineering and the Environment at Cambridge University

Professor Herwig Czech – Chair of the History of Medicine at MedUni Vienna

Dr Aakanksha Virkar Yates - Senior lecturer at the University of Brighton and expert in late nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature

Composer of the Week is 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.

Music Featured:

Violin Sonata 10 in G major, Op 96 (II. Adagio espressivo)
Piano Concerto No 4 in G, Op 58 (I. Allegro Moderato)
Symphony No 3 in E flat major “Eroica”, Op 55 (IV. Finale)
Piano Sonata No 26 in E flat major, Op 81a “Les Adieux” (II. Abwesenheit)
Sonata No 7 in D, Op 10 No 3 (IV. Rondo. Allegro)
String Quartet No 1 in F major, Op 18 (II. Adagio affettuoso et appassionato)
Fidelio, end of Act I
Symphony No 8 in F, Op 93 (III. Tempo di menuetto)
An die Ferne Geliebte, Op 98, Nos 2 and 3
The Creatures of Prometheus, Op 43: Act II, No 10 'Pastorale Allegro'
25 Scottish Songs, Op 108 No 7 'Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie (2nd version)'
Missa Solemnis, Sanctus
Symphony No 2 in D major, Op 36 (II. Scherzo - Allegro)
5 Variations on Rule Britannia, WoO 79
Grosse Fuge in B flat, Op 133 (orch. Manuel Hidalgo)
Six Variations in D on an original theme “Die Ruinen von Athen”, Op 76
The Heavens are Telling (orchestration of Six Songs, Op 48 No 4 - Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur)
Piano Sonata No 29 in B-flat major, Op 106 “Hammerklavier” (I - Allegro)
Doktor speert das Tor dem Tod, WoO 189
Trio in E-flat major, WoO 38 (after the Septet, Op 20) (IV. Andante con Variazione)
Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II, WoO 87 (VII. Todt, Todt!)
Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor, Op 57 “Appassionata” (III. Allegro ma non troppo)
Symphony 7 in A major, Op 92 (II. Allegretto)
String Quartet No13, Op 130 (V. Cavatina)
Symphony No 4 in B flat major, Op 60 (III. Menuett)
Piano Sonata No 28, Op 101 (I. Etwas lebhaft und mit der innigsten Empfindung)
Der Glorreiche Augenblick, Op136 (Das Auge schaut)
Der Freie Mann, WoO 117
Christ on the Mount of Olives, Op 85 (Chor der Krieger: "Wir haben ihn gesehen")
Mass in C Major, Op 86 (Sanctus)
String Quartet No 15 (III. Molto Adagio)

Presented by Donald Macleod

Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales

For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Spirit of the Age

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here:

Release date:

Available now

1 hour, 38 minutes