Beethoven Unleashed - Return To Form

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01Meeting an Old Friend20200601Donald Macleod explores Beethoven\u2019s revolutionary late return to the string quartet.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

01Meeting an Old Friend20200601Donald Macleod is joined by guests Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre to explore Beethoven’s revolutionary return to the string quartet in the final two years of his life.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet, to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Today, a commission from a Russian Prince and the return of an old friend prompts Beethoven to pick up his sketchbook again, and we hear from the first of the late quartets, Op 127.

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

String Quartet No 12 in E flat, Op 127 (1st movement)
Alban Berg Quartet

String Quartet No 12 in E flat, Op 127 (2nd movement)
Takács Quartet

Symphony No 9 (Finale, part 1)
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

String Quartet No 12 in E flat, Op 127 (3rd movement)
Tokyo Quartet

String Quartet No 12 in E flat, Op 127 (4th movement)
Emerson Quartet

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod explores Beethoven\u2019s revolutionary late return to the string quartet.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Thanksgiving20200602Donald Macleod and his guests Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre discuss the tumultuous circumstances surrounding Beethoven’s late quartets, and the state of mind they emerged from.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet, to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Today, we hear how Beethoven’s financial fretting and a sudden brush with death feed into his writing, with a focus on the second of the late quartets, Op 132.

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

Bagatelle in E flat, Op 126 No 3
Tanguy de Williencourt, piano

String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (1st movement)
Takács Quartet

String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (3rd movement)
Alban Berg Quartet

Fidelio, Act I: ‘Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin?‘
Helga Dernesch, soprano
Berlin Philharmonic
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

String Quartet in A minor, Op 132 (4th and 5th movements)
Alban Berg Quartet

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod explores Beethoven\u2019s state of mind while writing his last string quartets.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Thanksgiving20200602Donald Macleod explores Beethoven\u2019s state of mind while writing his last string quartets.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03On The Edge20200603Donald Macleod reveals the earliest reactions to Beethoven's groundbreaking late quartets.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03On the Edge20200603Donald Macleod, Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre take a look at how Beethoven’s groundbreaking late string quartets were received by the audiences that first heard them.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet, to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Today, we hear from the Op 130 quartet, dive into concert culture of the time, and discover how Beethoven was increasingly at odds with his listeners in perhaps his most enigmatic and baffling movement of all.

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

String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130 (2nd movement)
Takács Quartet

String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130 (3rd and 4th movements)
Danish String Quartet

Piano Sonata in G major, Op 79
Louis Lortie, piano

String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130 (5th movement)
Tokyo Quartet

Grosse Fuge, Op 133
Takács Quartet

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod reveals the earliest reactions to Beethoven\u2019s groundbreaking late quartets.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Elusive Harmony20200604Donald Macleod discovers the personal relationships that shaped Beethoven\u2019s final works.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Elusive Harmony20200604Donald Macleod is joined again by guests Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre to uncover the relationships that were important to Beethoven whilst writing his late quartets.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre of the Takács Quartet, to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Today, Beethoven’s musical colleagues are the butt of his jokes, and his turbulent relationship with nephew Karl reaches breaking point, as we focus on the fourth of the late quartets, Op 131.

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

Piano Sonata No 30, Op 109 (1st movement)
Richard Goode, piano

String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131 (1st movement)
Alban Berg Quartet

String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131 (2nd, 3rd and 4th movements)
Takács Quartet

Lob auf der Dicken, WoO 100
Falstafferel, WoO 184
Berliner Solisten
Kammerchor der Berliner Singakademie
Dietrich Knothe, conductor

String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op 131 (5th, 6th and 7th movements)
Tokyo Quartet

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod discovers the personal relationships that shaped Beethoven\u2019s final works.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05For a Later Age20200605Donald Macleod explores the enduring power and innovation of Beethoven\u2019s late quartets

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Donald Macleod explores the enduring power, pathos and innovation of Beethoven’s late string quartets with guests Laura Tunbridge and Edward Dusinberre.

Just two years before he died, Beethoven returned to an old treasured form, the string quartet. The five quartets he ended up writing would come to be his final major works, and would change the paradigm beyond recognition. Though dismissed by audiences in their day, their composition is now considered a pivotal moment not only in Beethoven’s life, but in the history of classical music. Donald is joined by musicologist Laura Tunbridge, and violinist Edward Dusinberre to discuss these extraordinary, watershed works that have bewildered and beguiled listeners ever since their creation. Throughout the week, they focus on each of the five late quartets, uncovering the stories, circumstances and conversations that surround them.

Today, we hone in on Beethoven’s swansong, Op 135, but also step back and look at how the legend of Beethoven’s so-called ‘late’ period has been cultivated. Our guests offer their experiences of living within this music, and ponder on what these astonishing works have come to mean for us today.

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

String Quartet in F major, Op 135 (1st movement)
Emerson Quartet

Coriolan Overture, Op 62
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

String Quartet in B flat major, Op 130 (1st movement)
Budapest Quartet

String Quartet in F major, Op 135 (2nd and 3rd movements)
Tokyo Quartet

String Quartet in F major, Op 135 (4th movement)
Takács Quartet

Produced in Cardiff by Amelia Parker

Donald Macleod explores the enduring power and innovation of Beethoven\u2019s late quartets

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202001Meeting An Old Friend20200601Donald Macleod explores Beethoven's revolutionary late return to the string quartet.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202002Thanksgiving20200602Donald Macleod explores Beethoven's state of mind while writing his last string quartets.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202003On The Edge20200603
202004Elusive Harmony20200604Donald Macleod discovers the personal relationships that shaped Beethoven's final works.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

202005 LASTFor A Later Age20200605Donald Macleod explores the enduring power and innovation of Beethoven's late quartets

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.