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Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven, Mozart, Bach: A Musical Dialogue.

We continue the investigation of the C-minor dialogue with Bach’s Ricercar à 6 and Mozart’s sonata K.457. When the elderly J.S. Bach visited his son who was court musician for Frederick II, the king presented the elder Bach with a difficult theme, and challenged him to improvise a three-part and then a six-part fugue. Bach created the 3-part fugue on the spot, but declined the 6-part pending further study. Two months later, Bach sent the king the two-volume “Musical Offering” in which the theme is subjected to every possible permutation in the form of ten  different canons, two ricercars, and a trio sonata! 
After studying the Musical Offering, Mozart composed his C-minor sonata and later the Fantasy (which we heard yesterday) in which he demonstrated the principles used in composing the sonata. 
In the next days, we’ll see how this theme was developed by Beethoven and Schubert. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]

We hear the Ricercar a 6 played by Daniel Martyn Lewis.

The Mozart sonata is performed here by Micah McLaurin.

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