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Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy

A Presidents Day tribute to G. Washington and A. Lincoln both of whom loved music: Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata for violin and piano played by a master.

The Kreutzer Sonata, Beethoven’s ninth for violin and piano, is sometimes referred to as “the other Ninth”. The story of its dedication is famous: The half-African violinist George Bridgetower came to Vienna, where he and Beethoven immediately hit it off. Beethoven composed this sonata for him and dedicated it accordingly. Unfortunately, during the celebration of its successful premiere, Bridgetower impugned the morals of a woman whom Beethoven admired, leading Beethoven to rip up the title page and dedicate the sonata instead to the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, who actually disliked the work and never performed it!
        At the age of 82, the great violinist Nathan Milstein performed the Kreutzer sonata with pianist Georges Pludermacher, in what was to become his last public performance. A short bio of Milstein precedes the sonata.[Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]

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