Notes by Margaret Scialdone. ~ As January 27th is the 265th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, we’ll step away from the sonatas for a few days and allow Beethoven to pay homage to his great predecessor. The teenaged Beethoven first went to Vienna in 1787, and it’s believed that he met with Mozart who agreed to take him on as a pupil. However, Beethoven immediately received news that his mother was critically ill, so he returned to Bonn after five days. When he finally came back to Vienna in 1792, Mozart had already died, at the age of 35. Beethoven then took up lessons from Haydn, which were unsatisfactory because Haydn was busy with concert tours, so he ended up studying counterpoint with Albrechtsburger and composition with Saliieri.
Beethoven had obviously studied every note Mozart had ever written, and his sketchbooks and compositions are full of Mozartean references. However, we’ll concentrate right now on one of Beethoven’s favorite genres – variations – composed on themes from Mozart’s operas. In “The Marriage of Figaro”, the Figaro, who’s about to get married, learns that the count whom he serves intends to exercise the “Lord’s right” – to sleep with the bride on her wedding night. Furious, he announces in the aria “Se vuol ballare” his determination to thwart the Count’s plan.
Here you will find Mozart’s aria is sung by Erwin Schrott, and Beethoven’s variations, WoO 40, are performed by Jiyoung Park and Hue-am Park.
Both of the Opus 27 sonatas are titled “Sonata quasi una Fantasia” (‘like a fantasy’). The first is frequently neglected in favor of its famous sibling, the so-called “Moonlight”, but everyone who has ever played it loves it. It was dedicated to his student Princess Josephine von Liechtenstein, whose husband maintained an orchestra and sponsored concerts in his palace.
This beautiful performance of Opus 27 no. 1 is by the Croatian pianist Aljoša Jurinić:
The Schiller Institute website has launched a new page intended to generate a scientific discussion on the fraud of the “climate science” now being used to justify the global drive toward a fascist Great Reset. The page includes presentations, articles and a discussion space for truthful scientific discourse.
Robert Burns – Friend of Freedom Join us for a birthday celebration. Sunday, January 24th, 6:00 pm EST
As the story goes, in 1793, at a private dinner in England, when the host proposed the health of William Pitt [first prime minister of Great Britain], the poet said, sharply, “Let us drink the health of a greater and better man – George Washington.” As the Schiller Institute Chorus takes its name from the Poet of Freedom, Friedrich Schiller, let us celebrate another friend of the human freedom, Robert Burns, born on January 25, 1759.
English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, in his essay, “A Defense of Poetry,” established that, in fact, it is the poets, who are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. In a moment as tumultuous as our present time, it is ever more important that we understand and develop in ourselves that poetic power capable of changing the course of human history for the better.
Join us in a celebration of the immortal life of Robert Burns through his own works and those of others; to help demonstrate that power of poetry and culture in strengthening the human spirit, to not only face adversity, but to overcome it with a greater good.
We plan to demonstrate how Burns fulfilled the great German poet, Friedrich Schiller’s demand, that a poet be both a patriot of his nation and citizen of the world. Please join us for an evening of song, poetry, and history, to advance the cause and the joy of true human freedom.
“A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.” Ludwig van Beethoven
In a radical departure from the sonata form, Beethoven opens his Opus 26 piano sonata with a theme and variations followed by a scherzo, and then the famous “Funeral March on the Death of a Hero” (an orchestral arrangement of which was played at Beethoven’s funeral). After his death, this became one of the most popular of Beethoven’s sonatas. Liszt played it at most of his recitals, and Chopin loved this sonata and likely used it as a model for his own Funeral March.
Here is an exquisite performance by Daniel Barenboim.