16 Dec 2020

BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No 21 In C Op 53, Waldstein

From Music Alive, 8:04 pm on 16 December 2020

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Michael Houstoun at his recital celebrating the the 250th birthday of Beethoven

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Photo: Poster art

Michael Houstoun talks to Eva Radich about his Beethoven recital

"If mountains, cliffs, and forests could sing," wrote one musicologist of the Waldstein Sonata, "'they would praise their Creator in such tones as these."

The Waldstein of the dedication was a certain Count Ferdinand who was one of Beethoven’s earliest and most important patrons. He not only commissioned work from the young composer but opened doors and kept a benevolent eye on the working conditions of his protegé. It was he who sponsored Beethoven’s permanent move from provincial Bonn to the big smoke of Vienna, encouraging the composer to "receive the spirit of Mozart from the hands of Haydn," which Beethoven did in a series of lessons with the recently retired Esterházy Kapellmeister.

Waldstein unfortunately frittered away his vast wealth and died a pauper in 1823 nearly twenty years after the Sonata in C was named for him.

Recorded by RNZ Concert in Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber, 16 December 2020
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Adrian Hollay

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