In 2020 the world will celebrate 250 years since the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, the composer whose remarkable, innovative music consolidated everything that came before and set the scene for everything that was to come.
This unique evening delivers startling insights into the turning point of his life, October 6 1802, when he composed not a piece of music but a letter that he kept secret until he died.Brett Dean, himself now one of the world’s most acclaimed composers,leads the ASOfrom the violas and invites his friendSir Christopher Clark,professor of history at Cambridge University, to give a rich context - social, political and scientific - for the famousHeiligenstadt Testament.
The realisation that the playful, life-affirming works written when Ludwig was a stellar figure in Vienna are actually those of a young man on the brink of suicide will shock you. That he could defy his depression and crippling affliction with the most revolutionary symphony ever composed, theEroica, is one of Art’s great miracles.
At the concert’s centre Dean’s own moving and terrifying work evokes the maestro’s vanishing sound world and lets us share the panic and alienation that he was forced to mask.
Beethoven: Selections from Septet, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Introduction), and Symphonies No. 1 & No. 2
Brett Dean: Testament: Music for orchestra (2008)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 ‘Eroica’