Bell, Wang, and Beethoven.
Take two world-class performers; add a music masterpiece composed by Beethoven; and watch the fireworks!
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the year 1770; and he was actively composing some amazing music in the early 1800’s. Reflect on that: For over 200 years, human beings all over this planet have marveled at some of these sounds.
One of Beethoven’s great compositions for piano and violin is the amazing “Kreutzer Sonata”, the Sonata number 9, Opus 47 from a group of 10 such pieces that Beethoven wrote over a multi-year period. This sonata was premiered in 1803.
Let’s get back to the performers: I first heard Joshua Bell play many years ago when I visited the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado. And I heard Yuja Wang for the first time at a concert with the San Francisco Symphony.
Today, I listened to these two giants in music performance go after the finer points of the Kreutzer Sonata. Believe me when I tell you that I have heard this music played by several other world-class players. But today’s experience was singular in its excitement.
The passion, the colors, the sensitivity of expression, and the ensemble exhibited by Bell and Wang was really extraordinary. Let me show you:
First, here is the first movement, with the violin alone introducing the piece, and piano responds with its acknowledgement. Then the exciting music takes off from there: (Please click “Skip Ad” in the video, as it starts)
And next, here is the slow, lyrical middle movement and the musical variations on the opening theme that follow: (Look at that occasional smile on Yuja Wang’s face, as she delights in these sounds)
Finally, here’s the last movement, and we’re off to the races: (click “Skip Ad”, again)
Tags: Joshua Bell, violin, Yuja Wang, piano, Beethoven, Kreutzer Sonata