The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Want to hear some Beethoven? A lot of Beethoven? The Edgewood College Chamber Orchestra performs an all-Beethoven concert this Sunday afternoon. | November 7, 2014

By Jacob Stockinger

Want to hear some Beethoven?

How about a lot of Beethoven?

Beethoven big

The Edgewood Chamber Orchestra, led by Blake Walter (below top, in a photo by John Maniaci), will be performing an all-Beethoven concert this Sunday afternoon, November 9, at 2:30 p.m., at Edgewood College in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive.

On the program are the dramatic “CoriolanOverture, the lyrical Romance in F Major for Violin (at bottom in a YouTube video with the famed violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz) with David Huntsman, the group’s concertmaster, as the soloist, and the epic Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, “Eroica.”

People always love to play and hear Beethoven’s music, so The Ear guesses this concert will be well attended eve though it will be competing with the Madison Symphony Orchestra‘s all-Scandinavian program at the same time.

blake walter john maniaci

Admission is $5 or free with an Edgewood student ID.

The program is all the more grist for the controversial blog post I did about whether Ludwig van Beethoven’s greatness and enduring popularity has actually harmed classical music. It was written by prize-winning music critic Alex Ross (below) of The New Yorker Magazine, and it drew a lot of passionate reader responses, some pro and many con.

Here is a link. Be sure to check out the reader comments:



1 Comment »

  1. What? According to Ross, this is “fetishizing of the past”, “idolatry”, listening to “an artist almost too great for the good of his art”, following a “cult”, . Do the Edgewood College people not know that Ross has written: “To perform Beethoven to the exclusion of the living is to display a total lack of imagination.” .Does the Madison group not realize that Ross, arbiter of all that is good, has written this: “The Ninth and the “Missa Solemnis,” Mathew writes, are “occasional works perpetually in search of an occasion.” And, in harnessing their power to our own dreams and passions, we are in danger of wearing them out, turning them into hollow signifiers. There is a “perpetual risk of emptiness.” Surely this group and its audience by following the cult of Beethoven run a risk of listening to music that is in “perpetual risk of emptiness” and “wearing us out”. I’m amazed Jacob that you have not called out Ross for what he is: a charlatan and a crank with an obvious Beethoven envy.

    Comment by fflambeau — November 8, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

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