Journey through Beethoven’s exhilarating music with MPO

If you feel that you need to connect to Beethoven’s earlier works, head to the DFP today as the MPO will celebrate Beethoven, one of the most influential figures in the history of classical music

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic By DFP/MPO

EVEN if you’re not a classical music buff, you might be familiar with Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony”.

Korean-American conductor Chang will lead ‘Beethoven Lives Upstairs’ on March 21, 2020, at 2.30pm

The composition was premiered in 1808, three years before Beethoven totally lost his hearing that forced him to “disappear” without any public appearance.

During the self-exile period, Beethoven composed many of his most admired works.

His “Seventh Symphony” premiered in 1813, with its second movement, “Allegretto”, achieving widespread critical acclaim.

Beethoven also composed his “Missa Solemnis” for a number of years before it premiered prior to his “Ninth Symphony” in 1824.

In 1826, his fourteenth string quartet was noted not only for its seven linked movements played without a break. It also considered his final major piece before Beethoven’s death a year later.

If you feel that you need to connect to Beethoven’s earlier works, head to the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) today as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will celebrate Beethoven, one of the most influential figures in the history of classical music, in a concert themed “The Early Symphonies”.

Embarking on a journey of his early music years, the concert will feature Beethoven’s first two symphonies, “Nos 1 and 2”, framed by his two “Romances” for violin and orchestra, all of which are dated from the 1790s to the first years of the 19th century.

“Symphony No 1” first premiered in Vienna in 1800, and immediately was known as a piece that proclaimed a bold, new voice in music.

“The symphony is considered a landmark event that not only initiated the great canon of nine symphonies from him, but also has repercussion on the genre that reverberated across the span of the entire century,” the MPO said in a statement.

The maestro’s “Romance No 1 and 2” are said to exude classical poise and elegance, first published in Leipzig in 1803, while the latter was published in Vienna in 1805.

“Both pieces are eminently charming works, richly imbued with the sunny disposition and gentle lyricism,” the MPO said.

Fans can look forward to the concert closing with his “Symphony No 2”, promising to leave one surprised, thrilled and feeling exhilarated all at once, hearing a piece that is now recognised for paving the way in a whole new world for the symphony.

A special addition this time around is Korean violinist, Clara-Jumi Kang who will perform with the MPO.

Known as an artist of impeccable elegance and poise, Kang has performed with numerous leading orchestras across Asia, North America and Europe, such as Leipzig Gewandhaus and Rotterdam Philharmonic, as well as major Korean orchestras.

“She has also collaborated with renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Lionel Bringuier and Andrey Boreyko, and was awarded the Daewon Music Award in 2012 and was named Kumho Musician of the Year in 2015,” the MPO said.

“Beethoven: The Early Symphonies” will be conducted by German conductor Jun Märkl and will play today, March 13, 2020, at the DFP, KLCC, at 8.30pm.

Meanwhile, the celebration of Beethoven’s life will continue next weekend through a Family Fun Day concert themed “Beethoven Lives Upstairs”.

Based on the original audio recording of the same name, “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” is a theatrical symphony concert introducing the works of the brilliant composer, Beethoven, to the audience in a “live” performance setting.

The concert tells the tale of an animated exchange of letters between a young boy, Christoph, and an uncle, while reminiscing about a person referred to as “madman”.

The “madman” turns out to be Beethoven himself, living upstairs of Christoph’s home in Vienna.

“The concert invites guests to journey with Christoph as he discovers the ups and downs of what it is like living with the genius composer and the beauty of Beethoven’s most memorable works such as ‘Für Elise’, ‘Moonlight Sonata’, ‘Pathétique Sonata’, ‘Shepherd’s Theme’, ‘Symphony No 5’ and ‘Ode to Joy’,” the MPO said.

This concert will present a collaboration with Classical Kids Live!, a Chicago-based non-profit organisation that fosters a new appreciation for classical music to communities through high quality theatrical concert productions.

Known as one of the world’s best classical music educational outreach programmes, it has received numerous awards and honours with the New York Daily News describing the group as “the best way to unlock the mind and heart of a child to the wonders of musical masterpieces”.

The concert will be led by Korean-American conductor Gene Chang and is suitable for children ages four and above.

“Beethoven Lives Upstairs” will play on March 21, 2020, at 2.30pm at the DFP.

Tickets for both concerts can be purchased through MPO website.