“There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit.”
This is an entertaining look at Beethoven’s use of the metronome. Jad talks with Alan Pierson, Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, about the fact that neither of them really like Beethoven’s Fifth. They discuss the use of Beethoven’s metronome markings and the fact that Beethoven was actually deaf when the metronome was invented (1817). This podcast can be used as an adjunct to understanding that tempos feel and sound different in different spaces. Beethoven would have only heard tempos in his head. With the metronome he went back into his symphonies, and marked them with tempos that are shockingly fast — so fast, in fact, that most conductors simply refuse to play them at these tempos.