Our featured soloist, the pianist Marino Formenti, plays both a Beethoven original in this concert and a new piece of music based on it. Describing an illuminating side of the composer, he told DW an anecdote: "When Beethoven wrote the Diabelli Variations, Carl Czerny was his pupil. Some 20 years later in London, Czerny wrote his first memoirs of Beethoven, saying 'When he wrote the variations, the master was in a freak mood.' But what is funny for the master is serious for mankind."
Listening to Beethoven's piano music, one can often imagine the composer improvising "in a freak mood." But, says the conductor Stefan Asbury, "As a composer, he was extremely crafty. If you look at the sketch books, you can see that he was very fastidious regarding melody, structure and especially dynamics: You can see the stab of the quill, of the ink on the page — it's stabbed as if he's putting energy into the notes."
Regarding the repeat performance of Bernhard Lang's "Monadologie XXXIV," heard in our last Concert Hour, the composer explained to DW, "A piece should be like an onion containing many layers and mysteries which you can uncover by listening to it repeatedly. Hearing it twice is a gift. When the audience heard it the first time, they grew restless. Then, when they heard the original Beethoven, there was an experience of recognition and forward-backward matching. Then, after the break and in the second performance of the piece, there was complete silence and attention in the hall. It was really beautiful."
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37
Monadologie XXXIV (repeat performance, excerpt)
Marino Formenti, piano
Central German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Stefan Asbury, conductor
Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the World Conference Center, Bonn, on September 6, 2018