Dear friends of music,
As you surely already know, the Musikstudio enjoys giving young talented students the opportunity to perform in front of an audience again and again. This is usually the case at the vernissages, but every now and then one or the other project of a complete class at an university offers itself to be performed. The last such event took place in 2019 with students from Prof. Gesa Lücker.
This time, students from Prof. Sheila Arnold can be heard again and, in line with the year 2020, they have created a project around the works without opus numbers (WoO) by Beethoven! Prof. Arnold writes the following:
“Do you know Beethoven?”
The Cologne University of Music and Dance addressed this question at the piano night on Friday, November 27, 2019. We will be presenting one aspect of the extensive program in detail in our concert, in which almost the entire class of Sheila Arnold will be heard.
We hardly know of numerous works without opus numbers (WoO) that remained unpublished during Beethoven’s lifetime.
Among them are pieces from Beethoven’s time in Bonn as a child and teenager. They are works by the learner, the experimental, the curious, composition exercises in counterpoint, charming dance movements in the style of the pieces from the Bach and Mozart families’ music books. Also occasional works for personal dedicatees who clearly indicate the album pages of musical romanticism.
In turn, in the many variations without opus numbers, we get a vague idea of his nature as a pianist who conquered the world.
Compositionally shaped by CG Neefe in the sense of CPE Bach and JS Bach and well armed with his own desire for innovation and perfection of his piano technique (harpsichord, organ and especially fortepiano), he gets the chance to leave the small town of Bonn and the Viennese world to conquer. He also says goodbye to his father, who, to the best of his knowledge, gave him a good education, but for a long time did not allow him to improvise, because he believed that the written works had to be adequately skillful before he could follow his “bees in his bonnet.” The urge for inner liberation and unconventional renewal was exuberant. Based on the mentality of a musically free-spirited CPE Bach, Beethoven experienced his heyday in Vienna in his twenties and thirties as an outstanding pianist who, in various piano duels, in particular through his extraordinary, avant-garde improvisational art, frightened some of his colleagues – both with his refined playing technique and speed in the Allegro, as well as his intimacy and mastery of the affects in the Adagio, which sometimes cause tears in his audience – which in turn make him laugh at the expected emotional success!
Students of Sheila Arnold play from the works without opus numbers