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Ludwig van Beethoven

February 22, 2011

Poet Rita Dove re-imagines Beethoven

Poet Rita Dove wrote a book about Beethoven, his best friend in 1803, and the piece they premiered together. Beethoven wrote an astonishing sonata inspired by the virtuosity of violinist George Bridgetower. But one night over drinks, the two friends got into a fight. Beethoven took Bridgetower's name off the music, and they never spoke again. Rita Dove has re-imagined their relationship in her book, "Sonata Mulattica." She joins PT host Fred Child to guide us through their story, and through the piece that's become known as Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for thirty days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Leos Janacek
    Adagio from String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata")
    The Jullliard String Quartet
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Sonata No. 9 in A for Violin and Piano, Op. 47 ("Kreutzer")
    Violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Martha Argerich
    Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York

hour 2

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    First movement from Piano Sonata in C, K. 545
    Mitsuko Uchida, piano
  • Johann Friedrich Fasch
    Trumpet Concerto in D
    David Washburn, trumpet, and friends
    Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Domenico Scarlatti
    Sonata in B Minor, K. 27
    Sara Daneshpour, piano
    Frederic Chopin Society, St. Paul
  • Hugo Wolf
    Italian Serenade in G
    The Escher String Quartet
    Music@Menlo, Palo Alto, California
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488
    Mitsuko Uchida, piano and conductor, the Cleveland Orchestra
    Severance Hall, Cleveland
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