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Rita Dove

January 17, 2012

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 seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

hour 2

  • Camille Saint-Saens
    A Night in Lisbon, Op. 63
    The Symphonic Orchestra of France, Laurent Petitgirard, conductor
  • Francois Couperin
    Excerpt from Concerto No. 9 (Portrait of Love)
    Peter Sykes, harpsichord, Carol Ou, cello, Fenwick Smith, flute
    Jordan Hall, Boston
  • Gabriel Faure
    Barcarolle No. 13 in C, Op. 116
    Alessio Bax, piano
    Music@Menlo, Atherton, California
  • Camille Saint-Saens
    Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78 (Organ)
    The New York Philharmonic, Kent Tritle, organ, Andrew Davis, conductor
    Avery Fisher Hall, New York City
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