|David Owen Norris||speaker, fortepiano|
Beethoven stormed into Vienna in his early twenties, improvising at the piano in a dazzling new way, effortlessly filling the vacuum left by the death of Mozart. A pianistic rival, Gelinek, exclaimed: ‘Ah, he is no man, he is a devil. He will play all of us to death.’ Beethoven’s pupil, Czerny wrote of him ‘drawing entirely new and daring passages from the piano by the use of the pedal’. Beethoven’s published compositions showcase his commanding virtuosity in all the latest techniques, like double trills and octave glissandos, but also signal the arrival of a new type of musical mind.
Referencing the music of Katya Apekisheva’s 4pm recital, David Owen Norris explores this phase of Beethoven’s career with the aid of an 1802 Schantz Grand Pianoforte, with its light Viennese action, knee-lever controls, and the typical dry sound of buckskin hammers.
You might also like: ‘The Young Ludwig – Katya Apekisheva’ in Hall One at 4pm today.
David Owen Norris FSA is a pianist, composer and broadcaster. He is Professor of Musical Performance at Southampton University, a recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award, and visiting Professor at the Royal College and Royal Northern College of Music. He is also a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.