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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Beethoven Pushes The Envelope

In the 3 sonatas of Opus 10, Ludwig van Beethoven was making a statement about his pianistic abilities, and one thing he knew that would certainly attract attention was contrast. The composer asks for double fortes, throws in unexpected rests, and invents the heroic funeral movement that he would exploit in future symphonies. This is all in the third sonata in D Major.

On The Piano this Sunday, a look and listen to the big four movement sonata that Beethoven would use to demonstrate his superiority to composers of the past, like his miffed teacher Joseph Haydn. Even piano manufacturers where put on notice when Beethoven ran his music up and over the confines of the smaller keyboards of the time. To better illustrate the many ways this work can be performed, the show includes excerpts featuring the first pianist to record all of Beethoven's sonatas, Artur Schnabel, and the man who recorded these works more than anyone else, Alfred Brendel. Also featured is one of Beethoven's most eccentric interpreters, Glenn Gould, and the young Korean pianist that recorded the sonatas with the composer's controversial metronome markings, H J Lim.

This week on The Piano, Beethoven: The man who wanted more of everything, and the reasons he pushed himself so hard. Sunday at 5 p.m. on KPAC and KTXI.

Randy was Texas Public Radio's Classical Music Director until 2013 and the longest-serving employee in Texas Public Radio's history. He hosted the very first airshift on KPAC when the station went on the air at 90.9 FM in San Antonio back in November, 1982.