Classics of the Phonograph

Up tempo Beethoven

Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

Wikimedia Commons

Beethoven was a sometime friend of Johann Maelzel, who developed one form of the metronome. Beethoven left metronome numbers as guides to performers of his music, and they have proven highly controversial. In recent decades, as part of the authentic instrument movement, conductors such as Roger Norrington have accepted Beethoven's metronome markings, resulting in much faster performance of Beethoven's symphonies. We will stir up the critical waters by playing some fast recent performances.