Professor Laura Tunbridge – University of Oxford
Beethoven Great and Small
Size may not be everything in Beethoven's music, but its greatness tends to be implicitly associated with works on a grand scale. That is, though, to underestimate those smaller pieces that might demonstrate different aspects of his musical approach. In this talk I will consider the relationship between Beethoven maximus and minimus, through a series of music examples chosen from throughout his lifetime.
Professor Daniel Leech-Wilkinson – King’s College, London
Treating Beethoven as Shakespeare
For two centuries it has seemed fruitful to compare Beethoven and Shakespeare, the Zeuses of our musical and theatrical pantheons. We worship them and seek to perform their works: in search of ways to live better lives we cherish their texts for the guidance they offer. This talk examines the ideologies underlying the radically opposed ways in which we do these things. As well as discussing ethical issues we’ll consider what would be the artistic and commercial effects of performing Beethoven as we perform Shakespeare and vice versa, testing ideas with examples. And we’ll ask what the comparison tells us about the morality of classical music performance, including the comfortable home it provides for structural prejudice. What does it mean in this context to claim Beethoven as liberator? Or is he really our most dangerous prisoner?
Professor Dr Christine Siegert – Beethoven Haus Bonn
Gender and Space in Beethoven’s Incidental Music to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s ‘Egmont’
In Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's tragedy ‘Egmont’, the two protagonists are clearly defined by space: The title role is situated in the public sphere, even his execution - which is now shown on stage - is held on the market place of Brussels. The space of the female protagonist Klärchen, on the other hand, is at the private home. However, she is trying to overcome these limitations, but in vain: Her attempt to convince the citizens of Brussels to rise up and free the imprisoned Egmont fails miserably.
In my paper, I will explore how Beethoven's incidental music defines gendered space. On the one hand, it reinforces the gender differences of Goethe's play, on the other hand I would like to focus on the possibilities Beethoven shows to transgress the gendered limitations.
Students free admission at the door