Barenboim on Beethoven 2: New Dimensions (Minuet into Scherzo)

A film by Christopher Nupen

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Daniel Barenboim — Presenter

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Daniel Barenboim — Conductor, pianist

Program notes

The second film in this extraordinary never-before-seen series by Christopher Nupen finds Daniel Barenboim shining the spotlight on Beethoven’s formal innovations: just as he refused to show subservience to his aristocratic patrons (he once “horrified Goethe,” says Barenboim, “by treating his patrons as equals”), he flouted convention in music, notably preferring to enliven his sonatas and symphonies with a frenetic, intense Scherzo in place of the traditional, stately Minuet movement.

Barenboim plays illustrative excerpts from Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas No. 3 and 4, and conducts the ebullient Scherzo from the Third Symphony (Eroica), a movement that perfectly emblematizes Beethoven’s liberated, iconoclastic compositional style.

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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