He recently took out the ﬁgurative Gold Logie for Australia’s most popular composer in ABC’s Classic 100, but how well do we really know Beethoven? This unique evening commemorating his 250th year delivers startling insights into the turning point of his life – 6 October 1802 – when he composed not a piece of music but a letter that he kept secret until he died.
Brett Dean, himself now one of the world’s most acclaimed composers, leads the ASO from the viola and invites his friend Sir Christopher Clark, Professor of History at Cambridge University, to give a rich context – social, political and scientiﬁc – for the famous Heiligenstadt Testament.
The realisation that the playful, life-affirming works written when Ludwig was a stellar ﬁgure in Vienna are actually those of a young man on the brink of suicide will shock you. That he could defy his depression and crippling aﬄiction with the most revolutionary symphony ever composed, the Eroica, is one of art’s great miracles.
At the concert’s centre, Dean’s own moving and terrifying work evokes the maestro’s vanishing sound world and lets us share the panic and alienation that he was forced to mask.