I’ve only just managed to see In Search of Beethoven...It’s definitely for the fans. By which I mean, Beethoven enthusiasts will get immense pleasure from it I thought it might be only for the fans, but Margaret Pomerantz gave it four and half stars, and anyone who thinks the Third Symphony is called Heroica probably isn’t an aficionado (David didn’t even flinch at this: score one for me, Nicholas).Ah, the Heroica Symphony! Of course, it's nothing compared to Beethoven's later masterpieces, such as the Coral Symphony, the Pasteurised Symphony (my personal favourite), and the Theme from A Clockwork Orange symphony. And of course, Beethoven was a master at chamberpot music as well, with pieces like the Moonlighting Sonata, the Pathetic Sonata (which belies it's name - it is quite glorious), and the Passionfruit Sonata. And who can forget Beethoven's groundbreaking last quartets - each last quartet seemingly more final than the one before it?
It really is a great pity that we do not have more musical literacy classes, for there are children today who would not even recognise the name for Bach's Das Wohltempiert Clavicle, or Handel's Messier. They would not even be able to tell the difference between Stravinsky's Rite of Spring or his later Le Sacre du Printemps! Composers that would have been well known to previous generations, such as Verde, Tagliatelle, Edward Greg, or even Vaughan-Sullivan and Gilbert and Williams may be completely alien to the youth of today.
Our glorious musical heritage is in danger of being almost completely forgotten. Who now has listened to Schubert's Unstarted Symphony, or Pachelbel's wonderful Air on a Canon in an F String, or Benjamin Britten's Brahm's Lullaby? Not to mention the groundbreaking influence that composers such as Wagner and Bartok had on predecessors such as Mozart and Scarlatti.
Really, the way things are, it's almost as if, to some people, Beethoven's glorious 10th Symphony didn't even exist. I'm off to listen to it now.