This podcast presents the second segment of our four-part series ‘Beethoven Variations: A Poet’s Journey through the Music and Life of Beethoven’ with renowned British poet Ruth Padel and eminent pianist Karl Lutchmayer. This series has been put together by Prateeti Punja Ballal.
In Part II of the series, Ruth and Karl take us through the years when Beethoven contemplates suicide, then decides to ‘live for his art’. Inspired at first by the French Revolution, and Napoleon whom he regards as ‘a man of the people,’ and also by falling deeply in love, Beethoven writes a series of innovative masterpieces.
In the series, Ruth takes us on an intimate journey through Beethoven’s life and music, illustrated by her poetry from her recent book. Professor of Poetry at King’s College London, she has written many collections of poetry, and books of non-fiction and fiction. Her earlier book Darwin: A Life in Poems, released on Darwin’s centenary, captured her great great grandfather memorably.
Concert pianist and lecturer, Karl Lutchmayer held an academic lectureship at the Trinity College of Music in London, now Trinity Laban, for fifteen years. He has played at all the major London concert halls and across the world, and his London lecture-recital series, Conversational Concerts, garnered critical and public acclaim. Karl performs Beethoven’s music for us and gives us his insights into its composition and context.
In future episodes, they will be joined by guest artists, soprano Nina Kanter, cellist David Waterman and the Endellion String Quartet, one of the world’s leading quartets, and the South Asian Symphony Orchestra with musicians from the countries of South Asia and the diaspora.