Bonus video performances
In 1818 Beethoven receives a special gift from London: a grand piano by John Broadwood & Sons. He remains attached to this English instrument until the end of his life. At this time, Beethoven is largely deaf.
In 1820 a potential solution is conceived and realized: the building of a “hearing machine” (Gehörmaschine) to go on top of his Broadwood. The work is entrusted to the Viennese piano maker André Stein.
With this aid in place, Beethoven (again) hears the sounds of his beloved piano. Mostly he feels the vibrations through his hands and feet.
Beethoven wrote his three last piano sonatas on his Broadwood:
Sonata Opus 109 had been largely completed before the application of the hearing machine.
Sonata Opus 110 was the first work to be composed from “within” the hearing machine.
Expanding the material boundaries of the machine, Sonata Opus 111 “transcends” time and space.
The following performances enact three complementary modes of performing or listening:
NEXT to the conventional, sideways-projecting piano lid (Opus 109)
INSIDE Beethoven’s reconstructed hearing machine (Opus 110)
IN FRONT OF a newly designed backward-projecting lid (Opus 111)
The listener is invited to see, feel, and hear Beethoven’s piano.
Watch the full performances here with the password from the CD booklet. [Coming soon]