Sunday, December 13, 2009

If Beethoven Had Lived...

I sometimes wonder what Beethoven would have thought of the music of Tchaikovsky… Verdi…Mahler…Gershwin…Jerome Kern.

In his book “Beethoven: His Life & Music,” Jeremy Siepmann writes that if Beethoven (who died at 56) had lived to the same age as Haydn (77), he would have known the maturest work of Chopin, the complete works of Mendelssohn, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and Tannhauser, the symphonies of Berlioz, even Verdi’s Macbeth and Nabucco.

Of course, if Beethoven had lived as long as Sibelius (92), he would have been familiar with much of Brahms, Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor and other major pieces, and Verdi’s Rigoletto, Trovatore, and Traviata.