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It's pretty scary to think that one can pretty must waste one's life watching stuff on a site with the initials YT, given the sheer volume of material there.  And you can spend all that time with the really good stuff, not the silly stuff.  I remember reading somewhere that the amount of data on YT is equal to the entire rest of teh internets put together, although I can't site that source, of course (typical loser, that 3CM).

One example of what I consider the really good stuff is a 2003 BBC film about the first private performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, a.k.a. the "Eroica".  Why choose this video, out of everything on YT?  The reason (not to mention the embedded link) is below the flip....

First, here's the embedded video link:

You can actually watch it, if you want, and comment afterwards (not that anyone really does, of course), for a reason to be mentioned at the end of this SNLC.  The video is a bit less than 90 minutes long, although if you really want to show your music nerd credentials, you could interrupt your listening starting at around 8 PM CST, again for a reason to be mentioned later.

As is 3CM's usual habit, I tried to look for archived reviews in UK papers (The Guardian, etc.), but no such luck.  The most reviews of this TV movie have been at, of all places, Amazon.com, here.  Reviews from Amazon.co.uk are here.

It might be expected that, given 3CM's general musical tastes, he'd be inclined to give this the BBC TV equivalent of 'two thumbs up' and to say that "everybody needs to watch this movie", "it's a really great TV movie about Beethoven", blah blah.  Obviously if you're interested, you can watch it and make up your own mind.

Speaking just for myself, the movie is....OK.  It's entertaining and definitely has its good points, not to mention a great work of classical music as the cent(re)piece of the whole show after all.  But I found some of the "music video" fast editing rather distracting and too much, especially toward the end.  There has also been some criticism in the Amazon comments, on each side of the pond, that the performance by the musicians in the film is too accurate to be believable.  That totally makes sense, given that if these musicians were seeing this score for the very first time, music that they've never seen before, a symphony on unprecedented technical scale and complexity, there is no way in the world that they would play it even close to perfectly.  The filmmakers try to capture some of that by showing a mildly scrappy performance of the first part of the first movement, which the ensemble is playing for the first time, of course.  This causes Beethoven (Ian Hart) to stop the musicians in frustration and give them a bit of a dressing-down.  Then, when the orchestra's leader (Peter Hanson, a musician in real life, with the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique) strikes up the band for the next go, it goes smoothly.  Except....

.....for the moment at 26:10, with the 'early' horn entry that Ferdinand Ries, Beethoven's pupil (Leo Bill), comments on out loud, enough to stop the music and get Beethoven riled up again.  You can hear the subsequent reply from the copyist Sukowaty (Anton Lesser), that "That's my hand; there's no mistake".  That much is historically true, Ries interrupting the performance, even if the actual details of the interruption aren't 100% accurate.  In retrospect, it would have been a little bit more accurate, without much loss in sonic enjoyment, for the orchestra to have done just one performance in the studio, straight through, and use that for the movie.  It may not have been perfect, but it would have been pretty good, and good enough for a fictionalized 'first performance'.

Of course, this is very much a BBC "Masterpiece Theatre" type production, with everything looking veddy, veddy English rather than Austrian or German, down to the actors themselves.  But having said that, English actors do tend to be pretty darn good.  Ian Hart maybe overdoes the irascible genius portrait of Ludwig van, making you wonder why Ries would continue to put up with such treatment.  Maybe it's just that Ries did recognize Beethoven's genius and was willing to put up with his ill temper to be around that, and maybe have a little of it rub off on him.

One such incident (mild spoiler alert) of Beethoven being too much of a jerk in his treatment of Ries comes from the surprise historical cameo by no less than Franz Joseph Haydn (Frank Finlay).  Ries sees Haydn come in during the 3rd movement scherzo, and tries to tell Beethoven after the scherzo has ended.  Beethoven snaps at Ries, of course, until Ries tells him who's just come into the room.  Beethoven, a former pupil of Haydn, then greets the great man as graciously as he can, recovering himself.  Then follows this passage where Beethoven introduces Ries:

Beethoven: "Sir, my student, Ries.  He's an idiot."

Haydn:  "All students are idiots.  It's traditional."

Now you get the historical in-joke.  BTW, there's a bit of irony in one line not long after, where Haydn refers to "my dear wife".  In real life, his marriage to Maria Anna Keller was an utter disaster, and produced no children.  Haydn had really been in love with Maria Anna's sister, Josepha Keller, who did not return Haydn's affections.  So Haydn married Maria Anna.  Bad, bad idea, as they separated in due course.

Another aspect worth noting, perhaps slightly teetering towards political correctness, is a comparison of how several of the women react towards hearing the new symphony, vs. the men such as Count Dietrichsen (Tim Pigott-Smith, who in real life leans rather left politically, to my understanding).  It's also interesting, again perhaps borderline-PC, to see how the servants react with fair sympathy to hearing the new work.  But music was a lot more pervasive in people's lives generally then, it seems, not just among a self-chosen "elite".

Still, overall, it's great that an institution like the BBC would make a TV film drama based on classical music.  Few media institutions would, especially now.  But the ultimate reason why I chose this video for this evening's SNLC has to do with this weekend's program with the St. Louis Symphony (full program note here):

Brett Dean: Testament
Brett Dean: Viola Concerto (with the composer as soloist)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb, op. 55 ("Eroica")

If you want, you can listen to the concert from the KWMU website (90.7 KWMU-1).  Self is not one of those listening on line, because he's at the hall at the time of this auto-posting.  Thus I won't be back for a few hours, to respond to comments, if any, and spread mojo.

In the meantime, feel free to watch the video, listen to the internet broadcast, or neither of the above, besides the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.....

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Comment Preferences

  •  so, from here..... (8+ / 0-)

    Went to the DMV to renew my license plates this week.  Thought I had all the correct forms, left work on time, got to the bureau before closing, even a good waiting #.  Then I looked at the envelope which was supposed to have my personal property tax receipt.  Saw that I'd taken the wrong envelope, and I didn't have that receipt.

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 04:20:51 PM PST

  •  thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    where is everybody ... ?

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 06:53:03 PM PST

  •  Tried to renew my passport this week. (4+ / 0-)

    Filled out the forms. Had my photo taken.  Looked up  info on the web.  Found the hours on the website.  Went to the post office during the appropriate hours only to find a sign that said  "By Appointment Only."  Why didn't the website tell me that?  Oh, well. Go home, armed with the phone number on the sign.  Call the number.  Ring, ring, ring, ring… no answer.

    So there I am, finger up my *, having wasted the entire afternoon.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 08:21:31 PM PST

  •  I love that YT has graphical scores. (4+ / 0-)

    If it were in three dimensions and rotated and moved back and forth according to what instrument was carrying the melody, it would be a good visual example of the way that I, as a synesthete, see music.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 08:24:56 PM PST

  •  Hi 3CM! (3+ / 0-)

    Where's cfk, I wonder: she's almost always here.

    As usual, I was at work when this went "live" but YT has some amazing things. TWO different full-length revivals of Sondheim's "Company" -- one from 2006, and one from 2011, staged with the Philharmonic. Just for example. And I haven't even really tried to thoroughly explore YT's offerings yet.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:30:07 PM PST

    •  she's probably doing grandkid stuff, unless..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, RiveroftheWest

      ......winter weather has done a number on things there.  

      I remember seeing the 2011 Company performance at the local cinema when it was delay-HDed there, the one with Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks et al..  Kind of ironic that NPH got to act out every straight guy's fantasy there, namely going to bed with CH, when of course he's the one gay guy in the cast.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:50:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh... (2+ / 0-)

        Some of us have wondered whether, if Sondheim had written Company today, Bobby would be an out gay guy....

        My favorite two numbers from that production are the one where Bobby's dates sing "Bobby is a hobby and I'm giving it up!" and "City of Strangers."

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 11:32:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if so, then the scenes with the stewardess..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Youffraita

          ......April wouldn't really make sense, especially with Christina Hendricks in the role :) .  Seriously, though, I read somewhere that Sondheim is working on a "Company 2.0" version, where Bobby is more clearly defined as gay.  Wish SJS would come up with one more original show, though.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:51:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Think of April (2+ / 0-)

            as a "beard" for Bobby's real interest in Bruce, the steward on PanAm Airlines. heh.

            Actually, if Sondheim wrote it today, it could be exactly the same except instead of three women singing "Bobby is a hobby and I'm giving him up" it could be three guys. All the rest of the show could be the same: married couples telling swinging gay guy Bobby about what marriage really means.

            I think it would fly. You?

            English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

            by Youffraita on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 12:04:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it could; however, there's the whole thing with... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              ......all of Bobby's friends in the original who are married heterosexual couples.  This would admittedly bring in the whole issue of gay marriage.  It would be much, much too complicated to try to rework in today's context.  Now, to make Bobby bisexual, that would potentially work easier.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:42:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  OK, actually called "Another Hundred People" (3+ / 0-)

        Damn but I love this. Maybe partly b/c I lived there for twenty years, and still love that "city of strangers."

        English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

        by Youffraita on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 11:34:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, that show was the start of..... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, Youffraita

          .....the peak decade for Sondheim.  It seems that any creative artist worth his/her salt seems to have that one stretch in life where they're really on a roll, or perhaps I'm superimposing too much.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:53:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know -- I trust you, 3CM, b/c (2+ / 0-)

            you're so very much more educated in these matters than am I.

            All I know is, the show has one helluva lot of terrific numbers, and NO, ZIP, ZERO plot whatsoever.

            It has a theme which theme is marriage.

            And a sort of story coalesces out of said theme.

            But it ain't a plot and it ain't storytelling.

            It's just a bunch of terrific tunes, sorta-kinda thematically strung together. Don't get me wrong: it's a terrific show.

            It just ain't theatah in the usual sense.

            English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

            by Youffraita on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 12:00:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  fair point; did you read the review of..... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              ......the John Doyle revival of Company in The New Yorker back in the day?  If not, click

              "Doyle used the same musician-performer trope last year in his thrilling revival of Sweeney Todd. There it brought out the strength of the musical’s libretto; here, despite the superb staging, it only underscores the weakness of George Furth's book. Doyle's production provides no semblance of a naturalistic environment, and the actors have little plot and no place to give them dimension. As a result, novelty stands in for personality, and Company is exposed as the song cycle that it really is - albeit a spectacular one."

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:46:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  ccc is right as always :) (3+ / 0-)

        Left the cave for the evening.  We took my youngest son and family our for dinner since his birthday is coming up in a few days.   Met them at a restaurant 30 minutes away.

        Brrrr...

        had a fun time seeing the three grandbabies...

        came home and went straight to bed.

        Best wishes to everyone!

        Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:06:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  family time sounds good (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, RiveroftheWest

          Helps when the family gets along, of course.  Skimming through the one article by Sarfraz Mansoor in the comment above, regarding the stress in the family because he wasn't marrying a Pakistani women .... yikes.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:55:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  so grateful for your link. (2+ / 0-)

    and your back story details.
    it is, next to few, my favorite symphony.
    is no way to repay this exquisite evening spent inside it.
    am sharing with brother brass, with 25-stars.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:11:04 PM PST

    •  you're welcome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbird, RiveroftheWest

      What did you think of the movie?  Also, I think one of the trumpeters in the movie orchestra is a real-life member of the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique, like Peter Hanson.

      Actually, at the pre-concert talk, the conductor presented a sonic mash-up of something like 40 different recordings, over a period of something like 80 years, of just the two opening chords, to show how things have changed over time, and how different interpretations can be even in close historical proximity (e.g. 2 recordings by Wilhelm Furtwangler from 1952).

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:23:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Late, but here. Won't be watching "Eroica." (2+ / 0-)

    But, despite my hesitancy to delve into YT because ai strongly believe artists shouldn't be ripped off, I did search this week for recordings of Chopin's prelude in A flat major. Horowitz and Rubenstein recordings were blocked. But I heard Garrick Ohlsson, Pollini, and many others.

    •  tricky issue, to view or not to view (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oculus, RiveroftheWest

      Even if I were to purchase a used copy of the video, the artists wouldn't get any royalties, such as they are.  I would think that royalties on purchases of CDs, DVDs, etc. would be only on the first "new" purchase of the item, not on used items.

      Royalties brings up the potential SNLC topic of a recent movie, but that might be for another day.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:51:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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