Beethoven certainly had a way with openings. Of course, the “fate” motive that opens the fifth is the most known and arguably, the most dramatic. However, not far behind that are the towering octaves that open the second movment of the ninth, and the two gargantuan tonic triads 1 that announce the opening of the third, “Eroica.” These are such iconic moments, that conductors can’t help but stress of their interpretations. One YouTube user, Erik Carlson, is here to help. He’s has cut together the opening chords of several dozen recordings and put them in chronological order in two minutes and forty-five seconds worth of earbending curiosity. You get to hear the progression of recording technology, different decisions in orchestra size, articulation, dynamic, space, and tempo. My favorite part, though, is listening to the different tunings back-to-back-to-back. Who doesn’t love a good earbender in Beethoven?
See what I mean?
- Those are all Rdio links. You can listen for free with an account, which is also free. If you don’t have one yet, you’re missing out on free things! ↩