Friday, January 28, 2011

Beethoven listening projects

The only way to understand Robert Anton Wilson's interest in Ludwig van Beethoven is to listen to Beethoven's music.

The easiest way to start is to take on the symphonies. But over at alt.fan.wilson, Erie Wagner, author of the essential An Insider's Guide to Robert Anton Wilson, reports that he has taken on a more ambitious project. Inspired by the recurrence of the number 11:32 in Finnegan's Wake, he is listening to each of the 32 sonatas, 11 times in a row. He began by listening to sonata no. 1 eleven times, moved on to number two, and so on.

I'm not ready to imitate Eric's example, but inspired by his post, I am listening to all nine symphonies, in order, during my commute to work. (I'm ready for No. 7.) Of course, I have heard all of them before, but I thought it would be interesting to listen to them in sequence.

Eric's effort makes sense, however. The 32 sonatas are an important body of work, and listening to them is a great way to immerse yourself into Beethoven's work.

By the way, Eric has made it to the eighth sonata so far. This is the wonderful sonata known as the Pathetique, so Eric is in a good point in his life right now.


7 comments:

michael said...

It's a common mistake, but some jagoff Joycean will sooner or later pedantically point out it's Finnegans Wake, and if you're lucky, they won't go into WHY there's no apostrophe.

Can't stand those types...

fuzzbuddy said...

Simon Moon:

"Hell, look what Beethoven did when Weishaupt illuminated him. Went right home and wrote the Fifth Symphony. You know how it begins: da-da-da-DUM. Morse code for V - the Roman numeral for five. Right out in the open, as you say."

michael said...

"Beethoven was a pupil of Haydn, and Schubert lived near the two of them. Supposedly they all frequented the same little cafes. I wonder if they ever got together and gang-banged a lady piano player. Just a thought."
-Prof. Carlin, _When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?_, p.107

Bobby Campbell said...

I'm definitely not pedantic, but I like the story behind the lack of apostrophe! "it's a warning." Though I am totally and w/out a doubt a jagoff Joycean!

michael said...

"It was of a night, late, lang time agone, in an auldstane eld, when Adam was delvin and his madameen spinning watersilts, when mulk mountynotty man was everybully and the first leal ribberrobber that ever had her ainway everybuddy to his lovesaking eyes and everybilly lived alove with everybiddy else, and Jarl van Hoother had his burnt head high up in his lamphouse, laying cold hands on himself ...And Jarl von Hoother had his baretholobruised heels drowned in his cellarmalt, shaking warm hands with himself..."

Bobby Campbell said...

Precisely!

Royal Academy of Reality 1132 said...

Thanks for the post. Dr. Tom. I wonder how long it will take me to finish. I hope you've enjoyed the symphonies.