Opus Osm Video Series: If Beethoven Blogged …

Looking at Beethoven's works in a modern context, pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont gives a 'blog voice' to Beethoven in a new, free video series available here.

Looking at Beethoven’s works in a modern context, pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont gives a ‘blog voice’ to Beethoven in a new, free video series available here.

Lots and lots has been written about Ludwig van Beethoven by other people. But what if Beethoven himself had been able to publish commentary on his own, world-wide ‘blog’?

Opus Osm, in cooperation with pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, has created If Beethoven Blogged,several short videos which originally aired here in spring 2014. The young French pianist, who studied at the Prague Conservatory, has recorded a new CD, Beethoven: Evolutions. It features three works from Beethoven’s “middle period,” piano sonatas Opus 27 and 28.

Watch the ‘bonus’ introduction to the video series here, and the other episodes, below.

In these five, five-minute video segments prepared specially for Opus Osm, the young pianist chats with editor Mary Matz about Beethoven’s connections to the Czech Republic, how Beethoven’s piano works evolved and changed over time, and why (and how) contemporary pianists today interpret the music Beethoven wrote.

Each episode can be accessed here; and on Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont’s Twitter address.

The series of informal conversations between the pianist and the online magazine editor was recorded in English, but also features subtitles in both English and Czech, which can be accessed by clicking on the “captioning” icon underneath the video.

The Videos:

Episode 1 — Why the Beethoven: Evolutions project?

Episode 1: Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont describes Beethoven’s distinct style evolutions you can listen out for, and Pierre’s “Beethoven’s Evolutions” recording project.

Episode 2 – There’s Always Something New to Discover

Episode 2: Recording Beethoven isn’t as easy as it looks. The musician must find a studio that understands the artist; and then, the piano that Beethoven composed for was completely different from the instruments today … find out more here.

Episode 3 – Twisting Forms to Find a New Language

Episode 3: Here we get to the core issue about recording Beethoven’s music which has already been recorded many times before. Pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont plays short “before and after” samples — the traditional way Beethoven has been performed vs his fresh interpretation.

Episode 4 – Shaping a New Future

Episode 4: In our final part, pianist Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont explains why Beethoven was an early ‘indie’ musician and a rebel — one of the keys to understanding why he is still adored today.

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont in the recording studio

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont in the recording studio

Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont grew up near Paris and received his first piano lessons at age 8, and studied under Véronique Menuet-Stibbe there, and with František Maxián at the Prague Conservatory.

He debuted as a concert pianist in 1996, and released his first CD, Janáček / Ravel, recorded and engineered at Sound Studio HAMU in 2011. It looks at the cross-cultural diversity and multiple, deep links between the Czech composer’s On an Overgrown Path and In the Mists and the French composer’s Gaspard de la Nuit.

American editor / journalist Mary Matz has also enjoyed a lifelong career at the keyboard — a word-processing keyboard — working as a newspaper and magazine editor, writer, and publisher; book editor; advertising writer; and English language teacher. In 2010 she founded Opus Osm, the online magazine in English exclusively about Czech classical music, opera, and ballet. — oo

Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička

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