In the Search of Ludwig van

ARé cultural foundation print

After more than two centuries of Beethoven’s works’ performances and scholarship, it is commonly believed that we already know everything about this man and his music. But clearly, that’s not the case. And here is why. Although Beethoven composed more than 400 works, we tend to hear the same symphonies, sonatas and quartets in concerts and recordings.

This project is inviting to rediscover Beethoven anew and different as we will be in search of less-known – WoO (die Werke ohne Opus/Works without opus) pieces of Ludwig van.

The other author involved in the project is Yasmina Reza –a contemporary well-known play-writer with her novel “Hammerklavier”, who will be “helping” us showing the “right” path(s) towards our “humanness”. Reza’s Hammerklavier is a collection of 44 autobiographical sketches that have love, loss, and the relentless passage of time as their themes. Passing moments, events, sounds, emotions are caught with precision and soul. The microtome slices of life thus presented accumulate somehow into a profound, deeply moving, yet unsentimental esthetic whole. Some of these stories about loving relationship Reza shared with her father are examined in terms of their love of music. Reza’s father’s reverence for Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” (N29, op.106) provides the title.

The short stories in “Hammerklavier” were not supposed to be published. They were written just for the author. Supposedly the same is with Beethoven’s WoO pieces which are occasionally beautiful, often pretentious but always revealing.

This project was designed as an online one based on our Facebook friends’ contributions. Each day one of them would read one of Reza’s sketches translated in Armenian, put the video on their own Facebook page. Together with the video, each contributor would suggest one YouTube link of Ludwig van Beethoven’s WoO compositions. In the course of time, all the 44 contributions were collected letting all interested people get acquainted with a number of the WoO works of Ludwig van Beethoven (hopefully with more interest to dig them deeply), as well as Yasmina Reza’s novel Hammerklavier (hopefully with more interest in her whole oeuvre).