Birth of the Hammerklavier

Johanna took Ludwig back to court after her son, Karl, ran away from Beethoven's home.  She argued that her brother-in-law was disregarding her son’s best interests.  At the end of all the legal wrangling and court hearings, however, Johanna lost all control of her son.

During the second custody battle, Beethoven was able to keep composing.  He worked on his extremely complicated piano solo, the Hammerklavier.  Its music is unrelenting, difficult-to-play and emotionally explosive. 

In it, one can almost hear its creator’s pain.

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven.

 

Credits

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven. 

Online, courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.

Director:
Ursula Macfarlane

Key Cast Members:

Paul Rhys
Ludwig van Beethoven

Jack Shepherd
Joseph Haydn

David Bamber
Prince Lichnowsky

Alice Eve
Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

Nicholas Farrell
Stephan von Breuning

Tom Goodman-Hill
Anton Schindler

Gareth David-Lloyd
Older Karl

Casper Harvey
Young Karl

Sarah Hadland
Johanna van Beethoven

Christian Coulson
Archduke Rudolph

Charles Hazlewood
Himself - Presenter

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