On December 22, 1808, Beethoven starred in one of the most important concerts of his life. It took place at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.
The rehearsal - there was only one, despite so much new music - did not go well. Because of his increasing deafness, Beethoven's conducting style had become unpredictably erratic. At times, the musicians simply put down their instruments, refusing to continue. Despite all the rehearsal difficulties, the concert came together with relatively few mistakes.
Four hours long, it featured eight of Beethoven's works, including the first public performances of the Sixth Symphony (also known as the Pastoral), the Fifth Symphony and the Fourth Piano Concerto (which Beethoven personally performed).
After this concert, Beethoven would never play the piano in public again.
Online, via BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube. Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved. Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.
Key Cast Members:
Ludwig van Beethoven
Countess Giulietta Guicciardi
Stephan von Breuning
Johanna van Beethoven
Himself - Presenter