Beethoven Plus

Daniel Tong

    Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


    Who is Beethoven today? This performance project examines this question via a contemporary and apposite methodology, commissioning ten short new works to partner the ten Beethoven Violin Sonatas and creating a considerable body of new artistic research. Via consideration of the intertextualities at play within the full cycle of twenty works, performances were created that reveal new insight into Beethoven?s works and our latter-day perception of him as man and artist. Appropriate rigour was exemplified in commissioning composers of a variety of ages/backgrounds (writing within a range of musical approaches/languages) before extensive preparation and rehearsal alongside the Beethoven partner, culminating in work with each composer. Rehearsal discussions and explorations examined the interactions within each pairing, focussing on how the works might affect one another and be presented as a coherent diptych (even when relationships were dissonant as well as consonant). The full cycle was performed multiple times, at Kings Place, London, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Sheffield, Aberdeen and Wells, this final series recorded live for SOMM Recordings. This research advances knowledge in a variety of ways, contributing to questions of contemporary Beethoven performance and reception, as well as contemporary compositional style. The research is original as the first project to commission new work alongside all ten of Beethoven?s Violin Sonatas, allowing a breadth of compositional response within a scholarly context. This work is also highly significant in its outreach: the majority of its composers have considerable international reputations, in particular Jonathan Dove, Huw Watkins, Judith Bingham, David Matthews and Kurt Schwertsik. Six of the new works are published with Schott, Peters, Boosey & Hawkes and Faber. Editorial articles have been published in Gramophone Magazine and The Independent. The work has been extremely well received by Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio 3 Record Review and Fanfare.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherSOMM Recordings
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 31 Dec 2018


    • Music
    • chamber music
    • Beethoven
    • Violin
    • Piano


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