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A Beethoven-rich season

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by Ray Heigemeir | Thursday, January 24, 2013
Portrait of Beethoven composing the Missa Solemnis (1820)

In support of the Beethoven Project, a series of events celebrating the opening of the Bing Concert Hall, the Music Library offers a Beethoven Resources web page, a digital slideshow, and a display of facsimiles of Stanford’s original Beethoven manuscripts.

The Beethoven Project resources web page guides users to original manuscripts, early score editions, historical and contemporary recordings, streaming audio, reference sources, web sites, and videos, including selected complete performances of all nine symphonies and five piano concertos on YouTube.

The slideshow, “Beethoven’s Works and World: Images and Anecdotes”, features quotations by Beethoven's contemporaries, interspersed with images of manuscripts, early score editions, and engravings of people and places. The slideshow was compiled by William Meredith and Patricia Stroh of San Jose State University's Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, and produced by Ray Heigemeir. Please note that there is no accompanying soundtrack; you may wish to play some Beethoven of your choosing as you view the show. Along with being on the Music Library's home page, the show will also be shown in the lobby of Bing Concert Hall before Beethoven performances and during intermissions (on an 80-inch plasma screen!). A second part, made up of new material, will be shown beginning in March. Speaking of the Beethoven Center at SJSU, it’s a marvelous space with a terrific staff in the SJSU/San Jose Public Library, and well worth a visit. Items on display include several keyboard instruments dating from Beethoven’s time and an actual lock of Beethoven’s hair, which even has a book written about it.

Five original Beethoven manuscripts are in the care of SUL’s Department of Special Collections. They were presented to Stanford by Mr. and Mrs. George Keating in 1949, as part of the original Memorial Library of Music. Large-scale facsimiles of the items are now displayed in the Music Library, accompanied by brief explanatory texts. High-quality images of these manuscripts may also be viewed and downloaded via links in their respective SearchWorks records—follow the link above for a list of titles. This display is ongoing. Thanks to Astrid Smith, Becky Fischbach and Karim Arsalane for their kind assistance with this display!

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