Inspiring Beethoven

for orchestra (2001)

Commissioned by the Phoenix Symphony
Premiere: Phoenix Symphony/Michael Hermann, conductor 2002
Duration 12:00 - - timp; 3 perc; pno - str

Inspiring Beethoven is a musical tale, completely imagined, of Ludwig van Beethoven finding the inspiration to compose the first movement Vivace of his Symphony No. 7. The materials of this joyous movement—the shape of the melody, the sprightly dotted rhythm—are all there, but I have cast them in the darkest of colors, reflecting the grim, inescapable realities of the great composer’s life. Out of the darkness intensified by the despair of his ever-worsening deafness, hope and inspiration come like a beacon of light, without warning, as they always seem to. Who or what causes this sudden transformation, I leave to the imagination of the listener.

−Kevin Puts