Great Performances

S49 E6 | CLIP

What was Beethoven's Favorite Key?

Scott Yoo, Bion Tsang and Toby Appel discuss what they think was Beethoven's favorite key to compose and take a reimagined approach to Beethoven's string trio.

AIRED: October 29, 2021 | 0:01:47

What do you think Beethoven's favorite key is? C minor.

Actually, it might've been his favorite, but he did not use it the most.

Yeah but, I think D,G,C and mostly E-flat major. Yeah.

And for a concerto, the spring string trio, um,

Eroica symphony, lots of E flat. Yeah. Out of all of the works,

I think most of them are in major key.

If there are a lot of major key Beethoven pieces,

when there is a minor key Beethoven piece, like this one,

I think Beethoven really wanted a count.

So I guess if he's writing this in C minor, this has got to mean something,

right. I mean, maybe it needs to be more dark. Well,

I think of this piece as kind of baby Beethoven's fifth, right?

Instead of [Yoo plays a selection of the piece] it's [Yoo plays the same section a key lower]

I think maybe we can make it a little earthier. More grit.

Yeah. Can you slate this?

[Voice over the intercom] This is take 67.

[They begin to play the C minor string trio].

Beethoven wrote the C minor string trio at 27,

the height of his early period.

It was the birth of a style he would explore throughout his career.

[They continue to play].


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