Two soulmates, a sonata immortalised, and a name lost to history.
18th – 28th March, Newcastle City Hall & City Recital Hall.
Artistic Director, Eamon Flack joins ACO’s Richard Tognetti to stage Beethoven & Bridgetower, a story of friendship, passion, immense musical talent and scandal. The performance features Beethoven’s epic, sweeping violin sonata The Kreutzer, arranged for solo violin and string orchestra.
The scandal? Well, the piece is known as The Kreutzer for its dedication to the violinist Rudolphe Kreutzer, but it’s likely he never actually played this extraordinarily difficult work! What has been lost in history is its original dedication to George Bridgetower, a far more accomplished violinist of mixed European and West Indian descent, and something of a kindred spirit to Beethoven, who performed with the composer at the Sonata’s premiere.
Legend has it Beethoven was so late to finish the Sonata that the ink was still wet on the page when he and Bridgetower – the latter, not having seen the score before, sight-reading and even improvising a section – took to the stage for an early morning performance. It was a success, and a jubilant Beethoven signed the manuscript in dedication to the friend.
However, in its success lay its downfall. While celebrating with a drink (or three) Beethoven and Bridgetower spectacularly fell out, and Bridgetower’s name was removed from the dedication, and from history.
Setting out to restore Bridgetower’s rightful place in history, Beethoven and Bridgetower is Belvoir’s first collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Tickets are selling fast, with some dates already sold out. Book now!