Classic 107 - Winnipeg's classical and jazz radio station.

The development of Beethoven’s middle period brought boldness and musical innovation as he pushed past classical convention while struggling with increasing deafness. 


This week, host Chris Wolf shares music of Beethoven’s middle period, which is generally considered to begin after the Heiligenstadt Testament of 1802. While on retreat in the spa town of Heiligenstadt, the letter, written to his brothers Carl and Johann, reflects Beethoven’s despair over the onset of his deafness, as well as the hindrance it provided in achieving his artistic destiny. Though never sent, it marks a distinct change in Beethoven’s attitude, as he resolves to earn a living as a composer, rather than a performer. 

The music of the middle period is marked with turmoil and strife – no doubt a reflection of his personal struggles – as well as innovation and individuality. Romantic musical gestures (anticipating the music of Franz Schubert and Carl Maria von Weber) and sweeping architectonic structures (looking forward to Schumann and Wagner) are present in the music of this period, sometimes also referred to as the “heroic” period.

Tune in during the 1pm hour of Intermezzo for your daily middle period selection!