Beethoven Activity Page

Back to the Composer page

Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

Nationality: German

Born – Bonn, Germany, December 17, 1770

Died – Vienna, Austria, March 26, 1827

Period: Classical

This year’s Music Memory program includes the 3rd movement, or “Rondo, allegro,” from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. It’s one of his best known and most frequently played compositions, and is often called the Emperor Concerto. It was the last piano concerto that Beethoven composed. Beethoven wrote the concerto between 1809 and 1811 while he was living in Vienna. He dedicated the concerto to Archduke Rudolf, his patron and pupil.

In rondo form, a principal theme (sometimes called the “refrain”) alternates with one or more contrasting themes, generally called “episodes.”

Before listening to the Emperor Concerto, let’s listen to a rondo written by Mozart. It’s called “The Turkish March,” played here by the Italian pianist, Massimiliano Ferrati. As you listen, follow the listening map and see if you can spot when the theme changes. On the listening map, each theme is represented by a different image. The themes are labeled “A,” “B,” and “C” and the overall pattern of the movement is ABCBAB. Listen closely and see if you can hear when theme “B” is being repeated during the rondo.


Theme A
Ants on the March
Theme A

Theme B (Main)
Ants at Work
Theme B

Theme C
Reinforcements
Theme C

Theme B (Main)
Ants at Work
Theme B

Theme A
Ants on the MarchTheme A

Theme B (Main)
Ants at Work
Theme B

Coda (Italian for “tail”)
Ends the piece

The End

MUSIC MEMORY SELECTION:Now we’re ready to listen to the “Rondo, Allegro” from Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto.  Here is the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Massur, with pianist Alfred Brendel playing the 3rd movement from the Emperor Concerto. The overall pattern of this rondo is ABACABA.



KEYWORDS:
rondo / concerto / patron / coda / allegro / archduke

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1. In Mozart’s Turkish March, how many times is the main theme played?
  2. Listen again to the 3rd movement of the Emperor Concerto. How many times is the main theme “A” played?
  3. In the Emperor Concerto, is it always the pianist who plays the main theme?

Back to the Composer page

Share: