Russell Sherman on Beethoven

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In Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, one of the most noted performers of our time, Russell Sherman, finds music that cannot be mastered, only addressed.

He says: it is like wrestling in the great sandbox of childhood and heaven with the ultimate Sumo soldier of humanity-an irresistible opportunity, Russell Sherman says, no matter how many times “I get flattened.”

On subjects like the meaning of that mountain of Beethoven piano music, words always fail. But Sherman, undaunted, is as inventive talking about Beethoven as he is playing him: Opus 10, Sherman says, should have some of the humorous chemistry of Charlie Chaplin between elegance and blunder, grace and pratfall.

We are confronting a grumpy, ribald, kindly composer who can seem to the performer like an implacable God, with Russell Sherman, in this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Russell Sherman