On Saturday nights from 9pm to 10pm, John Suchet presents ‘Beethoven – The Man Revealed’, a year-long series about Beethoven’s life, celebrating 250 years since the great composer’s birth.
Throughout the landmark 52-week series, John will reveal the dramas, loves, conflicts and successes of the musical genius, offering listeners an unprecedented insight into the man behind the music.
Saturday 30 May
This week, John takes a closer look at Beethoven’s family. He shows the devastating effect of alcohol on those closest to the young composer as he grew up, and plays a piece he composed as a boy which seemed to reflect the stress he was under, as he dealt with a fraught — and at times violent — relationship with his two younger brothers.
John also explains how Beethoven’s family attempted to cope with a member who possessed a genius beyond understanding, and how that led to Beethoven the musician’s essentially lonely life. Although, as he became known for that musical talent, Ludwig composed a piece that became so popular, he gave it the nickname “heard from every window in town”.