"It felt like a multi-sensory laboratory."Pianist, 11-5-2018
Inside the Hearing Machine: Beethoven on His Broadwood
Piano Sonatas Opus 109, 110, and 111
Tom Beghin, piano
Can we get into Beethoven’s creative mind, especially in the last phase of his life when he was coping with severe hearing loss? Tom Beghin’s new recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas Opus 109, 110, and 111 is an artistic exploration of how Beethoven’s musicking was shaped by the work environment he created with the help of colleagues and friends.
Not only does pianist Tom Beghin perform Beethoven’s trilogy of pianistic masterpieces on a magnificent new replica of Beethoven’s Broadwood piano, he uses a reconstruction of the Gehörmaschine that was mounted on the composer’s piano so he could continue to create music as his hearing declined.
“You do hear better when you bring your head under this machine, don’t you?,” André Stein asked Beethoven. Two centuries later, we too can bring our heads under the machine and wonder: Do we hear Beethoven differently? Beghin draws us inside the hearing machine, where we feel as well as hear the essence of Beethoven’s rambunctious and irresistibly poetic musical vibrations. Inside the Hearing Machine invites us into the multisensory playground of a deaf composer for whom the machine was more than a hearing aid and who interacted with his instrument through much more than sound.
Können wir uns in Beethovens kreativen Verstand hineinversetzen, besonders in der letzten Phase seines Lebens, als er mit einem schweren Hörverlust zurechtkommen musste? Tom Beghins neue Einspielung von Beethovens Klaviersonaten Opus 109, 110 und 111 ist eine künstlerische Auseinandersetzung mit Beethovens Musizieren in einer Arbeitsumgebung, die er mit Hilfe von Kollegen und Freunden geschaffen hat.
Der Pianist Tom Beghin führt Beethovens Trilogie pianistischer Meisterwerke auf einer neuen, großartigen Replik von Beethovens Broadwood-Klavier auf und er verwendet eine Rekonstruktion der Gehörmaschine, die auf das Klavier des Komponisten montiert wurde, damit Beethoven weiterhin Musik machen konnte, als sein Gehör nachließ.
„Man hört wirklich besser, wenn man seinen Kopf unter diese Maschine steckt, nicht wahr?“, fragte André Stein Beethoven mit Bezug auf die Gehörmaschine, die er auf Beethovens Broadwood-Klavier anbrachte. Zwei Jahrhunderte später können auch wir den Kopf unter eine Maschine stecken und uns fragen: „Hören wir Beethoven unterschiedlich?“ Diese Aufnahme lädt uns ins Innere der Gehörmaschine ein - dem multisensorischen Spielplatz des tauben Komponisten, für den die Maschine viel mehr als nur eine Hörhilfe war.
Tom Beghin has been at the forefront of a new generation of interpreters of 18th- and early 19th-century music.
His discography features Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Moscheles, C.P.E. Bach, Mendelssohn, Zelter, Schubert, and Clementi. He has published in journals such as Keyboard Perspectives, 19th Century Music and Haydn Studien, and in collections such as Haydn and His World, The Cambridge Companion to Haydn, or The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory. With classicist Sander Goldberg he edited Haydn and the Performance of Rhetoric, winner of the 2009 Ruth Solie Award from the American Musicological Society. Forthcoming from the The University of Chicago Press is his monograph The Virtual Haydn: Paradox of a Twenty-First Century Keyboardist.
Recognized for his expertise in eighteenth-century music, he is frequently invited to give concerts, workshops and lectures throughout North America and Europe. In 2013 he inaugurated the first replica of Beethoven’s 1817 Broadwood piano at the Concertgebouw in Bruges and the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, playing among others Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata, Opus 106. In 2004 the Haydn-Institut inducted him as a member. Released by Naxos on Blu-ray (2009) and CD/DVD (2011) is a complete recording of Haydn’s solo keyboard works, performed on seven different types of instruments in nine “virtual rooms.” Hailed as “one of the most audacious recording enterprises in recent memory” (blu-ray.com), The Virtual Haydn was nominated for a 2011 Juno for “Music DVD of the Year.”
He is presently focusing his artistic research on the piano works of Ludwig van Beethoven and the intersection of technology and rhetoric. Tom Beghin studied at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain, Belgium (with Alan Weiss), at the Musik-Akademie in Basel, Switzerland (with Jean Goverts and Rudolf Buchbinder), and received his doctoral degree with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson and musicologist James Webster from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York). He served on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, was a fellow at the National Humanities Center (North Carolina), and is Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University (Montreal, Canada). Prof. Beghin serves on the board of directors of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Instruments and of CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology). Temporarily on leave from McGill, Tom Beghin is currently Senior Researcher at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (Belgium).
It felt like a multi-sensory laboratory.
Tom Beghin plays the sonatas with a lot of energy and attention to detail ...
Beghins sparkling, some earthly performances fit perfectly with this less spiritualized Beethoven.
Klassieke Zaken, 17-11-2017
With the enhanced mechanism of his Broadway Fortepiano and the hearing machine that André Stein mounted on Beethoven’s instrument, Tom Beghin was able to use very special conditions for his recording. He provides a gripping sound in his elaborated performances. And so, this release offers unique illuminations for the three sonatas and guarantees an enriching experience even for those who normally prefer a modern grand piano.