Tag Archives: Roger W. Smith thoughts about Beethoven

thoughts about Beethoven



5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Beethoven

The New York Times

December 2, 2000


My younger brother alerted me and our siblings to this New York Times article, and asked us to pick a favorite among the Beethoven pieces discussed. The following is the text of an email of mine in reply to my brother.

— Roger W. Smith

    December 2020



Thanks for sharing and alerting me to this Times article. I find such articles sort of silly, usually. But, here are my favorites.



Weston Sprott

The “incredible transition” into the work’s final movement (between the third and fourth movements) of Beethoven’s Fifth. Yes, incredible. It never fails to thrill me. It’s brilliant and overpowering.


Steve Reich

Slow (third) movement of the A minor String Quartet (Op. 132). Yes, so profoundly. Plumbs spiritual and emotional depths. I got to know the Late Quartets in my senior year in college. They were a revelation.


Patricia Morrisroe

“Moonlight” Sonata, third movement. The “Moonlight’ sonata was one of the first Beethoven piano sonatas I got to know, in my senior year in high school and, mostly, during the summer of 1964, when I listened to it countless times.


Paul Lewis

The first movement of the piano sonata Opus 78. For some reason, I got to know this sonata only rather recently. This movement is one of my absolute favorites among the piano sonatas. A brilliant opening. Is enchanting the right word?


Seth Colter Walls

The second movement of the Seventh Symphony. I became familiar with all the Beethoven symphonies quite early, in my teens. I probably did not really get to know the Seventh until my freshman year in college (thanks in large part to the portable stereo that Mom and Dad gave me as a high school graduation present). When I first heard the seventh symphony, I found the second movement haunting, and still do. Like a lot of great Beethoven music, great passages, it is unique. He seems to be always original. Which is why he never tires (I should say, to be grammatically correct, never tires the listener).