Beethoven for Children

„The Wild Ludwig“ - a tribute to the composer Ludwig van Beethoven for children of up to 10 years, and for many an adult as well

Performers: TrioVanBeethoven and Martin Schwanda, narrator

„The Wild Ludwig“ centers around Beethoven, the first independent composer of his time, a man full of passion and ideals.
At the age of 7 he gave his first public concert, at 11 he left school and at 13 he was already cembalist and violist at the court orchestra in Bonn.
He was no easy fellow to be around - in his temper tantrums he sometimes even smashed pianos, so that many piano makers began to construct more stable pianos with steel in place of wood frames and thicker strings. His loud playing led to numerous fights with landlords and he had to move often.
How could someone, who began to have trouble hearing at 30 and later on went completely deaf, still perceive new music inside himself and compose it..?

Many musical examples guide the children through the programme - they can guess the names of pieces or create new ones for them („Moonlight Sonata“, „Rage over a lost penny“...). They learn how quill pens were used at the time, how Beethoven first took notes, sometimes to come back to them much later to create a whole symphonic movement out of a simple musical seedling. The children are able to directly hear the recurring four tone beginning theme of the famous 5th symphony:

Notenbeispiel 5. Symphonie

The play switches back and forth between Martin, who is at times narrator, then a furious landlord of Beethoven's, or even a ghost - and the musicians, who sometimes take other roles: these being Mozart (Franz), an insulted Haydn (Verena) and the wild Beethoven (Clemens).

Using the example of the „Gassenhauer - Trio“ the children are shown how Beethoven added more and more variations to a famous melody, a „hit“ (back then they were called „Gassenhauer“ - „Street Hitters“).
Martin and the Trio recount and play excerpts of the 6th symphony („Pastorale“) and invite the audience to dance along with the sweeping „tempo allegro“ from the 3rd movement.
Finally the entire hall joins in the „Ode to Joy“. The idea of a hymn for the equality of all mankind stayed with Beethoven his entire life, and he composed a monument to it with his probably most famous piece of work, the 9th symphony. 

„Von Herzen, möge es zu Herzen gehen“ - „Coming from my heart, may it reach your hearts" (Ludwig van Beethoven)
Cordially, the „wild four“: Clemens, Verena, Franz and Martin

Length of the programme: approx.60 minutes

Premiered at Kindermusikfestival St. Gilgen, August 2012

technical rider

Technical Rider:

grand piano, tuned 443 Hz

2 music stands

beamer and screen


4 white sheets

1 broom