Charles Hazlewood marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven with a new documentary for Sky Arts: Beethoven and Me.
astonishing candour and a symphony of solace… it simply did what all arts films should do — deepen your appreciation of the art and what it can bring”
The Times ****
Beethoven and Me uses Beethoven’s 5th Symphony as a stepping-off point to explore the work, genius, and various health conditions that both influenced and disrupted the great composer’s work. The piece is underpinned by performances by a 38 musician-strong Paraorchestra, including personal insight from members of the orchestra.
Serious, high-minded and brilliant – this is a stunning lesson in not patronising audiences”
A deeply original and thought-provoking film”
Beethoven and Me explores some of the composer’s earlier sketches that chart the genesis of this composition, throwing light on Beethoven’s mental health – as well as his very human process in refining his ideas into final form. ‘A bloody battlefield’ – as Charles refers to it – ‘of corrections, rejected ideas, self-doubt, despair’ reflecting Beethoven’s personal struggles, and ultimate victory.
“Ever since I got my first Beethoven record, aged 7, I have experienced a troubled relationship with his music. It’s horribly uncomfortable for me to work with, right until the final performance which is always pure ecstasy. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I began to recognise similar traits, a parallel, between my subsequent personality disorders and Beethoven’s. With the help of professionals in the field, this film was my opportunity to explore that”. Charles Hazlewood
It’s an extraordinary programme”
Beethoven and Me aired on Sky Arts at 9pm on Tuesday 16th February 2021. It followed the news of Charles’ appointment as Sky Arts Ambassador for Music and with it a subsequent investment in the talent of Paraorchestra.