Subtitle: Metamorphoses on Themes by Ludwig van Beethoven
Piccolo I-II (doubling Flute III-IV)
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone I-II
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Bb Cornet I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
(percussion breakdown needed)
None discovered thus far.
Extreme Beethovenis based on a similar concept as its illustrious predecessor, Extreme Makeover. A well-known classical theme is first presented in its original form, and then subtle and surprising shifts start to creep in. Various other Beethovenian motifs also make their appearance.
Starting with the opening theme (from the second movement of his Piano Concerto No. 5, the Emperor Concerto), Beethoven’s vast treasure trove of wondrous themes and motifs are put to good use. Melodies are quoted, enlarged, condensed, repeated in minimalist patterns, counterpointed, or placed in an entirely different context.
It is as if listeners can cast a glance into the genius brain of the master. Inside, a multitude of ideas and motifs tumble over each other. Some are dreamlike and exquisite, others nightmarish, frightening, and obstinately repetitive. The nine symphonies provide the majority of the material for Extreme Beethoven, but themes from the Egmont Overture, theMoonlight Sonata, Für Elise, and theTurkish March have also been woven into the patchwork of quotations and references.
Halfway through the piece, a small ensemble creates some indispensible musical confusion, worthy of Charles Ives – two groups playing on top of each other. A quotation from the Finale of Egmont morphs into a jazzy ostinato bass line until the pile-up of eight notes forms a bizarre cluster. What amounts to an ‘Egmont groove’ fits amazingly well underneath various other quotations. That brings us to the finale, where the Emperor theme resumes, played by the entire orchestra.
Undoubtedly, purists and musicologists will scratch their heads on hearing this music. Please understand that the piece springs from intense admiration and respect for one of the greatest composers of all times. Above all, Extreme Beethoven is an ode to the greatness of Ludwig van Beethoven.
- Program Note by Johan de Meij
The piece is a required work for the World Music Concours 2013 for the First Division.
Works for Winds by this Composer
- African Harmony (2017)
- Aladdin Suite (as arranger)
- Aquarium (1991)
- At Kitty O'Shea's (2011)
- Beatles Collection (as arranger) (1982)
- Canticles (2007)
- Celtic Classics (2016)
- Ceremonial Fanfare
- Clair de lune (as arranger) (1890/1905/2017)
- Cloud Factory (2011)
- Continental Overture
- Copacabana (as arranger)
- Echoes of San Marco (2016)
- Edgar (as arranger) (1889/2008)
- Extreme Make-over (2004)
- Extreme Beethoven
- Fellini (2015)
- Festive Hymn (2007)
- Fifty Shades of E (2016)
- Highlights from "Riverdance" (as arranger) (1994/2014)
- Highlights from the Seville Suite (as arranger) (1992/2011)
- Honky Tonk Ragtime (as arranger) (1985)
- Jazz Suite No. 2 (as arranger) (post-1956/1994)
- Joropo (as arranger)
- Jupiter Hymn (as arranger)
- Klezmer Classics
- La Fanciulla del West (as arranger) (1910/2008)
- La Quintessenza
- Les Papillons (as editor)
- Loch Ness (1988)
- March to Mars (as arranger) (1987)
- Musical Highlights from "Chess" (as arranger) (1993)
- The Painted Bird (2021)
- Pavane pour une infante défunte (as arranger) (1899/1991)
- Phantom of the Opera (as arranger)
- Polish Christmas Music, Part I
- Romeo and Juliet (as arranger) (1935/1990)
- Songs from the Catskills (2012)
- Spring (2010)
- Star Wars Saga (as arranger) (1987)
- Suite for Variety Orchestra (as arranger) (post 1956/1994)
- Summer (2013)
- Symphony No. 1, "Lord of the Rings"
- Symphony No. 2, "The Big Apple"
- Symphony No. 3, "Planet Earth" (2007)
- Symphony No. 4, "Sinfonie der Lieder"
- Symphony No. 5, "Return to Middle Earth" (2019)
- UFO Concerto (2012)
- T-Bone Concerto (1996)
- Te Deum (as transcriber) (1900/2010)
- Two-Bone Concerto (2016)
- Teddy Trombone (as arranger)
- The Venetian Collection
- Via Claudia (2012)
- Wind in the Willows
- Windy City Overture
- Witches' Sabbath, The (as arranger)
- The Woman in White (as arranger) (2006)