Don’t write off classical music just yet. Ludwig van Beethoven appears to be making a comeback. A high-tech comeback.
According to The Wall Street Journal, hundreds of thousands of people are tuning into Beethoven via special apps on their mobile devices.
Pianist Jonathan Biss created a free five-week home-study course on the Beethoven piano sonatas through the Curtis Institute and online content provider Coursera. It was an immediate success.
But the biggest audiences have listened in to classical music via Touch Press. And it’s not just music.
“The Orchestra” features the Philharmonia Orchestra performing eight works from Haydn to Esa-Pekka Salonen, who participates in the performance. He provides ongoing commentary as the music is played. And users can try out different instrumental timbres using an onscreen keyboard.
“Beethoven’s 9th Symphony” app includes four versions of the same work. Users can move back and forth among them to compare. Users can give the apps a try free and decide whether to purchase them. Many are doing just that.
The whole trend might have made Bee-thoven’s head spin. But it means his audience isn’t so gray as it has been. And his music is selling.
It’s almost an ode to joy.