About histrical recordings



Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Based in Vienna, which at the time was the musical capital of Europe, he composed nine symphonies as well as numerous other masterworks—from concertos to works for solo piano—even as his hearing deteriorated until he became completely deaf. In Japan, he is often referred to as gakusei(maestro) and the Historical Recordings Collection features the piano piece “Für Elise,” as well as an arrangement of the “Ode to Joy” theme from his 9th symphony.
One of his most popular compositions is Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, nicknamed the Moonlight Sonata. This name derives from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab, who said “When I listen to the first movement of this work, I imagine a small boat floating on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland under the moonlight.” A recording of the first movement of this work is available from the Historical Recordings Collection.


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Introductory Guides to Japanese Historical Recordings: "How Records Spread the Tokyo Style of Yokyoku Nationwide" and "Listening to 'The Days of Xylophones'" are now available in English.
Approximately 1,000 historical recordings are newly available online.
See also National Diet Library News External link.