Today marks the 241st anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, the musical giant who spanned the chasm between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music. Most people have their favorite Beethoven pieces, even if they're not aware of it. Among mine are theMoonlight Sonata for piano (which is also transcribed beautifully for classical guitar), and the Symphony No. 7, Second Movement (Allegretto). The second piece illustrates Beethoven's signature instrumentation, including French horn, oboe, cello, violin and trumpet. Enjoy.
Last week's episode of Rober Ebert's PBS series At The Movies was divided into three segments, each devoted to how African-Americans have been included and depicted in films. The first covers the time period pre-1960s. The second addresses 1960-1990. And the third discusses 1990 to the present. The half-hour presentation is timely, given that this year, not one black actor or director has been nominated for an Academy Award. To me this is an egregious omission and a step backward, given the wealth of talent in the black, Asian, and Latino communities. Memo toAMPAS ~ it's the 21st century. Time to join the rest of us.