Hershey Felder’s Majestic Portrayal of Beethoven @ The Wallis

Although completely stone deaf at the young age of 31, Ludwig Van Beethoven miraculously went on to compose some of his greatest symphonies, merely by keeping the oral word and melodies in his head. Hershey Felder, yet again, does a masterful job in bringing to life the treasured work of a universally beloved composer and genius. In the Q&A following the opening night performance, Felder entertained questions about this remarkable man and,how, despite his personal tragedies and obstacles, he left the world a better place, with a rich legacy. Felder astutely stated, “he didn’t self-edit or filter; rather he had an imagination unfettered.” When asked what his favorite piece was in the performance, Felder, so quick on his feet with an answer, replied, “the one I’m playing when I’m playing it!” It’s evident that Felder is 1000% ‘in the moment’ as he meticulously plays each piece. The show is a perfect example of theatrical storytelling, with each musical piece, almost a jigsaw puzzle piece, a concise telling of Beethoven’s childhood to adulthood story. For his ‘beloved sweetheart,” he wrote the exquisite music of the moonlight sonata, and forever will be remembered as “the immortal beloved.”
As Hershey Felder so eloquently expressed, “be it the Symohonies, the Concerti, The Chamber Music, or Piano Sonatas, they make their way into our ears (and hearts) and stay for good.” If one looks beyond the surface, we see that Beethoven lived most of his life in his own world,with a combination of fear, focus, and brilliance, yet saw and heard more than anyone else in his time, or generations to come. The process of recreating this gentle soul, one of the greatest musicians to have ever lived, was 22 years in the making for Felder. Explaining his research, Felder shared, “you learn what you can and can’t do onstage. Every piece leads to the next. You need to constantly know, study, discover, and keep on playing.” Felder never had any intention of revealing every detail of the famed musician’s life story, but rather a ‘theatrical impressionism,’ by choosing selected bits and pieces to “give an evocative idea of his character and how his music has influenced all of our lives.”


About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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