Inside the Hearing Machine
EPRC 025 TOM BEGHIN
Can we get into Beethoven’s creative mind, especially in the last phase of his life when he was coping with severe hearing loss? Tom Beghin’s new recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas Opus 109, 110, and 111 is an artistic exploration of how Beethoven’s musicking was shaped by the work environment he created with the help of colleagues and friends. Not only does Beghin perform Beethoven’s trilogy of pianistic masterpieces on a magnificent new replica of Beethoven’s Broadwood piano, he uses a reconstruction of the Gehörmaschine that was mounted on the composer’s piano so he could continue to create music as his hearing declined. “You do hear better when you bring your head under this machine, don’t you?,” André Stein asked Beethoven. Two centuries later, we too can bring our heads under the machine and wonder: Do we hear Beethoven differently? Beghin draws us inside the hearing machine, where we feel as well as hear the essence of Beethoven’s rambunctious and irresistibly poetic musical vibrations. Inside the Hearing Machine invites us into the multisensory playground of a deaf composer for whom the machine was more than a hearing aid and who interacted with his instrument through much more than sound.