Mr. Beethoven by Paul Griffiths depicts what could have happened if the Composer has lived seven more years and visited the United States to fulfill a commission.
There are scores Beethoven never heard performed because of his deafness. There are also scores that were never heard because they were never written. The world renowned librettist Paul Griffiths has taken one such commission of 1823 as the starting point for a staggering Oulipean historical fiction. A biblical Oratorio for the United States.
Griffiths the librettist has written that missing text for Beethoven; a simple, beautiful setting that is genuinely sublime in that it deals in paradox and expanses of time and space. Griffiths the poet has rendered it with wit and depth of feeling. Griffiths the music critic has evoked the music itself, the music we can never hear. We read with envy.